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First Look Review
148
B-26 B/G Marauder
Revell 1/48 scale B-26 B/G Marauder
  • 00122

by: Jean-Luc Formery [ TEDMAMERE ]


Originally published on:
AeroScale

Introduction
In the "Hall of Fame" of WW2 Allied bombers, the name of "Marauder" is lesser known as "Flying Fortress", "Lancaster", "Mitchell" or "Wellington". Despite the fact that it was one of the best Tactical Bomber of the USAAF, it was nicknamed "Widow Maker" because it was very delicate to pilot and suffered from many accidents when it was brought into service. But the B-26 was a modern and effective aircraft which had the lowest loss ratio in it's category during the D-Day operations. It was successfully used by many Air Forces including French bomber groups starting from 1943.

Amongst aircraft modelers, the B-26 always seemed to suffer from the same mistrust as the real plane. But this is likely to change with the release of Hasegawa's 1/72 scale kit and several photo etched references in 1/48 scale from Eduard. It is the occasion to take a look at the venerable Monogram kit of the late 70' which was re-released not so long ago by Revell-Germany.

The Kit
Revell's version of Monogram's kit comes in the typical side opening box of the German manufacturer. Too often, the Revell boxes are too big for their content, but this time there is hardly enough space for the three bags containing the 102 plastic parts, the instructions and the decals.

The kit is composed of four sprues made from dark green plastic and one transparent sprue. The overall quality is good despite the presence of numerous ejector pin marks in some places. There is very little flash and few sink marks on the parts... not bad for a kit made in 1978! Unfortunately years have passed and today the kit shows it's age: the panel lines are in relief! Personally I don't like this kind of features on a model because it doesn't give one the possibility to paint and weather the model with washes. If you are like me, you will want to rescribe the whole surface of the kit. Having said that, a nice model can be achieved with what is provided because the level of detail is very acceptable. The cockpit interior is nice and structure details are present in both the landing gear bays and in the bomb bay. The latter can be displayed in the open position and four bombs are present in the kit. I can affirm without hesitating that this is probably one of the best aircraft kit of the seventies and like in many Monogram kits of this period there is a bonus: three crew figures.

The clear parts are nice and transparent if a little on the thick side, especially the side windows. Particular care will be necessary to get the front plexiglas cone and rear gunner housing properly in place. Covers for the wing's leading edges lights are also present on the sprue.

The instructions are typical Revell. They are printed on a 16 pages A4 booklet of which only 13 are used!? The assembly guide is made of 46 steps and in step 6 it is said to put 50 gr of weight into the fuselage's nose to allow the B-26 to stand on his tricycle feets once completed. At the end of the instructions, two painting and marking guides will help the modeler to paint and decal the model properly.

The decals gives the possibility to do two aircraft:
- B-26B-45-MA "Idiot's Delight", 391st Bomber Group, 575th Bomber Squadron RAF Matching, England, August 1944.
- B-26G-25-MA GBM 1/22 Maroc, St. Dizier, France, May 1945.

For the second option (the French one, doh!), there is a problem because the kit only allows you to build the B version. To do a G, the wing's incidence must be increased by 3,5. On the original plane, this was made to reduce take-off run and landing speed to the detriment of the top speed. It may not be a problem for most modelers since the difference is not that important, but it is nevertheless noticable so if you want total accuracy you will have to fix that. It won't be easy though, because the wing roots are molded on the fuselage halves.

Conclusion
Revell's (ex-Monogram) B-26 Marauder is clearly an underestimated kit. Not many have been built despite the fact that it represents a very good basis to produce a fine model. Out of the box, it has a satisfying level of detail and will make into an impressive replica of the real aircraft for a very reasonnable price. The only real drawback are the relief panel lines. If you want to buil a contest winner, aftermarket items do exist and Eduard, for exemple, have just released some very nice references to spice up this old kit. They will be reviewed on Aeroscale soon, so watch this space!

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AeroScale.
SUMMARY
Highs: Nicely detailed kit, even for today's standards. Price is very reasonable. Original subject.
Lows: Panel lines are in relief!
Verdict: Revell's (ex-Monogram) B-26 is a very good basis to produce a fine model and will make into an impressive replica of the real aircraft.
Percentage Rating
80%
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: 04525
  Suggested Retail: 20,99
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: May 07, 2007
  NATIONALITY: United States
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.63%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 83.40%

About Jean-Luc Formery (TedMamere)
FROM: MOSELLE, FRANCE

I'm mainly interested in WW2 aircraft and I build them in 1/48 scale.

Copyright 2019 text by Jean-Luc Formery [ TEDMAMERE ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

Not calling names here, huh? let's just say "musicians" I feel the same about raised panel lines ... the modelling community once wanted raised panel lines and lot's of rivets .. so the manufacturer did .. now they want (mostly) engraved panel lines .. so that is what they get .. and sometimes you get battle damage too .. wings full of bullet holes BTW Fred .. have a look at the Tamiya Wildcat again .. a very good example of raised and engraved detail!!! (just pulled mine from the stack to have a look) .. I think it is a great kit!!! (I do not own the Monogram, so I cannot compare, but I think the Tamiya will be better) best wishes Steffen
MAY 07, 2007 - 05:42 PM
Your review comments regarding the difference between the Monogram B-26 B/G version was interesting because I tried to alter the wing incidence by 3.5 degrees some time ago with mixed results. Once done the difference was quite noticable. The 'sit' of the G version being completely different. Please accept my apology for the poor photographs, but the attached images show what I mean. The mod was quite involved, albeit straigthtorward. Actually transferring the drawn wing root to the model was the tricky bit. (AND getting both sides indentical). Most of the work was milliput and sandpaper. Finish on the G model is kitchen foil and paint. Finish on the B model is just Humbrol aluminium. [
MAY 07, 2007 - 08:49 PM
Hi Neil! Wow! You did the French version and modified the wing's incidence! I said I've not seen many 1/48 scale B-26 models built and you made two! Did you shoot in progress pics of your G modification? I would love to see how you did! You could also tell us if 50 gr of weight is enough to keep the model on it's feets. I've read in Frank Oudin's article that 80 gr are necessary... Jean-Luc
MAY 07, 2007 - 10:51 PM
Sorry about the lengthy reply about the b-B-26... I was going to do a photo shoot of the progress. but shyness go the better of me. The G model was going to be a trial run for a number of things. (That's why there are no guns). I have never weighed the nose weights. So far I have made 4 B-26 with another one on build (See photo). Two have had collapsed nose wheels because of the weight. To keep the weight to a minimum I now make the missing bomb aimer bulk head from sheet lead (roof lead) and line the inner nose wheel area with lead side walls. Another sheet of lead is formed and glued to the rear of the back cabin wall (Radio room). The model will only just stay on the nose wheel and will tail sit very easily. The model then weighs 250gms and the C of G is correct for standing on the nose wheel. That means there must by 125 gms ahead of main wheels. 80-100gms seems about the right figure for the lead. (Bear in mind how far forward my weights are, the kit suggest to put them in the radio compartment). I also replace the nose wheel main strut with brass tube. if you are going to build one I can recommend the B-26 as probably the easiest model to rescribe, I always use cheap masking tape for scribing. If two or three pieces of tape are stuck on top on each other to make the tape thicker, then the tape is cut into 5mm strips it can be contoured around most curves easily. The adhesive is a lot stronger than, and lasts longer than dymo and can be discard easily. Any scribing tool, if held lightly will easily follow the tape. One roll of 2" masking tape has lasted 3 years so far and about 20 rescribed models. The B-26 suffers from a number of known fit problems that I know of. The engine nacelles, the cowlings, the canopy and the tail gunner position. I have found that if the engine nacelles are glued together while they are being glued to to the lower wing, the problems with poor nacelle fit can be overcome. Once the nacelles are dry the top wing halves can be fitted. My latest B-26 did not need any filler on the nacelles. Event the nacelle rear part fitted without filler. Take care when fitting the wings to the fuselage. Two of mine have anhedral despite the spars. (One model has a 8 swg piano wire rod acting as main spar to try to keep the wings straight). The cowling tops don't fit they are about 1mm too small. An easy fix is to stick a piece of 1mm strip in between the top joint. Once fitted the cowling will fit spot on. I find that the worst problem is always the tail gunner glazing. I now remove the fin and fit the glazing and tailplane together to make a parts fit something like. it still needs a lot of filler though. The canopy never seems to fit really neatly. I cured this on the latest model by sanding off all the outer detail and sanding the canopy flush with the fusleage. It was then polished back to clarity. I then bought the Eduard Mask set and masked off the frameless canopy. The frames were the effectively formed by the paint thickness of teh interior green and the Alclad. (see photo). I would recommend that anyone should try to aluminiun foil the Marauder . It really is adoddle. Standard kitchen foil will bend around all the B-26 curves. If you buy different foils from different stores and use both sides for different panels they show exactly the same effect at the real thing. No two foils are alike. (The more expensive foils are better for the compound curves). The adhesive is Faber Size, which is normally used for leaf metals. Simply paste/sponge on the foil, leave for 30 minutes and hey presto sticky back foil. No glue lumps either. The model MUST be clean and with smooth seams. I found that my covering the pasted foil with kitchen grease proof paper keeps the dust and hairs off while the glue is drying. Pasted foil can be stored an used for 48 hours or so without problems. The next B-26 model shown below is currenlty under construction. This is being built with a home made tail gunner position and Alclad paint. Hope this encourages someone else to build a B-26. It is a most beautiful aircraft. I have an AMT B-26B yet to be built. Has anyone got any comments about that model?
MAY 08, 2007 - 01:55 AM
Hi jhoog59, I can not find any good close ups of the leading edge, but photos do bear this out on many types. B-17 was round-riveted all over the nose, as was IIRC B-24; Wildcat & several others had those big access panels between cowl and canopy, and those usually lacked the riveting that secured the metal to the structure. Jean-Luc, well put, that is 99% of my opinion, too. Steffen, Tamiya is far superior to Monograms. Ill look at the kit again sometime, I recall it being rather smooth. In all of the above cases, something to consider. The round rivets were not bolts holding bridge girders together. They are so small that even on 1/32 they should be almost unperceivable. Looking at focused, professional high-quality photos of restored war birds, unless the light is right, one just does not see these round rivets. Neil, Impressive Marauders! Well done!
MAY 08, 2007 - 09:45 AM
Hi Neil! Thanks for the additional explanations. When you are finished with your third B-26 kit, could it be possible for you to write a feature for us? With the amount of informations you gathered during your builds, I'm sure many of us would be interested... me included! Anyway, I hope you will post some progress picture of your current project regularly... Jean-Luc
MAY 08, 2007 - 09:50 PM
Hi All I just bought the recent (MAY 07) issue of TMMI, and guess what .. .there is a great article on a B-26 Marauder in it. Wayne Hui did an outstanding job on the widow maker (lots of scratch building and rescribing and a BMF! ) best wishes Steffen
MAY 11, 2007 - 12:29 PM
Neil: Nice job on the unique paint job.
MAY 11, 2007 - 05:41 PM
Lookie what I picked up on Ebay a coupla months back: AMT Marauder... the OTHER white meat! Having built the Revell kit some time ago, I don't think I would be inclined to try it again. Even so, I have an unbuilt one in my stash. This time, I'm gonna take the best parts from that kit, and merge it with this AMT kit, and see what I come up with. I really would like to modify it into an "A" model, I seem to like punishment as of late! I think favorable results of my ongoing Lindberg Goshawk project has emboldened me. Oh well, no pain, no gain, right? -Mark
MAY 18, 2007 - 11:13 AM
   

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