Minicraft 1/144 B-24 Liberator




$8.00 MSRP


One aircraft


Scott Van Aken


Ex-Crown kit


Anyone not know anything about the B-24J? Well, here is a brief history courtesy of the US Air Force Museum

"The B-24J was very similar to the B-24H. Because of shortages of Emerson nose turrets, Consolidated re-engineered the basic Liberator design to accept a modified version of the A-6 tail turret in the nose. Consolidated--which became Consolidated-Vultee in March 1943--used the basic (late model) B-24D design as a starting point for the -J model. Improvements in the Ford-built -H model were not incorporated into the initial -Js. For example, the defensive improvements gained by the staggered waist gunner position and the 'High-Hat' top turret did not appear in early Consolidated B-24Js.

Late model B-24Js were similar, but slight variations between assembly plants required repair facilities to carry up to 5 different sets of parts. The B-24J was built by Consolidated at their San Diego and Fort Worth plants, by Ford at Willow Run, Douglas at Tulsa and North American at Dallas. The B-24G-1, -H and -J models were all very similar and difficult to distinguish in some cases. Without a visible serial number, identification is almost impossible for certain subtypes. For example, Ford supplied B-24H subassemblies to Consolidated to build at their Fort Worth plant, but these aircraft were given B-24J serial numbers.

The B-24J had an improved auto pilot (type C-1) and bomb site (M-1 series). When B-24H and B-24G-1 aircraft were retrofitted with these improvements, they were redesignated as -J models which also makes absolute identification difficult."




Here is yet another old Crown kit. However, unlike the B-29, this one is a bit better in the overall shape department. Panel lines are mostly raised and though there is a cockpit, it is only seats molded onto a flat base. No other interior or turret detail is provided. The kit can be built wheels up or down, and there are simple prop shafts if you want to pretend it  is in flight. No stand is provided. A very nice touch is that the turrets can all be added at the final stage. That saves on any real problems masking. Considering the age of the kit, the parts are relatively flash free. This does not extend to the clear bits, however, and some cleanup will be needed prior to use.

The instructions are basically a single sheet with the 6 construction steps on one side and the decal placement/color guide on the other. What is really impressive, as it was with the B-29, is the instruction sheet. I've not a clue at to what unit this plane represents, but I'd be willing to bet that is is a formation ship rather than a regular bomber. If that is the case, then all the turrets should be removed and faired over. The decals are very well printed, in register and appear to be properly thin as well. It is unknown how well they fit, but they are quite colorful. Other than the anti-glare panel, the outer fins will have to be painted to match the green of the decals.



If you are into small scale bombers, then this is one that you should have in your collection. It won't take up too much space and does offer a most colorful model. Based on the B-29, it won't be a slap together model for the more experienced, but beginners can easily have a fun play-toy in a short time. If you are looking for aftermarket sheets, then I can suggest Mike Grant's latest for the B-24.Review kit courtesy of my kit collection.

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