Revell 1/112 PBM-5 Mariner




$9.00 in 1982


one option


Scott Van Aken


History Makers boxing, 1982.


The PBM (Patrol Bomber, Martin) was developed to replace the Catalina in flying boat duties with the USN. Thanks to the war, the Catalina continued in production along with the Martin flying boat, but in every area of performance (except, perhaps for slow speed loiter time), the Mariner was superior. Over 1,500 were built and served in all theaters of operation in both the Atlantic and the Pacific. They were rather successful U-boat hunters and able to carry 4,000 lbs of ordnance. They were a lot more comfortable for crews than the PBY and served in Korea and well into the post war period with both the Navy and Coast Guard. They were finally supplanted by the even more capable P5M Marlin, the US Navy's last flying boat.



The Revell PBM Mariner is one of Revell's earliest releases and is in what we come to call 'box scale'. These are kits that were engineered to fit into a standard size box of the time, which was generally shaped like a thick business envelope. From that we get some very odd scales, such as this one at around 1/112.

In the early 1980s both Revell and Monogram realized that there was quite a market for these old kits. Originals were fetching quite a large sum in the 'old kit' market so they realized that here was a chance to make some bucks. Revell's kits were called 'History Makers' and well over 30 different kits were produced. At the time, the price for these kits was rather high, but was much less than trying to buy an original. Besides, in these, the decals were still good! In addition to the new box, new instructions were produced. These were more of what we come to expect today with drawings of the various construction steps, no written sequence and the 'universal' pictograms.

Since this was an old 'S' kit, it comes with an 'S' stand. What may come as a surprise to many is that this kit of the 50s has engraved panel lines! Yes, the rivets are there too, but quite subdued. There is darn little flash and the sink areas are small, again corresponding with alignment pins. Parts with detail on both sides, like the fins, do suffer from ejector pin marks on one side, but there are few parts that fall into that category. Clear parts are quite thick and the small windows suffer from flash that will have to be removed. In all there are not many parts. The only options one has are to have the bomb bays open or closed. Two rather elongated bombs are provided if you want these open. There is no beaching gear as one is expected to display this aircraft on the stand and the suitable 'ball' is provided for the underside.

As mentioned earlier, the instructions are in the modern mode of 1982 when the kit was rereleased. Colors are called out where needed and generic names are provided. Decals are fairly thin and appear to be in register. The white looks a bit transparent and the red seems to favor the orange side. Finding 1/112 aftermarket decals for this seems rather slim so what is provided shall have to do.


If you are looking for a PBM you have this kit, a Mach 2 version and one by Pend Orielle. This one is the least expensive of the three and for most, the easiest to build. It was reissued back in the late 1990's when Revell had its SSP program going. That release is in the original box art and box size.  Despite its age, it looks to make into a very nice model and one that should be a rather pleasant build.

Kit courtesy of me and my constant digging through the vendor's tables at swap meets!

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