Pacific Monograph PMAVI-003 Buzz Bombs
PRICE: $4.95
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Eight options

It is nice to see this set being released. There has only been one other decal sheet done for this aircraft and that was by Cutting Edge, which is nearly impossible to find.

Now we have a nice sheet with eight markings options for US JB-2 Loons as used by the USN and US Army/Air Force. None of these options is dated nor are any units provided, but I guess that really does not matter all that much. The decals are very nicely printed and you have enough for one vehicles. I have darkened the scan of the sheet a bit so you can more easily see the white bits. Note that there is an addendum sheet of insignia as it seems the printer left out the white on the insignia on the main sheets!

Now it is time to talk kits. For most of us, it will boil down to the Tamiya and the MPM kits. Both are still available as I just did a check and had no difficulty finding one. Both kits will need some work to accurately portray the Ford build buzz bombs.

The main issue with both kits comes in the engine/pylon area. The Tamiya kit has the engine too high up and the forward section needs to be more bulbous. The fuselage on the Tamiya kit is also teardrop shaped and the center section needs to be more cylindrical. Here is an image that shows what I mean. Note that this is an image for a German built V-1 and not for a Loon.

When it comes to the Loon, there needs to be some work done to the engine pylons. You see, the Ford built Loons had a pylon that was straight at the front and swept down and back in the rear. As in everything, there were exceptions as early Ford Loons were pretty much reverse engineered V-1s with the original pylons, but the majority of JB-2s had the modified pylons. Here is a photo that more clearly shows this.

That brings us to the MPM kit. It has the larger and lower engine that is appropriate for these planes. It also had a fuselage center section that is cylindrical as it should be. However, it had a standard V-1 style pylon. This is not impossible to fix. One can straighten the front of it with some filing and shape the rear to swoop down and back as is shown in the photo. It will mean that the upper part is thinner than it should be, but it is a huge improvement. When I built my MPM Loon some 8 years back that is what I did and I've included a photo of that build so you can see what that ended up looking like. As you can see by comparing it to the photo, a bit thin. Those wanting to be more accurate can add filler or card stock to widen this section.

I realize this is going off tangent a bit, but I've always found it nice when folks tell me things like this so that when I get around to the project, I'll have some options. There are lots of photos on the net so you can use those to determine which one matches the option you wish to use.

This really is a welcome sheet and priced low enough that you should seriously pick up at least one before they sell out.

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Thanks to Pacific Monograph for the review set. You can buy yours at this link.

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