|PRICE:||€50 when new|
The Consolidated B-24 Liberator is an American heavy bomber that was
used extensively in World War II. It was a modern design featuring a highly
efficient shoulder-mounted, high aspect ratio Davis wing, which gave the plane a
high cruise speed, long range and the ability to carry a heavy bomb load.
However, in comparison with its contemporaries, the B-24 was relatively
difficult to fly, had poor low-speed performance, a lower ceiling and was less
robust than the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress.
The type served in every branch of the American armed forces as well as several Allied air forces and navies. It saw use in every theater of operations, with the C-87 transport derivative serving as a longer range, higher capacity counterpart to the Douglas C-47 Skytrain.
By the end of World War II, the B-24 was rapidly phased out of U.S. service, although the PB4Y-2 Privateer maritime patrol derivative carried on in service with the U.S. Navy in the Korean War. More than 18000 units were built, making it the world's most produced bomber, multi-engine aircraft, and American military aircraft in history.
kit was introduced by Monogram in 1976 as the “J” version, followed by the “D”
version in 1983 and has been more or less regularly re-boxed ever since, with
the latest re-boxing taking place in 2011. My specific copy is the 2003 Revell
“D” version. It comes in the usual (and not that strong) big Revell top opening
blue box, with a beautiful box art of s/n 124225 “FLAK ALLEY” flying over the
Upon opening the box I was greeted with a lot of plastic! There were four very big sprues and a fifth smaller one, containing 160 dark green styrene pieces, all bagged together. Detail is mostly raised, something to be expected from the kit origins. There is a fair amount of flash to be cleaned with the plastic itself being relatively hard and brittle.
The cockpit and all crew stations are well appointed WITH sufficient details, considering that not a lot will be visible once the fuselage is closed. The bomb bay is also adequately represented and a full bomb load is provided.
Engines and landing gear (key areas four a WWII bomber) are also above average, but would benefit a lot from super detailing, as they are highly visible. The wheels are “weighted” and look good. The main wheel wells are boxed with acceptable “ribbing” detail, whereas the nose wheel well has only a part of its rear inner wall represented, the rest of the area looking plain.
Wings and tail planes are also well done with convincing fabric representation. I liked the way the massive main wings interlock, to bring on a strong structure which, helped by the hard plastic, will not sag over time.
Options include open or closed side windows, bomb bays, crew rear entry hatch and finally extended or retracted landing gear. However, it seems that the kit is basically designed for the “everything open” and “landing gear extended” options, meaning that some serious extra filling and sanding job might be ahead of you should you decide to go for the other options.
An acceptable M2 Clertrac tug and 10 flight and ground crew naturally posed figures are provided, in case you want to add a diorama flavor to your Liberator.
Clear parts are relatively thick and exhibit some flash, but are otherwise clear and shiny. Instructions are very well done in typical Revell style (they utilize the Monogram drawings), with a comprehensive history at the front, a color guide in both Revell codes and generic names, a parts list, whereas the construction sequence is spread in 60 simple and clear steps, with full color callouts given during construction.
Two schemes are provided, both famous: one is the “FLAK ALLEY” of the 44th Bomber Group, whereas the other is the 98th Bomber Group “The Squaw/Sleepy”, carrying the distinctive livery it wore during its “Bond Tour” in the United States in 1943. Decals are superbly printed by Cartograf. Regarding “FLAK ALLEY” seasonal pics show the nose art applied on both sides, whereas the kit offers only the port side nose art. Possibly “FLAK ALLEY” wore only port nose decoration at the start and then acquired the starboard one?
The first twenty two instruction steps deal with assembly and painting of all the interior and the bomb bay, then the fuselage halves are joined. Engines installation and wings assembly plus attachment onto the fuselage comes next, followed by prop installation and tail plane assembly and installation with the rear turret beforehand assembled and attached.
The bomb bay doors, the aft panel, the tail bumper and the crew hatch or entry ladder are subsequently to be attached, followed by the main landing gear and top turret. Finally the transparencies and various antennas and guns are attached for a build of seemingly average complexity.
The Clertrac tug assembly is covered in six steps, followed by another two steps that deal with crew figures painting.
This is definitely an old school kit. Its general shape looks accurate
and the details provided, though not up to modern standards, are sufficient.
Parts will need some cleanup from flash and fit is expected to pose some
Out of the box, a very good model can turn up, whereas, on the other hand, areas like the interior, engines and landing gear offer a breeding ground for super detailing, with the hefty aftermarket available offering lots of possibilities. Whereas a good number of modelers will opt to delete the raised surface detailing and re-scribe the beast, it must be borne in mind that in cases like the B-24 with overlapping skin panels, the raised lines might look correct.
The decal sheet is a true highlight of the specific issue, at least regarding the vivid option of “The Squaw/Sleepy”.
Though the build involves dealing with big parts, it does not look to be too complicated. Still the only game in town for a quarter scale Liberator and last reissued in 2011, it can still be found today at more or less reasonable prices.
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