KIT: Fonderie Miniature 1/48 Lockheed PV1 Ventura
KIT # FN6040
PRICE: € 55.20 at Great models webstore
DECALS: 2 Options
NOTES: Multimedia kit-170 parts



 Serving during WW II, the Lockheed-Patrol-Vega 1 was based on the civilian Model 18 Lodestar from Lockheed. A lot said that it was the big brother of the Hudson, but that’s definitively wrong. The USAAF used it as medium bomber, patrol, nav training, and the Navy  in maritime patrol, and even strafing with 5 guns nose. The British also used them , as  the SAAF, RAAF, and RNZAF and French navy under the US command. After the war it continue its task also under exotic banners too, i.e Brazil, Japan, and Portugal.  


    Here is one of the three last kit from FM in 1/48 scale and will definitively decide modelers who want to add this superb machine in their collection, if they still hesitate to built the only one available representation on the market up today; the vacu-formed kit form Koster.

The kit contains 170 parts; 47 in plastic,7 in transparent plastic,  8 vac-transparent parts (half are bonus), 14 p/etched, 84 in white metal, 10 in resin. The notice is rather clear, but you’ll have to find interior color by yourself, from books or kit build up articles. The plastic parts have a better surface than before, a good improvement since some older kits. The vacuformed transparencies are good with the front windshield that include a fuselage upper portion which will avoid us to do a delicate join in this area.

FM includes for the first time clear plastic for fuselage windows, landing lights, and under belly identification lights. The resin parts are beautiful as usual, and represent the interior cockpit with side walls, back wall, operator panel, dashboard, turret gun support, long exhaust for night version, wheels bays, and main body for the two 2800 engines. The white metal are for antennas, seats, tail wheel, gears, rocket rails, and engine cylinders. The photo etched include the dashboard to glue over the resin part, harness, anti glare panel for under wings. Finally, clear vac are for the canopy, middle upper turret, astrodome, rear under fuselage turret.

To check this kit I got two drawings sources; the Paul Matt from HAA and an extract form scale aircraft drawings WWII by Bowers from Air Age Publishing(1991).The model checks well with the Paul Matt reference, and some areas can be improved on the wings. First deal with the ten trailing edge fuel tank drains that seem too thick, the second concern the wings upper and under slots that must be open, and the third lead you to relocate fuel fillers. The upper wing rear engine fairings design diverge a lot between the two drawings source, and really a reader point of view would be fine, before opting for a redesign of the tip (less curved). The engine are well done, only the start plugs will be added or replace by aftermarket resin items. The propeller could be detailed or change from scrap box, and tires pattern engraved according with your documentation (diamond or lines).

Ammunition bands from aftermarket will enhance the aspect too. I you want to open the crew entrance door, you’ll have to scratch-build the interior, as nothing is there, as with the rear fuselage floor and tail unit support (a scale template could have been fine!). The decoration offer you a USN and French Navy aircraft. While the USN is in typical color, the French machine according to the box art is in white /gray camo that “lightens” the beautiful shapes of the aircraft. It belong to the Flotille 6F and bear the “cross of Lorraine” in a lozenge on forward sides. Note also that after WWII the Ventura continue to serve the French Navy and a good history could be find on the net. Obviously you could find an other country decoration, but you will do it by yourself (why not?).               


As said above, this multimedia kit could seduce a lot of modellers, as resin and metal now appear in second row industry aside main manufacturers who stay on hard plastic. This striking model can now be modelled by people who do not want to step the vac form kits , afraid with preparation. FM improve its kits for some boxes and even if it’s not a mass standard production, it’s one of the numerous producer who take risk where others stop. It’s one good reason to encourage them to continue and produce large aeronautical subjects!     


Good pictures at:

French history only in French at:

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