Revell 1/72 B-24D Liberator
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Consolidated B-24 Liberator is an American heavy bomber, designed by Consolidated Aircraft of San Diego, California. It was known within the company as the Model 32, and some initial production aircraft were laid down as export models designated as various LB-30s, in the Land Bomber design category.
At its inception, the B-24 was a modern design featuring a highly efficient shoulder-mounted, high aspect ratio Davis wing. The wing gave the Liberator a high cruise speed, long range and the ability to carry a heavy bomb load. Early RAF Liberators were the first aircraft to cross the Atlantic Ocean as a matter of routine. In comparison with its contemporaries, the B-24 was relatively difficult to fly and had poor low-speed performance; it also had a lower ceiling and was less robust than the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress. While aircrews tended to prefer the B-17, General Staff favored the B-24 and procured it in huge numbers for a wide variety of roles. At approximately 18,500 units – including 8,685 manufactured by Ford Motor Company – it holds records as the world's most produced bomber, heavy bomber, multi-engine aircraft, and American military aircraft in history.
First released in 1964, this kit has been reissued a few more times since then. It is very much indicative of its time with external detailing being raised panel lines and rivets. It is also quite lacking in interior detailing with the cockpit consisting of just a floor with molded in instrument panel and two figures. The bombardier's position is equally sparce with just a seat and a figure. Manned turrets have a half figure.
There are gun shapes for all the positions, including the side, which are open. All of the control surfaces are separate and designed to be moved. Same goes for the landing gear with the nose gear having hinged doors. Something you don't see in modern kits, but then these were, realistically, designed to be played with.
Transparencies for the fuselage sides are all inserted from the inside. For the side guns, you do have the option of installing the cover or leaving it open for the guns to protrude. The turret transparences are fairly well molded, but like all the transparencies are fairly thick. This includes the cockpit and nose ones which have fairly thick and softly molded frames.
Instructions are well done and provide generic color information. Unlike all previous releases of this kit, this one has different decals being a plane of the 321st BS/90th BG based in the southwest Pacific during WWII. It is OD over neutral grey with the lower section of the fin painted green on the outside. Decals look to be usable and are quite glossy. How they will form over the rivets is unknown.
With the release of the Hasegawa B-24D several years ago, I'm not sure how many of these actually get built. It certainly is lacking the detail and engraved panel lines we have come to expect. However, in the hands of a competent modeler, it should still make into a nice model.
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