Special Hobby 1/72 Martin 139 WC/WSM/WTT

KIT #: SH 72440
PRICE: $38.90 plus shipping
DECALS: Four options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 2021 release


The Martin B-10 was the first all-metal monoplane bomber to be regularly used by the United States Army Air Corps, entering service in June 1934. It was also the first mass-produced bomber whose performance was superior to that of the Army's pursuit aircraft of the time.

The B-10 served as the airframe for the B-12, B-13, B-14, A-15 and O-45 designations using Pratt & Whitney engines instead of Wright Cyclones. A total of 348 of all versions were built. The largest users were the US, with 166, and the Netherlands, with 121.


Prior to the release of this kit, Williams Bros. released the B-10. It was what you would today consider a short run kit and it took skill to make it into a nice model. This particular kit was initially released in 2020 under the Azur label and they did the USAAC B-10 boxings. Special Hobby's releases deals with foreign boxings. In this case it is planes of Siam (Thailand), China, and Turkey

Unsurprisingly, the build starts with the interior with a number of items to be added to the interior sidewalls. This includes instrument panels for which there are decals for instrument faces. Next are the upper and lower gunner's positions and the pilot's cockpit. Note that there is a photo etch fret that includes seat belts for all of these. There is also a wing spar built into one of the bulkheads, which will be handy when attaching the wings.

A nice engineering move is that the fuselage is split into upper and lower halves. This eliminates the difficulty of dealing with an upper centerline seam as that area is corrugated. This also means a separate fin along with the horizontal stabs and tail piece.

Wings are upper and lower halves for each side. The gear wells need to be built up and this includes the main gear legs. Engines are nicely molded and when installed and the wing halves closed, you have different forward cowling sections depending on which markings option you are using. There are small protrusions around the engine nacelle that will need to be removed as well.

With a complete airframe, the clear pieces are attached. I highly recommend getting a masking set for these. In the final steps, wheels, exhaust and various antennas are added. There are also tiny p.e. hand holds and tip light shades that I'm fairly sure most of us will not attach due to their size. Note that not all the p.e. or plastic parts provided are actually used in this build.

The instruction booklet is in color and nicely done. Of the four markings options, two are like the box art in that they are Chinese planes that differ only by the color of the fuselage number. There is also an unpainted metal Siamese plane and a very colorful yellow uppersurface Turkish plane. While the wing walk areas are provided as decals, the black anti-glare areas will need to be painted. The fairly large decal sheet is quite nicely done and quite colorful.


I built the Williams Bros. B-10 back decades ago and can attest that it was one that took some effort. This one is very much state of the art and the interesting markings options should make this one popular with those who like pre-WWII aircraft.




October 2021


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