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  • Writer's picture@PlaneThought41

Martin's Miracle: 1/48th Monogram B-26 Marauder

Here is another Monogram bomber that existed as one of the very few choices of this type, for decades. Originally released in 1978, the 1/48th Monogram B-26 Marauder has seen a number of re-releases over time. Not one of their better fitting kits, however with a bit of effort this typically inexpensive kit can be built into a nice model.


1/48th Monogram B-26 Marauder

Notable Kit Features:

  • Long wing / tall tail version

  • Overall accurate shape

  • Raised panel lines combined with engraved details

  • Decently detailed interior

  • Alternative tail sections providing two different gun styles

  • Optional ventral gun packs

  • Open or closed bomb bay option

  • Waist gun positions can be modelled open or closed

  • 4 x 500 lb. bombs included

  • Nicely detailed 2 Seated crew plus 1 Standing crew included in kit


1/48th Monogram B-26 Marauder

Build Inspiration:

I was impressed after reading about the B-26 in action during WWII. The type didn't seem to get much attention considering it's wide theater use. After several early accidents on take off and landings (somewhat due to a high wing-load) the B-26 crews would later develop the lowest loss rate of any U.S. Army Air Force bomber. This inspiration, as it turned out, took quite some time as I started this1/48th Monogram B-26 Marauder along with a Monogram B-25 kit and then had to pack them both up due to a move. The two kits languished in a box for a few decades before I got back around to finishing them off. The B-26 kit was more work than I had intended, but turned out okay in the end (and could have been better with some additional patience for detailing).


B-26B-10 Marauder of UAF 12AF 320BG 444BS

Heads-Up Report:

  • Huge amount of weight is required in the front area to balance (due to the glass nose you can't put all you need here, so time to get creative)

  • Engines are simplified as half cylinders molded to a blanking plate

  • Wing to body mating fit requires some work and filler etc. (both top and bottom)

  • Engine nacelles themselves do not mate well, as parts don't have the proper angles to form curved surfaces

  • Engine nacelles fit to wing (resulting gaps) requires quite a bit of trimming, test-fitting, sanding and filling (I sanded mine down after fitting best I could however, next round I would try to trim / sand the nacelle base where it meets the wing to improve fit first - it will still require some filler)

  • Engine tail cones require work and filler to fit properly

  • Tail fit to fuselage will require some work to get a good fit as well

  • No navigation lights on the ends of the wings

  • The landing light area could use some seam filling, squaring off and lights to improve it


1/48th Monogram B-26 Marauder

Kit Additions / Modifications:

I built my 1/48th Monogram B-26 Marauder Out-of-the-Box however...

  • Eduard offers several different photoetch sets to help improve the interior and the exterior

  • Some .50 caliber brass barrels would step things up a notch


1/48th Monogram B-26 Marauder

Finishing:

I selected my interior colour as matte Dark Green. The bomb bay along with the wheel wells were likely aluminium lacquer or Neutral Gray, based on my research at the time (which was a while ago). Exterior colours were painted in the standard USAF tones of WWII with a Olive Drab FS34087 over Neutral Gray FS36473 (My research back then - before the Internet - had this colour incorrect as it should be close to FS36173) Some light paint fading effects were added, however in hind-sight the weathering was too light. (I was just beginning to weather my aircraft builds.) A gloss coat was then sprayed on and allowed to dry for the next stage application of the decals which were direct from the kit. (B-26B-10 of the 12AF / 320BG / 444BS) A dark wash was used to accentuate the recessed control surfaces. A bit of paint chipping was applied on props and leading edges using a silver pen to finish it off.


1/48th Monogram B-26 Marauder

The After-Build Report:


Although the 1/48th Monogram B-26 Marauder was not one of Monogram's finest examples, you can still make this kit work if you are looking for a bargain B-26B/C (More recently released by Revell in 2010). This kit will require a fair amount of additional work on your part to make it look good, so be prepared going into the build. You could now option for the very newly released 1/48th ICM B-26 Marauder, which is a new-tool high-end kit. ICM's B-26 Marauder does look very impressive in the brief reviews I have seen, but then it does come with a heavy price tag (Those two factors are often related :).


Completed build #130 - November 2010 using the 1/48th scale Monogram #5501 kit


Feel free to comment or ask any questions - Keep on building, gain experience, challenge yourself if you like, but try not to stress yourself out over the build - it is supposed to be an enjoyable hobby after all - Cheers


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