This is the new tool Azure FRROM Martin B-10B kit, one of three boxings they released in 2020. The B-10 was considered to be quite innovative when it first flew in 1932, featuring an internal bomb bay, enclosed crew positions, and retractable landing gear. For a time it was faster than the fighters which might oppose it. I ordered one in U.S. markings as soon as it became available and it went straight to the bench when the good people at Hannants delivered it to my door.
The kit is a limited run effort and has all that implies, both plusses and minuses. The panel lines are fine and recessed. Locating pins and tabs are missing for the most part. Personally I think too big a deal is made over this, most parts can be aligned perfectly well without pins and sometimes the pins can cause sinkmarks which require filling.
The fuselage halves reflect a bit of clever engineering, they are split along the sides instead of along the top and bottom. The B-10 had corrugations along the top and bottom which would be at risk of being sanded off while eliminating the fuselage seam, provided the mold angle would allow them to be formed at all. The cowlings and nacelle parts are separate to allow Azure to provide for the different versions they are kitting.
The engines are crisp and nicely molded. There are mold seams and a bit of flash on some parts to clean up, a consequence of the limited run technology. A little extra work in parts preparation, but that is why we practice isn’t it? Back to chorin’, pitter patter.
No surprises in the cockpit, and one benefit of the horizontal fuselage split is the angles on the cockpit components are relatively easy to get right. The bulkhead pieces all fit into locating slots inside the upper fuselage, so take care that they are all square to avoid fit problems later. One thing to watch for is the back side of the instrument panel has what looks like a thick ejector pin stub. Be sure to file this off as it will interfere with the fit later.
Another area which needs attention is the wheel recess inside the wing. The part is too thick to allow the wing halves to come together. The best solution is to thin the inside of the part until the plastic is just starting to become translucent, then the wings should come together. You can see where the parts are touching by looking through the wing root opening. I have also thinned the wing trailing edges with a file.
The wing mating joint leaves something to be desired, but is not difficult to fill. The round inlet on the wing leading edge inboard of the engine can be drilled out.
Here is the cockpit interior under a coat of Alclad and a wash. I’m building this one OOB so everything you see here is what is provided in the kit.
The fuselage joint is a bad seam but in a good place. The relatively flat smooth sides mean little detail will be lost here in sanding.
I cleaned up the wing and fuselage seams as separate assemblies before joining them together. The wings just would not fit! It turned out the alignment tabs which protrude from the fuselage sides into the wingroots are meant to fit into slots on the inner surfaces of the wings but are too thick. I recommend leaving the wing support (part H16) off and just butt-jointing the wings in place. I cut the tabs off and was then able to get the wings on, but there were seams to fill.
Part II here: