Azure FRROM Martin B-10 Build in 1/72 Scale Part II

B10_21
Yellow Wings schemes use a lot of yellow! I primed everything with Mr. Surfacer 1000 to check for flaws and then shot three thin coats of yellow and broke out the masking tape.

B10_22
This is the scheme described in USAAC Specification 98-2113, Yellow No. 4 and Light Blue No. 23. The Light Blue was matched to the chip in Archer’s Monogram Guide by mixing two parts Mr. Color 115 with one part Mr. Color 34 and a touch of Black.

B10_23
A subtle detail which is easily overlooked is the color of the back sides of the propeller blades, which is Maroon.

B10_24
The kit decals are a tricky combination of brittle and sticky which requires care and a bit of luck to apply correctly. I managed to create a couple of chips in mine but was able to touch them up with paint.

B10_25
The walkways and exhaust panels were provided as decals but there was just no way they were going to work, plus they were printed in a gray which was pretty light. The walkways next to the fuselage should be dark, a “scale black”. In looking at photos of B-10s there are a wide variety of paint patterns behind and around the engines, including none at all in a few cases.

B10_26
I used the Kabuki canopy masks from Special Mask, a must-have for the complex transparencies on this kit. The masks performed well and the kit canopies are quite clear, allowing some of the interior detail to be seen.

B10_28
The finished model is a bit of work but looks great.  Antenna wires are 0.004” Nitenol.  I kept track of the time spent on this one, 19.5 hours in all.  I could see building another, maybe in Royal Thai Air Force markings.

Azure FRROM Martin B-10 Build in 1/72 Scale Part I

B10_01
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.

B10_02
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.

B10_03
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.

B10_04
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.

B10_05
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.

B10_06
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.

B10_07
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.

B10_08
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.

B10_09
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.

B10_10
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.