Consolidated PBY Catalina Color Photographs Part 4

PBY_41_PBY-5A_VP-61_Aleutians_Mar1943
A PBY-5A Catalina amphibian from VP-61 flies over the rugged Aleutian landscape in March 1943. Aerials for the surface search radar can be seen under the wings.

PBY_42_Aleutians
Another photograph from the Aleutians shows this PBY moored to a buoy with others visible in the background. Flying boat squadrons could be based in sheltered bays and supported from seaplane tenders, many of which in the US Navy were converted from flush-deck destroyers.

PBY_43_Puerto Rico 1939, Gov. William_P_Leahy
A pre-war photograph taken in 1939 shows a Catalina from Patrol Squadron 51 in the colorful yellow wings markings. Posed in front of the aircraft is the Governor of Puerto Rico, William P. Leahy.

PBY_44_Vice Admiral Patrick N.L. Bellinger, USN, Stands in Center of Large Group of French and American Naval Officers at NAS, Norfolk, Virginia
VADM Patrick Bellinger presides over a ceremony at NAS Norfolk. The PBY is finished in the Atlantic ASW scheme of Gull Gray over White. Note the asymmetric demarcation of the color separation on the fuselage.

PBY_45_brazilian-pby-5a-amphibians-handed-over-by-vp-94-oct-1944-at-rio
VP-94 transfers their PBY-5A’s to the Brazilian Navy in this ceremony held at Rio de Janeiro in October 1944. The aircraft in the background shows evidence of the US national insignia painted out under the wing.

PBY_46_withPBM
A PBY-5A framed by the twin tails of the aircraft which supplanted, but never entirely replaced the Catalina in service, The Martin PBM Mariner.

PBY_47_USCG
Seen in high-vis post-war markings, this PBY-6 served in the Search And Rescue role with the US Coast Guard.

PBY_48_at Naval Air Station, New Orleans, Louisiana
Sailors perform engine maintenance at NAS New Orleans. The Catalina is in the graded camouflage scheme and carries the national markings authorized in August 1943.

RCAF ,PBY -5 Canso,  Jan. 1942 Photo; RCAF via James Craik
A beautiful in-flight shot of a Royal Canadian Air Force Canso in flight in January 1942 in the Temperate Sea Scheme.

PBY_50
A Catalina on the ramp displaying her waist gun and rather intricate radio antenna rig.

Martin PBM Mariner Color Photographs Part II

PBM_11_Martin PBM-3D Mariner
A PBM-3 prepares to enter the water from a ramp. The aircraft is finished in the Blue Gray over Light Gray scheme and 1942-43 national insignia.

PBM_12_RA
Same scheme, different markings. This is a PBM-1, distinguishable by the round gunner’s position on the fuselage side. She carries the red and white tail stripes and red center to the national insignia us use until May 1942. (NASM Rudy Arnold collection)

PBM_13_RA
Another PBM-1, this one with an oversized “2” on the fuselage. (NASM Rudy Arnold collection)

PBM_14
A PBM-3R refuels from a boat, the red flag signifies the handling of fuel or explosives. The PBM-3R was a dedicated transport version, this one is assigned to the Naval Air Transport Service.

PBM_15
Sailors wash down a Mariner with fresh water to reduce the potential for corrosion due to salt water. The Mariner had a bomb bay in each engine nacelle, the bomb bay doors are visible in this view.

PBM_16_PBM-3S_Mariner_VPB-206_1945
A Mariner in the Atlantic ASW scheme launched down the ramp while a crewman leans out of the fuselage to detach the beaching gear. This is a PBM-3S assigned to VPB-206.

PBM_17
A waist gunner mans the starboard fuselage gun. The oval shaped structure to the right is a wind deflector which was deployed when the fuselage hatch doors were open.

PBM_18
In March 1944 this Mariner suffered a loss of power while flying over the Arizona desert. The pilot, a LT Fitzgerald, had no choice but to land the aircraft on its hull. Due to the strength of the hull there was relatively little damage. Here the aircraft is being leveled with the help of a makeshift scaffolding.

PBM_19
Trenches were dug beneath the hull and beaching gear was installed which allowed the aircraft to be towed free. The aircraft was repaired and was able to take off under its own power from the Wilcox Playa.

PBM_20
A Mariner undergoing engine maintenance. The workstands and miscellaneous equipment scattered around in the vicinity are worthy of note for diorama builders.

Martin PBM Mariner Color Photographs Part I

PBM_01_RA
The Martin PBM Mariner was a two engined flying boat which supplemented the Consolidated PBY Catalina In U.S. Navy service during the Second World War. The first Mariner was delivered to the Navy in September 1940, the last came off the production line in April 1949. (NASM Rudy Arnold collection)

PBM_02_RA
A fine side profile of PBM-1 Bureau Number 1259. Twenty PBM-1 were built, distinguishable by their round gun positions on the fuselage sides. The first Mariners were issued to Patrol Squadrons VP-55 and VP-56, this is a VP-56 machine. (NASM Rudy Arnold collection)

PBM_03_RA
A PBM-1 pictured in the yellow wings and aluminum dope finish. VP-56 received their Mariners in December 1940, just in time for the Yellow Wings era which officially ended in January 1941. (NASM Rudy Arnold collection)

PBM_04
A PBM-3 on the ramp in the Dark Gull Gray over White Atlantic scheme. This camouflage was found to be more effective for anti-submarine patrols.

PBM_05_80-G-K-2912
A PBM seen from the rear being towed. Note the mix of camouflage schemes carried by the PBMs in the background, both the Atlantic ASW scheme and the graded scheme are represented.

PBM_06_NickleBoat
The most famous Mariner was the PBM-3C “Nickle Boat” of VP-74, so named because of her formation number “-5”. She was credited with helping to sink two German U-boats of the coast of South America, U-128 on 17MAY43 and U-513 on 19JUL43.

PBM_07_NickleBoat
A close up of the forward hatch of Nickle Boat showing her U-boat kill markings. U-128 had sunk twelve Allied merchant ships, U-513 had sunk six.

PBM_08_PBM-5_J2_VPB-26_Okinawa
A PBM-5 in overall Sea Blue finish is hoisted aboard the seaplane tender USS Norton Sound (AV-11). The Mariner is assigned to VPB-26. The Norton Sound supported Mariners operating from Saipan before moving to Okinawa.

PBM_09_Martin_PBM-5_Mariner_of_VPB-26_aboard_USS_Norton_Sound_(AV-11)_off_Saipan_in_April_1945_(80-G-K-16079)
A PBM-5 on the deck of the Norton Sound. The seaplanes could be hoisted aboard the tender for maintenance, but took off and landed from the water.

PBM_10
A service boat refuels a Mariner. The flying boats would moor to a buoy in a sheltered anchorage, the crews and aircraft would be supported by a tender anchored nearby.

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.