B-26B Marauder

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Company: ICM - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: ICM - Website: Visit Site
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The Martin B-26 Marauder was a twin-engine light bomber which entered U.S. Army Air Forces service in 1941. 5,000 airframes were built, and the aircraft was used in all theaters of operations for the U.S. during World War II. The Martin B-26 was a medium altitude [10,000 to 15,000 feet] bomber with the lowest loss rate of any Allied bomber! Many Allied air forces flew the Marauder including; U.S., British, Free French, Australian, South African and Canadian in combat. At the conclusion of World War II, B-26 crews had flown more than 110,000 operational sorties and had dropped about 150,000 tons of bombs on the enemy. The Martin B-26 was declared obsolete by the United States Air Force in 1948, but few had even been airworthy by this late date. The B-26 designation was transferred to the Douglas A-26 in June 1948 after the Martin bomber was withdrawn from USAF service. The Douglas airframe served in three wars from World War II to the Counter insurgency role in Vietnam as modified B-26K.

Aircraft Technical Notes

  • Armament: 11.50-cal. machine guns; 4,000 lbs. of bombs
  • Engines: Two Pratt & Whitney R-2800s of 2,000 hp each
  • Maximum speed: 285 mph
  • Cruising speed: 190 mph
  • Range: 1,100 miles
  • Ceiling: 19,800 ft.
  • Span: 71 ft.
  • Length: 58 ft. 6 in.
  • Height: 20 ft. 3 in.
  • Weight: 37,000 lbs. loaded

The ICM kit is a new tooled 1/48 scale kit of this much overlooked Medium Bomber of the USAAC during World War II.The last kit of this aircraft in 1/48 was the decent older Monogram vintage [1978 release date] kit with raised panel lines. It had for its time a respectable modicum of details and went together with typical Monogram tooling of this era. A bit touchy in area. I built one back in 1999 as Midway Marauder with an early short tail/wing conversion. The ICM tooling is up to date 21st Century tooling and is a welcome on the market!

What is in the Box

  • 7 gray injection molded plastic sprues
  • 1 clear sprue
  • 1 decal sheet with 3 markings options
  • 1 instruction book
  • 1 Cover artwork 2024 Calendar

The kit comes in the sturdy white box with cover art lid as per ALL ICM releases. ON to the new Sprue reviews coming right at you. The tooling of this kit is excellent with finely engraved detail which is very appropriate for the scale. ICM has also included a nice Cover art poster 2024 Calendar with this release. The kit has a nicely printed decals sheet with three options Natural metal & ODschemes. They also included a template for the canopy masks [in the instructions] for the modeler to use to cut out by hand or by using a stencil cutting machine. My friend John Ferdico at Hawaiian Air Depot made flawless cutouts from the ICM templates of the kit and sent me a full sheet of masks for this kit-I thank John for this was immensely helpful!. I also made my own cast white metal nose weight which fits behind the cockpit area. This is custom made to fit this kit and avoids the kit to become a tail-sitter. BTW- IF anyone is interested, I can cast a set of nose weights [for a small nominal fee] just contact me through IPMS email. On to the build… THE fuselage construction is by far the most critical for this build and I recommend you dry fit ever component as there is a wealth of detail in the whole fuselage area. One area that can be slightly problematic is the fit of the fuselage halves which may create a seamline at the top. This is due to the close tolerance of the kit for the bomb bay area. Since I displayed my kit with the bomb bay area closed, I was able to trim plastic in this area for a proper fit. I suggest anyone displaying with an open bomb bay to dry fit this area especially well to avoid any seams or fit issues. ON the other hand, this kit exhibits some of the best wing to fuselage fit I have ever seen in a 1/48 kit!! Once the fuselage was buttoned up I put together the wings and the engine nacelles. These areas are a bit tricky in the fit of the main landing gears, but everything fits. Again, careful dry fitting will pay dividends in the end for this build. The engine detail is rather nice for this scale and only really needs engine wiring if one prefers. I did not do this for this build due to review time of the build.

Once I got the main airframe completed, I could see that my weight worked well to get the proper sit of this airframe on its’ tricycle. Most of the interior was painted Interior green with various other colors called out in the instructions. So painting was a breeze for the interior parts. Another item about 1/48 bombers is that the guns which are usually painted and installed before main airframe painting need to be carefully masked. As this is a rather large masking project! I also sued a small amount of filler on certain areas to get a completely seamless finish. The engine fit was snug, and I kept the engines during the painting process and masked the engine area too. The kit got an overall coating of Gunze Black primer [1500]. before the initial color coat.

I also wanted to outline I employed the ICM color paint set 3047 for the interior, and it brushes very well and thins with water very easily. Since the paint set did NOT come with thinner, I did not test it with an airbrush for its spray qualities. All interior black areas were painted with ICM paint along with some interior areas with the greens. But it brushed very well and responded well to Gunze clears. After the primer stages I sprayed most of the bottom and three quarters up the side with Alclad Aluminum [ALC-101]. This covers well and is very tough to masking. I was also using the decals from Pyn-Up sheet 48015[formerly Cutting Edge decals] to do ‘My Darling Agitator’ from 320 BG 344BS. These are very high-quality decals and have especially detailed nose art which I really like for this bird. The decals are well researched, and I painted the airframe according to the decal instructions which called out for 42 Medium Green which translate to Gunze Aqueous H303 [FS34102] over Aluminum. I like the qualities and coverage of the Gunze Aqueous line. Once everything was dried, I employed my regular washes and panel line accent. Then sealed everything in with Gunze gloss clear. And prepared for the decal stage. The decals went on flawlessly and responded well to Micro-Set/Sol decal solutions. Once the decals were dried, they were sealed in with Gunze Flat clear and the masking was then pulled. The airframe was then appropriately weathered with various pigments and pastels. I also painted up a pair of figures from my spares box that came with old Monogram 1/48 Bomber kits. I then used one of my ready-made displays I have for 1/48 Aircraft to make a little diorama with the figures.

This was not a particularly arduous build but it took me about 42 hours in construction time and I do not recommend this for Novice builders due to the masking complexities and the complex parts for the interior and engines and main landing gear assemblies. I find ICM’s 1/48 scale B-26 Marauder superior in detail and overall fit than the much older Monogram kit in this scale and overall recommend this kit for your 1/48 collection!I wish to extend my sincere thanks to ICM for the review sample and to IPMS for the opportunity to review this kit.


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