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  1. Martin B-10B In US Service (FR0044) 1:72 Azur FR.ROM The B-10 started life as the Martin Model 123 which was privately developed by the martin Company. It was to have a drew of four and feature an internal bomb bay and retractable undercarriage, something new in 1932 when the aircraft first flew under the designation XB-907 before being returned to Martin. This then become the XB-10 when it was returned to the US Army. The XB-10 featured a number of changes to the original design. The crew complement was reduced from 4 to 3, and all crew positions were now covered including the nose turret something completely new at the time. The new aircraft would have a longer wingspan. The original Townend rings on the engines were changed to NACA cowlings which reduced drag. The US Army ordered 48 of the new aircraft in 1933 with production models differing very slightly from the XB-10., and another 103 in 1935. The twin 600 hp Wright SR-1820-E Cyclone engines provided the aircraft with a similar if not better performance than the Army's pursuit aircraft of the day. Although the rapid pace of aviation in the 1930s would soon leave the aircraft design behind. It had really been eclipsed by the time the US entered WWII In combat over China and Asia the aircraft was found to lack the speed of modern fighters and not have the same hitting power as other medium bombers. The B-10B which was the most numerous variant form the US features the 675 hp Wright Cyclone R-1820-19 engines. As well as service with the US the aircraft was used by The Argentine Army & Navy, The Chinese Nationalists, The Netherlands East Indies Army Air Force, The Philippine Army, The Royal Thai Air Force, and Turkey. The Kit This is a new tool kit from Azur Ffrom in collaboration with Special Hobby. This kit unlike the other boxings contains different wings, nacelles and engine covers for the different engines. The mouldings are typical of the higher end of the short run market. The fuselage is very well moulded with the corrugations of the skin very good indeed. There is a small amount of flash on some of the other components. The fuselage is moulded in a top/bottom split instead of left/right to avoid having a seem in the corrugated area which is good. There is one main sprue containing the wings, and a second for the fuselage and rear control surfaces. There are a further 3 sprues with all the other parts, and a large clear sprue. The front turret had become detached for the clear spure, but was not damaged. The last item in the box is a small PE fret. Construction starts with the fitting out of the upper fuselage, some small parts go in and at the cockpit area the instrument panels are added. At the rear supports go in for the rear position. We then move to the lower fuselage where the main parts for the three crew positions go in. These include the pilots position, rear gunner and front gun position. At first many smaller parts are added in to all three areas. In the rear the bulkheads go in for the observer/rear gunners area and the seating position is attached to the fuselage. A central support for the wings is also added in at this point. The pilots position has a front and rear bulkhead which supports the floor. The seat and flight controls are added to the floor and PE belts go on the seat. At the front the floor area for the gunner goes in as well as the support ring for the turret. Once all these parts are in two fuselage halves can be joined. Following this the extreme aft tail assembly including the tail wheel is made up and added to the fuselage. The fin/rudder and tail control surfaces can then be added. Next step in the construction is the wing. These are of conventional left/right with uppers and lowers. Into each lower wing the wells for the landing gear must be added in the bottom of the engine nacelles. The front firewalls can go in and the main gear legs are also show as being fitted at this stage, though I suspect modellers will leave these until later on. The wing halves can then go together. Onto the top section then goes the other half of the engine nacelle. The engines can then go on the front of the nacelles and the cowlings are attached. The wings can then be attached to the main fuselage. Lift devices are then added between the engines and the main fuselage. The exhausts then match up with their engines. The rear gun is added along with all the exterior glazing. At the front don't forget to add the gun to the turret before putting it in place. To finish off the main wheels are assembled and added, then the props can go on as well. Lastly various aerials and the pitot tube go on. Decals This boxing of the kit gives two choices of markings in the colorful yellow wings scheme. 35-238 Code 59, 28th Bombardment Sqn, Clark Field Philippines 1938. Since the instructions were printed it has been found out this aircraft was not passed to the Philippine Army. The aircraft was struck off in 1941. Code 138, Sqn Hack for the 17th Pursuit Sqn, 1st Pursuit Group, Selfridge MI, USA. Sqn badge on the nose. Conclusion This is another left of field release from FFROM of an lesser well known but good looking aircraft from the earlier years of aviation. Very Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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