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  1. Hi mates, I'm about to start painting my current project, so that means it's time to think about a new project! Some of you may remember that I ginned up an old (like in 1965) Revell PB4Y-1 Liberator with all sorts of resin, photoetch, scratch-built stuff, sheets of card stock, and some great aftermarket stickers in an attempt to make people think it was actually the Hasegawa kit. Not sure that I succeeded in that endeavour, but it sure was fun. Here was the result for reference: So why not make a model of its offspring? The PB4Y-2 was quite a bit different, especially around the engines, nacelles, and waist turrets, with a single vertical tail reminiscent of the B-32 Dominator. I believe the fuselage was also longer. The only 1:72 kit that I'm aware of is the venerable Matchbox kit that first appeared in 1980. It's one of the better efforts from Matchbox and lucky for me, Revell re-released it in 2009. Why lucky? Because it's not moulded in three different colours! Just nice plain old boring grey. I picked up this kit for a mere $10 from a vendor table at an airshow several years back. Let's have a look. starting with the Gawd-awful, end opening, designed to never stay closed, collapse upon sight Revell box: Nice artwork. The styrene parts have both recessed panel lines (for major control surfaces) and very fine raised lines for everything else. I haven't decided whether this will need to be re-scribed; it may look fine just the way it is. First, the fuselage and tail: Next, the wingy thingies and other assorted bits. The engines, nacelles, cowling, waist turret panels, landing gear, and other goodies: Finally, the clear parts and there be a lot of them! The kit has the typical instruction booklet that Revell produced at the time. The decal sheet has options for VPB-106 of the US Navy on Tinian during 1945, a RCAF Liberator C.Mk.IX (RY-3) from 168 Squadron, and a French PB4Y-2S of the AĆ©ronavale during their adventures in Indochina. It probably builds into a nice replica right from the box. But what fun would that be? Anybody can build out of the box, right? Besides, we got another box! This one here: Resin! Be still my heart! Take off your mask and put on your respirator! (I wonder if you can kill coronavirus with resin dust?) This little box of goodies is chock full of nicely cast detail parts in addition to bits that "correct" the kit. I have no knowledge (at present) of what might be wrong with the kit, but whatever. Let's see what's in Pandora's Box! Er, Privateer's Box! First, some cockpit stuff. This will be a big help in tartin' up the pit - the kit is woefully inadequate here. I think I can combine this with some Eduard B-24 Liberator photoetch that I have. Next, new engines, nacelles, and cowlings. I've read that this is one area where the kit needs correction. New propellers and tyres - the props have better shaped blades than those in the kit, and the tyres are much more detailed: And some very nicely detailed replacement parts for the waist, nose, and top turrets. Lastly, Cobra included several vacuform clear parts, and one clear resin part. Not sure why that one part (I think it's the lower bomb aimer's window) was done in resin, but there it is. Holy Frijole! I think there are more resin parts than there are styrene. Needless to say this will be a bit of a big project, so don't expect anything to happen quickly. But I will start working on this one while I'm finishing up the Hornet. When the Privateer is finished, she should look real nice sitting next to the PB4Y-1, who is a bit lonely all by herself in the Bomber wing of my display case. Cobra, who produced this resin set, is no longer in business but its tooling was acquired by Lone Star Models and this set is scheduled to be released again in 2021. Just in case one of you crazy people out there want to give it a go. That's it for now. Stay tuned and stay safe! Cheers, Bill
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