by: Andy Brazier [ ]
The Consolidated B-24 Liberator was jokingly referred to by B-17 crews, "as the packing case the B-17 came in", but the Liberator ended World War II as the most produced Allied heavy bomber in history.
The Consolidated B-24 Liberator was not only used by the U.S Air Force but by other nations as well.
The Royal Air Force obtained about 2100 aircraft, with around 1600 of them the H,J and L models, the latter being re-designated as the Liberator Mk VI/VIII. These aircraft were supplied under the lend/lease agreement between the spring of 1944 and August 1945.
This kit is based on the plastic injection kit of Minicraft's B-24J model, which itself is a pretty good model to start with.
The model comes in the standard Eduard boxing and upon opening the box, its a nice surprise to find everything packed so securely.
The six light grey sprues are bagged in twos, then bagged again all together. The three clear sprues are bagged all together then packed in the main bag.
The rest of the contents contain the A4 size instruction booklet, two sets of Photo Etch, the sheet of decals and a very handy set of masks.
There is very little flash present and ejector pin marks are at a minimum. The plastic does have a little distortion moulded onto it, but nothing that looks to effect the overall model.
The fuselage has a separate nose section, as a lot of the kit is no doubt identical and used as a base kit for the B, H and the PB4Y-1, with a few different sprues added for each version.
The exterior detail is very light engraved panel lines and access panels.
Interior detail is fairly good, but with the inclusion of the P.E parts it really takes it to another level.
The bomb bay has a full bomb load to add if you so wish, and the bomb bay doors can be either modelled open or closed.
Waist gun positions are fully opened, but can be modelled closed, but that is not shown in the instructions. The upper and ball turrets are both movable (like your going to play with it anyway lol).
The clear parts are fairly thick, but nice and clear and devoid of any blemishes. Frames are raised and should help with the positioning of the masks.
The Photo Etched parts
The P.E parts are pretty much for the interior of the aircraft with a lot going into the cockpit and the waist areas.
Seat harness's for two seats in the cockpit along with a arm rests for the seats are included. The bomb aimers stool also gets a set of harness's. There is a new instrument panel along with the control yolks, which do look extremely delicate. P.E for the center console, and the instruments attached to the center of the canopy, complete the now busy looking cockpit section. Most of these are pre-coloured.
The waist areas get a total transformation with a lot of P.E for the side walls. The main facings of these parts are pre-coloured. The two waist guns get a P.E gun-sight added to them, along with P.E ammo belts and boxes.
All four engine facings get a set of wiring harness's added, which will add detail to the quite plain plastic parts.
The aft access hatch is P.E, and comprises a inner and outer skin for the door. This is only shown as modelled in the open postion, but I would imagine it could be closed if you so wished.
The main undercarriage bays have new P.E side walls and a couple of spars for the interior.
The front gear doors have some new actuators to attach, along with new facings.
All the undercarriage legs have brake lines to attach along with a set of P.E oleos.
This is not a kit you really want to try and paint the glazing free hand or even mask yourself, so the inclusion of this set is really worth it.
The set covers every piece of glazing on the turrets, canopy, fuselage and lower nose section.
Masks for the wheels are also included.
As stated the instructionsis a A4 size glossy booklet.
The first page has a history of the Liberator, along with a brief unit history of each of the aircraft that can be modelled.
The second page is the parts guide. The build starts with the cockpit and follows the usual pattern we are all used to. Each section has blue areas where P.E parts will need to go, and interior colours are given throughout.
A whole page is dedicated to where each mask for the glazing will go. At first it does look confusing, but by working through each section of glazing one by one you will soon figure it out.
The last two pages are the paint and decal guides and are colour profiles of each aircraft.
The instructions don't show whether any weight should be added to the nose. As the aircraft has tricycle undercarriage, I would err on the side of caution and add some weight, where it could be added is another thing altogether mind.
Decals and markings
The decals are printed by Cartograph, and will no doubt be of their usual high quality.
All the decals look to be thin and are glossy in appearance. carrier film is at a minimum.
All four aircraft have nose art, and three of these are of scantily clad women and are well printed, with very minimal carrier film around them.
The four aircraft that can be modelled are -
KH 211, 'Audrey“s Back', No. 99 Squadron RAF ACSEA, Coco Islands, August 1945
KH 283, captain S/L John Gauntlet, No. 159 Squadron RAF ACSEA, 1945
KH 284, 'Donald III', No. 99 Squadron RAF ACSEA, 1945
KH 327, 'Y'vonne Yippee', No. 159 Squadron RAF ACSEA, 1945.
All the aircraft sport a olive drab uppers with neutral grey lowers camo scheme.
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