Riders in the Sky 1944 is a Limited Edition kit of the WWII four-engine bomber aircraft the Liberator GR Mk.V and MK.III in 1/72nd scale, which saw service in the RAF Coastal Command Service.
The majority of the sprues are based on Hasegawa's 2007 boxing of the B-24D Liberator.
have added their twist on this boxing with a two new sprues moulded by Eduard
, photo etch, masks and a 70 page book on Coastal Command Liberators GR Mk.III & V with a special focus on No. 311 Squadron.
And if that isn't enough Eduard
have also put into the box a large print of the box artwork.
In the box
Packed in a pretty large and heavy box the Hasegawa based Liberator GR Mk.V contains 11 grey sprues, , one small poly cap sprue, and two clear sprues. Two of the sprues, the darker grey and one of the clear sprues have been moulded by Eduard
for this boxing.
All the Hasegawa grey sprues are packed into one bag, with the clear sprue packed separately. The two Eduard
sprues are packed into their own bag with the clear sprue packed into a re-sealable bag inside.
Most of the weight for this kit is in the form of a 70 page soft cover book on the Coastal Command Liberators GR Mk.III & V.
One smallish pre-coloured photo etch sheet, and a very small plain fret are included.
As already mentioned is the extra bonus a rolled up large print of the box artwork.
A large sheet contains a full set of masks for the canopy, forward glazed area, and the various turrets.
A rather small decal sheet printed by Cartograph is supplied.
Rounding off the contents is the large glossy full colour instruction booklet.
Detail for the basic kit is pretty good with recessed and raised areas on the exterior. The recessed panel lines are very fine and not too deep.
The fuselage is made up of two halves with a separate three part forward section.
The wings are in two halves, lower and upper, but the flaps and ailerons are moulded on the wings, so you won't be able to position them separately, unless you fell like doing some surgery.
The twin tail plane is made up of four parts and fits straight onto the fuselage, as with the flaps the rudders are moulded in the neutral position.
Bomb bays can be modelled open or closed, but no internal ordnance is supplied.
Engines and cowlings are made up of seven parts each, along with a poly cap. The detail is fairly good in this small scale. Eduard
are producing a set of replacement resin engines in their Brassin range if you fancy detailing this area up even more.
Each engine has a one piece super charger to add underneath each engine.
New propellers for the RAF Liberators are found on the Eduard
Three of the marking options have external ordnance in the way of rockets that fit onto the side of the forward fuselage.
Various options for the different markings require different parts to adorn the fuselage and wings, so you have to decide which marking option you wish to build pretty early into the build.
Most of this parts are on the Eduard
sprues and the P.E fret.
Internal detail is exceptional, with photo etch instrument panels, harness's and lap belts for the waist gunners seats.
Weight will need to be added to the forward fuselage to stop it tail sitting, but although none is supplied Eduard
do show you where to place it.
The bomb bay is well detailed but as already mentioned no internal ordnance is supplied.
The main undercarriage is nicely moulded with a fair amount of detail, and the main wheels are weighted. Each undercarriage leg and wheel is made up of seven parts. The undercarriage bays are inserts which glue into the lower wing halves and are detailed with raised areas for the spars.
The nose gear is made up of one part and fits onto the fuselage halves, before the forward fuselage is added. Probably best to leave this off until the last minute to avoid it breaking. The wheel is made up of three parts, tyre and two hubs, and is also weighted.
Weapons in the form of machine guns for the upper fuselage turret, two waist gun positions and a tail turret are all added to the aircraft.
Various tail turrets are supplied as there are three types that are required for the different markings.
Various ariels adorn the Liberator with each marking option requiring different ariel combinations, most of which is supplied as photo etch, so be prepared to drill quite a few holes.
Marking options B and H need holes drilled into the lower wing to add the searchlights.
There are so many different options on this kit, that it would take me a week to list them all, so you are best off looking at the instructions sheet, which can be found here
Two clear sprues are supplied, both of which are packed separately. One sprue is moulded by Eduard
. Both are quite thin, and crystal clear. The framework is moulded onto the canopy, glazed areas and turrets.
A massive bonus is the inclusion of a full mask set for the clear parts, which considering most of the glazed areas have the greenhouse type framework, this is a real help.
Instructions, decals and markings
The instruction booklet is the usual Eduard
style, glossy A4, with black and white line drawings, with any optional changes highlighted in either red, for removing moulded on parts, blue for gluing surfaces for P.E parts, and green for parts that need filling. Quite a few holes need to be drilled and these are highlighted with a drill symbol.
Any choices in the options are clearly marked.
Interior colours for the Gunze Mr Color and Aqueous paints range are given for each part that needs painting.
The instruction booklet is 24 pages long but the build sequence only takes place over 6 pages, with the first page holding the parts tree, of which there are quite a few parts not used.
On first glance the build sequence looks as confusing as hell, with options scattered just about everywhere, but after studying the instructions for 5 or so minutes they look a bit easier to follow.
The build starts off with the main fuselage and the first thing you have to do is decide which marking option you are going to build, as the fuselage halves need some holes drilled into them.
The cockpit and forward fuselage follow next, along with the nose wheel assembly.
Tail planes and various external parts along with the bomb bay interior are tackled next.
Wings and engine assembly are next, followed by building and adding the main undercarriage.
Also the underwing searchlights are added if you are modelling this version.
The rear turret is chosen and built, along with the external stores, and finally the propellers are added.
Ariels, radars and antennas are added throughout the build, and most are photo etch, so these are probably best left off until after painting.
The last page of the build sequence and start of the painting guides, is the applying of the masks for the clear parts, this is a full page guide and looks quite daunting with about 50 masks to apply. Some additional masking in the form of a liquid mask or masking tape also needs adding.
As with all the latest Eduard
sets and kits the instructions can be found on the product page on Eduard's
The decals are as usual printed by Cartograph, so the quality as always will be second to none. The decal sheet is surprisingly quite small, but do have various stencils included.
The stencil guide takes place over two pages.
An outstanding 13 marking options are available in this boxing, all of which have white undersides and sides, with 7 having Extra Dark Sea Grey uppers and the rest having a Extra Dark Sea Grey and Dark Slate Grey camo pattern on the uppers.
Markings available are -
Liberator GR Mk.V, BZ721, flown by S/Ldr Terence Bulloch, No. 224 Squadron, St. Eval, Great Britain, July 1943
Liberator GR Mk.V, BZ723, flown by S/Ldr Alois Šedivý, No. 311 Squadron, Tain, Great Britain, October 1944
Liberator GR Mk.V, BZ774, flown by F/Sgt Otakar Žanta, No. 311 Squadron, Beaulieu, Great Britain, Autumn 1943
Liberator GR Mk.V, BZ779, flown by F/Sgt Josef Kuhn, No. 311 Squadron, Beaulieu, Great Britain, October 1943
Liberator GR Mk.V, BZ786, flown by P/O Jan Irving, No. 311 Squadron, Beaulieu, Great Britain, Autumn 1943
Liberator GR Mk.V, BZ796, flown by P/O Oldřich Doležal, No. 311 Squadron, Beaulieu, Great Britain, December 1943
Liberator GR Mk.V, FL961, flown by F/O Jan Vella, No. 311 Squadron, Predannack, Great Britain, June 1944
Liberator GR Mk.V, FL949, flown by F/O Josef Pavelka, No. 311 Squadron, Tain, Great Britain, October 1944
Liberator GR Mk.III, FL936, flown by P/O Ben Hall, No. 160 Squadron, Sigiriya, Ceylon, Autumn 1943
Liberator GR Mk.V, BZ832, flown by F/O Lloyd A. Trigg, No. 200 Squadron, Yundum, Gambia, August 1943
Liberator GR Mk.V, BZ862, No. 354 Squadron, 1944
Liberator GR Mk.V, BZ755, flown by F/O A. Cirko, No. 10 (BR) Squadron RCAF, Gander, Canada, Autumn 1943
Liberator GR Mk.V, BZ755, North West Air Command, Canada, Summer 1946
The book and print
The soft cover 70 page book is a historical account of the Costal Commands Liberators that flew during W.W.2 and has numerous pictures of the aircraft. Unfortunately the text is in the Czech language, but most of the captions for the pictures you can work out.
Eduard have mentioned they will release English e-version as well on their website.
The artwork is the same as the box cover, but has a white surround, with the Costal Command badge displayed at the bottom.
The size of the artwork is A2 so measures 420 × 594 millimetres or 16.54 × 23.39 inches.
A very nice kit, given the Eduard magic, and with a whopping 13 marking options.
Although its quite pricey, I believe with all the options you get in this kit, you will be hard pressed to find and build a better 1/72nd Costal Command Liberator.
Although its not an easy kit to build, with all the different options and very small P.E parts, it should be a rewarding build, once you figure out what parts you need for the marking option you want.
A book accompanies this kit and is a nice touch by Eduard which adds a little history to the subject, although it is written in Czech, but the pictures are interesting none the less. Eduard have promised they will release English e-version as well.
The added bonus of the A2 size artwork really does make this boxing worthwhile.
Although it retails for around Ł100, I have seen it for a lot less on the show circuit, so its best to look around for some deals.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.