At the end of 1937, the US Army Air Force issued competition for a new Attack category aircraft and the winner was Douglas with its DB-7 (A-20 Havoc). This led Martin Co. to focus on export for its Model 167. The first order came from France for a modified Model 167F and 257 machines were delivered and assembled in Casablanca and subsequently assigned to combat units. During the Battle of France, Glenns carried out 418 combat flights and 18 machines were lost in the air while others were destroyed on the ground. The surviving aircraft were flown over to Africa and were used by Vichy French Air Force and Free French Air Force.
After the fall of France, the additional orders were taken over by Great Britain. A small initial series of Martin 167F with French equipment was used for non combat purposes. Further series were produced according to British requirements and were designated Maryland Mk.I (R-1830 with single stage superchargers) and Maryland Mk.II (R-1830 with single double superchargers). The assignment varied from bomber, reconnaissance to night fighter missions. The Maryland was withdrawn from active duty in 1942.
(Source: kit instructions)
When opening the 1:48 scale Special Hobby Glenn Martin Maryland Mk.I/II box, one finds a typical multimedia kit. In this case it means four sprue of grey injected plastic, one sprue with transparent plastic parts, one bag with resin castings and one photo etched fret. No vacuform bits this time, which is good news indeed. Provided as well are one decal sheet and of course instructions.
The plastic used for the kit is rather soft and should be easy to work with. This is important because usually a lot of cleaning work is necessary with short run kits. Special Hobby's Maryland is no exception and you will have to eliminate some flash, most of all on the smaller parts. However, I have seen much worse. Other than that, the quality of the plastic parts is very good. I found the engraved panel lines and the relief details on the surface of the main parts very well done for example. Though a 1:48 scale Maryland is a big model, the fuselage halves and the wing parts are straight. Most of the time these parts are warped when done in short run. I also found the trailing edges to be pretty thin which is not something we see often in such kits neither.
The resin parts are excellent and free of bubbles. Two complete engines are provided with separate cylinder heads. There are also some parts for the interior (side consoles and radio rack) and a very nice defensive Vickers machine gun. Exhausts are provided as well in resin and look very realistic.
The photo etched fret is composed of a little more than 50 parts with useful pieces such as seat belts, levers, bombardier station grill, oleo scissors, external gun sight etc... Nice as well if you want to do a little diorama is the presence of the forward access ladder, though I've read that it was seldom used by the crew.
One big improvement in most modern short run kits are that the clear parts aren't vacuformed anymore but made of injected plastic. The first ones were rather thick but this isn't the case here. The work one will put in the interior will be visible on the finished model through the glazings for sure. Let's just hope that they will fit well because this is not always the case. The frames are maybe a little on the heavy side though.
With what is provided in the kit, a very complete and detailed interior can be done, including the bombardier and rear stations. The inside of the fuselage halves have some representation of the internal structure and several bulkheads are provided with even more details on them. For sure this area will look busy and very convincing once painted. I would only add some cables for good measure.
As said before, the wings have thin trailing edges but the movable surfaces are not separate which is a shame but not surprising with such a kit. The wheel bays are separate pieces and have a very simple design. I don't know if this was the case on the real aircraft. Maybe some scratchbuilding will be necessary in this area but I don't have the necessary references to be sure. The gear bays made by Koster or Fonderie Miniature in their respective kits look more busy and have a different design (see here
).The landing lights present in the leading edges of the wings are separate pieces composed of one grey plastic part and one clear part for each side.
The part breakdown of the engine cowlings is a bit strange as it is composed of one thin frontal part with the air intakes, two halves and two air duct separation panels. The thin frontal lip will have to be blended in since there is no panel line here on the real aircraft. As I said before, the resin exhausts will look very realistic once painted.
The final assembly of the model should be easier than on older short run kits since locating tabs are present on the wings and the horizontal tailplanes. The fact that the upper turret and the engine cowlings can be glued in place at the very end of construction will make the painting of the model easier for sure.
Decals are provided for four different aircraft:
A - Martin 167F No.114, white "2", RAF No. 69 Squadron, pilot A. Warburton, Luqa airfield, Malta, May 1941.
B - Maryland Mk.I, AH284, No. 39 Sq. RAF, Western Desert, Africa, 1941.
C - Maryland Mk.I, 1654, red "X", SAAF No.24 Squadron, Western Desert, Africa, end of 1941.
D - Maryland Mk.I, AR733, RAF No. 69 Squadron, Luqa airfield, Malta, JAnuary 1942.
The first machine was a French Vichy Martin 167F which belonged to GR I/22 but was delivered by it's crew to the British in Gibraltar. It was later assigned to RAF No. 69 Squadron based at Malta and was used by the famous pilot Adrian Warburton. The plane remained in it's French camouflage, only the national insignias were over painted. The tricolor rudder was repainted in a Dark Earth color. The French applied the camouflage over the non primed surface and this explains the heavy paint chipping of this particular machine. A very interesting decoration for a model for sure.
The three other aircraft are Maryland Mk.I with British camouflage of Earth Brown and Sand over Azure Blue (B and C) and Earth Brown and Dark Green over Sky (D).
The small decal sheet appears to be of good quality and has been printed by Aviaprint and designed by DEAD design.
The instructions are composed of three sheet of A4 size paper folded so to constitute a small A5 size 12 pages booklet. Included are an History of the plane, a parts layout diagram, a color table (Gunze Sangyo), a 19 step construction sequence and four color and marking guides. The latter are printed, like the rest, in black & white, so if you want to have color versions you will have to download them on the www.cmkkits.com
This is a very fine kit of an important aircraft. In the same scale it was only available as a vacuform kit from Koster and a short run from Fonderie Miniature so far, so I think it it safe to say that it is the best one of the three. The level of detail and general accuracy are good and construction shouldn't be a problem for someone who has some experience with limited run multimedia productions. To make things even better the box includes Warburton's very attractive aircraft so I can highly recommend this kit. I wouldn't be surprised if other boxings would see the light of day in the future. Maybe a French boxing from Azur?
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