The Consolidated B-24 Liberator four-engined heavy bomber is one of W.W.II's flying legends. Along with another famous bomber, the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, it helped gain victory over the Third Reich, and in large numbers served on the other side of the world, against the Japanese armed forces.
Mission Centenarians – this patriotic label belongs to bombers that have completed one hundred missions over enemy territory. In terms of operational and non-operational losses, the milestone was significant and not possible without a constant supply of spares. For example, ‘THE BLUE STREAK’ received over the course of its service life, nineteen new engines, two wings and a replaced tail section. This much work, and repairs conducted on bullet holes and shrapnel damage, naturally had an impact on the look of the aircraft.
Such notable accomplishments of these machines demanded fully taking advantage of military resources. Famous aircraft then would find their way back to the United States and take part in mustering support through the War Bond Tours, by which the American government was able to support its war effort. For these purposes, the aircraft were often adorned with ‘modeler friendly’ marking schemes.
The re boxed Academy/Minicraft B-24D shares the sames sprues as the earlier B-24 Liberator Mk.VI release, of which the review can be found here
The six light grey sprues are all bagged in twos, then are all bagged again together. The three clear sprues are all packed together then packed in the main bag.
The rest of the contents of the box contain the A4 size instruction booklet, two sets of Photo Etch, two sheets of decals and a very handy set of masks.
There is very little flash present and ejector pin marks are at a minimum.
Crisp recessed panel lines adorn the exterior of the aircraft.
Interior detail is quite good but with the inclusion of the P.E it becomes superb.
A full bomb load is supplied, with the choice of open or closed bomb bays.
The difference between the D and the earlier Mk.VI release, is mainly the nose section. The D has a glazed nose, instead of the nose turret. The nose section is a different part to the earlier release, so Academy/Minicraft and now Eduard can use the fuselage for multiple marks.
The lower ball gun turret is also faired over on the D, so an insert is used to cover the hole left by its omission. Various smaller details, such as aerials are added to this mark.
Photo etch parts
The Photo etch parts are split into two sheets with one sheet pre-coloured, and holding parts for the cockpit, and waist gun positions. The cockpit gets harness's for the two seats along with new arm rests. The bomb aimers stool also gets a set of harness's. There is a new instrument panel along with the control yolks. P.E parts are added for the center console, and there are now P.E instruments attached to the center of the canopy above the pilots seats.
The waist guns get ammo belts, boxes, and gun-sights. Mixed between the two P.E sheets are radio boxes with facings and new skins for the waist window frames. The second sheet holds the engine ignition wires, undercarriage bay and leg details, and an aft access hatch, which is comprised of two sheets of P.E.
Instructions, masks and decals
The instructions are near enough the same as the last kit with easy to follow sequences on the build. A full page mask guide for the glazing is given and although it looks daunting, working it out is quite easy once studied.
A very handy set of masks is supplied, and without these painting the canopy, nose and turrets would be a pain to say the least. The sheet is the normal Kabuki tape, and pre-cut. Having used Eduard masks before I can attest to the ease of use.
The decals are printed by Eduard, and are split into two sheets. The first sheet holds the national markings. These are thin, semi-glossy and in register. The first sheet also holds the tail artwork of the ‘MOBY DICK’ aircraft.
The second sheet like the first is of good quality and holds the personal markings of the rest of the aircraft that can be modelled.
Markings and paint schemes
B-24D-CO ‘CHUG-A-LUG’, s/n 41-11766, 98th BG, 345th BS, Lecce AB, Italy, summer, 1944.
Desert scheme of sand over neutral grey.
B-24D-CO, ‘THE BLUE STREAK’, s/n 41-11613, 376th BG, 514th BS, San Pancrazio AB, Italy, February, 1944
Olive drab uppers with deep blue lowers.
B-24D-20-CO, ‘THE VULGAR VIRGIN’, s/n 41-24198, commanded by Capt. Wallace Taylor, 98th BG, 244th BS, Northern Africa, summer, 1943
Desert scheme of sand over neutral grey.
B-24D-15-CO, ‘MOBY DICK’, s/n 41-24047, 90th BG, 320th BS, Southwest Pacific, late 1943
Olive drab uppers, with medium green edges to the wings and engine cowlings to break up the outline. Neutral grey lowers.
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