Minicraft PB4Y-1 Liberator in 1/72nd scale

Minicraft PB4Y-1 Liberator in 1/72nd scale

by Charlie Scardon



The Minicraft PB4Y-1 kit has been around for some time now and is one of five versions they offer. It was the best B-24 available until the advent of the Hasegawa kit. Minicraft tooled up 5 different nose sections to give the modeler the many options. Other than that, the remaining parts are the same.

What is a PB4Y-1? It is any type of Liberator the navy used regardless of US Army designation. Except for one aircraft (42-78271) all were built by Consolidated at their San Diego plant.



The kit is molded in light grey and clear plastic. The moldings are crisp with only one exception. One propeller hub lacks the detail of the others. I think they failed to finish that one. The other downfalls of the kit are the slightly undersized and tapered engine cowlings, an extra panel line running the entire length of the aft fuselage halves, and the rear turret has a seam running through the glass. At some point, the thrust line was interpreted as a panel line. It is an easy fix to fill it with .010 rod and MEK. Sand it smooth and rescribe the vertical lines. The cowlings are tougher. Short of replacing them I do not have a repair for them. A company called Ron’s Resin used to make cowls for the kit. I purchased a set, and discovered the size problem everyone was having a cow about is not really all that much. But that is modelers. On a built up kit, it is not really that noticeable. Like the 1/48 Monogram B-24 the rear turret has a seam through the Plexiglas. Squadron makes replacement canopy sets for this. The rear turret is a A6A, Squadron B-24D canopy set has the required part.

I decided to make a post-war reserve plane from San Diego in the Arctic markings. The post-war planes had enclosed waist guns. I cut the opening so it was a rectangle. The gun mounts were made out of round rod and the glass was plastic from a Dannon yogurt container.


I used the Squadron canopies. I used my tried and true method of pouring hydrocal into the cavity to reinforce the plastic while I cut them out. The parts were painted before they were cut out. I used Model Master Gloss Sea Blue, for the main coat. The red areas were first painted white and then given a coat of Insignia Red. I had to cobble together decals from a variety of old Super Scale sheets. Good luck with that now, they are very hard to find.

Overall it is a good kit. It has a lot of potential. I have found at least ten different ways to paint them for just operational aircraft. There are a number ways to paint up hacks also.


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Thundercals 48-005 for 1/48th P-47 kits

Thundercals National Insignia and Data Decals for the P-47, No 48-005

by the Tick


48-005 Type 4 national Insignia and data Decals Pt1 for the P-47 Thunderbolt

Besides enough insignia to do 9 complete aircraft in multiple configurations, there is plenty of excess data that you won’t find on most decal sheets, either in the “box” or as aftermarket. Below are a few examples.



Featured are 6 different blade types + an extra 13’ Symmetrical with different data presentation.

There are enough blade specific decals to do 4 sets of each type. Plenty of accurate Curtiss Electric logos and plenty of spare Hamilton Standard logos using gold ink background that makes them stand out.


12’2” A.O. Smith asymmetrical blades complete with fine, twin prop tip stripes


Hamilton Standard 13’ diameter blades, utilizing the most common white data. The image doesn’t do justice to the logo.



A pair of well-done and wired Tamiya engines by Ed Mate.

A pair of well-done and wired Tamiya engines by Ed Mate.

Final touches are the P&W engine data plate

Final touches are the P&W engine data plate









And Pratt & Whitney logo decals.

And Pratt & Whitney logo decals.

There are 8 sets of flap indicators. These are particularly useful for the Tamiya P-47 series as the kit allows for lowered flaps.


Flap indicator decals are not included on the kit decals.

ALSO on this 2 decal set release are 2 different types of landing gear hydraulic data plates, wing gun numbers and red wing root NO STEPs. This decal set and other ThunderCal releases, can be purchased at – 48005, a 2 decal set $22.00ea.

Dealer inquiries welcome.

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2016 October Meeting Notes

October 21, 2016 McKinstry Meeting

Theme: ADC (that’s Air Defense Command, for the acronym-challenged)

Notes by The Tick and Paul

Attendees were: Paul Gasiorowski, Mike Hanlon, THE TICK, Charlie Scardon, Jim Batchelder, Frank Ress, Brian Gardner, Bill Soppet, Lee Lygiros, Carl Geiger, Dan Paulien

F-89J Scorpion, 1/72nd, Revell, built by Charlie Scardon

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Built out if the box. Paints used: SNJ, red and yellow Testors. The Insignia red was applied over Testors gloss white. Depicted in 64th FIS / 10th AD circa 1957. SuperScale Decals.

F-106A, 1/48th, Monogram, built by Norris Graser

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Overall Model Master ADC gray, SuperScale Decals. 5th FIS, Minot AFB, N. Dakota. The 5th flew the F-106 from Feb 1960-April 1985, before re-equipping with the F-15A.

EF-111A Scorpion, 1/72nd, Monogram, built by James Batchelder

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Jim built this version of the Ardvaark out of the box about 30 years ago. He used Model Master paint : 36440 light gull gray and 36320 dark compass gray.


Markings for an a/c based at Upper Heyford, England. 20th TFW / 42nd ECS.

F6F  Hellcat, 1/48th, Hasegawa, built by James Batchelder

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For this build, Jim used Model master gloss sea blue – Eduard Photo Etch and SuperScale Decals.


Markings portray Ens. Donald McPherson VF-83 USS Essex, 1945.

Ki6 Tony, 1/48th, Hasegawa, built by Mike Hanlon

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Mike used IJN grey (Tamiya) for the fabric ailerons Aluminum Alclad (undersides) and just a standard Gunze O.D. (topsides) AeroMaster Decals, 56 Combat Regiment, 1945, Itami Air Base, Japan.  Mike said he had a little difficulty with the wing assembly.

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Flagship Models 13 inch Seacoast Mortar in 1/35th scale


Flagship Models 13 inch Seacoast Mortar, Model 1861 in 1/35th scale

by Glenn Estry


Kit is almost 100% resin except for two or three pieces of brass rod (for levers). Resin parts were so poorly molded, that trying to remove them from the flash resulted in so many broken pieces that I decided to leave them alone and recreate them from brass, using them as patterns.

The only resin pieces I kept were the actual cannon mortar, the wheels and the two carriage sides. I kept the cannonballs (molded as one long linked chain) and used them as decoration.

The circular base was made from basswood, then trimmed and sanded into a circular shape which was used on ships to facilitate aiming. The ‘deck’ section was not part of the model, but it was made from thin birch plywood. Both were colored with ‘Minwax ‘Ipswich Pine’ stain.

The fittings and plates on the base were made from .005″ brass sheet,and aged in ‘Blacken-It’. The rails were made from sheet and square brass rod and soldered to make rails for the carriage to move on. All the other brass was made from either sheet or rod in appropriate sizes. The straps holding the cannon trunnions were made from brass sheet, drilled and held down with #2-56 hex head bolts after I tapped the holes I drilled in the carriage sides. Cross bars underneath the carriage are also held together with 2-56 bolt and nut and hangar straps for the wheel levers are held on with #1-72 screws and nuts. The loading scoop was made from brass and basswood. The tongs for lifting the ammo were hand made, held together with #0-80 nut & bolt. The ring and hook also hand made. All soldering was done with 60-40 solder.

Paint used was Testors Metallizer ‘Burnt Iron’ and ‘rust’ was created with ground chalk pastels and then sprayed with Dullcote.

Overall, the quality of the resin molding of the large parts did not require much cleanup, but any small parts were mostly unusable unless you have extreme patience cutting, sanding, filing away the flash and hoping you don’t destroy the part.

The kit is available in some places online for $50.00 but knowing you’ll have to build all the parts yourself might make you think twice about buying this kit. However, (tooting my own horn here) I think my efforts made it a much better looking model than it if was made as it comes supplied.





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2016 September Meeting Notes

September 23, 2016 McKinstry Meeting
Theme: ODD Ball Weapons

Notes by The Tick, guest commentary by the webmaster

F-51D Korean War, 1/48th, Tamiya, built by Mike Hanlon

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Tamiya Medium Sea Grey and Gunze Sangyo H-52 Olive Drab upper camouflage over Tamiya Light Sea Grey lower Ultracast Aeroproducts propellor and spinner. Ultracast P-51D block tread tires. Red Roo dust filters.

Xtradecal X48-092 P-51D Mustang Mark IV RAF, RCAF, and RAAF service. Number 3 Squadron RAAF April-May 1945 Cervia, Italy.

Boulton Paul Defiant, 1/48th, Airfix, built by Mike Hanlon

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Number 264 Squadron RAF Hornchurch July 1940. A/K Interactive paints RAF day camouflage. Kit decals. Eduard photo-etch instrument panel and seat belts.

Soviet Aerosan (AKA first snowmobile), 1/35th, Trumpeter, built by Dan Paulien

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Built OTB Basic paint is Model Master Insignia White. Finished with washes, watercolors and pastel weathering.

13″ Seacoast Mortar, Model 1861, 1/35th, Flagship Models, built by Glenn Estry

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This started out as a resin kit, but the small parts were too brittle, so they found their way to the trash can. Glenn then made replacements of wood and brass and copper for the majority of the original kit parts.

Shinden, 1/72nd, Tamiya, built by Frank Ress Sr.

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Frank Ress brought this model, but it wasn’t his build. Frank’s father built this OOB sometime in the 1970’s. Likely using Floquil paints, kit decals.

“Dad liked ‘weird-Os’ – he found anything that looked non-traditional interesting.  And he’d never build 3 of anything if they weren’t part of a set, he’d want to try something completely different. Now I’m in a chapter that has a fixation on P-47s – seems like half the kits, themes, and conversations are about Thunderbolts. Jugs are one of my personal favorite WWII a/c, too, but there are just too many other things I want to build.  And I’m attracted to the weird and one-offs, too. Probably why I like Norris, crusty as he is. I’ve wondered whether this meeting theme is some kind of subliminal self-reference to the Tick.”

Bacham Ba-349A Natter, 1/72nd, Bren gun, built by Paul Gasiorowski

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Partially built model. A rocket powered point defense interceptor. First flight march 1945. Plastic with resin and photo etched parts.

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Airfix Boulton Paul Defiant Mk.I in 1/48th scale

Airfix Boulton Paul Defiant Mk.I in 1/48th scale

by Mike Hanlon


Airfix has been on a roll in the last few years with multiple releases of newly tooled kits in 1/72, 1/48 and 1/24 scale. A most welcome release is the 1/48 Boulton Paul Defiant.

The Defiant was the result of the pre-war belief that heavily armed fighters could intercept enemy bombers successfully. As a result, the Defiant was armed with a fully enclosed turret mounting four .303 caliber machine guns. The Defiant had no forward firing guns. It met with some success early in the Battle of Britain against German bombers, but as soon as the Me-109s and 110s appeared it became apparent that they could not survive the daylight combat environment. They were quickly withdrawn and shifted to night interception and had some success until replaced by dedicated night fighters.

Previously released by Classic Airframes as a limited production kit, the Airfix kit is the first mainstream release of the Defiant. The kit includes markings for two Battle of Britain day fighters, although the kit includes radar antennas and alternate engine exhausts, which indicates that Airfix is planning a night fighter variant.


This a thoroughly modern kit, but it does have one major annoyance, Airfix uses numbered call outs for all the paint colors. The actual color is not named in the instructions, but is only identified by number. The numbers correspond to Humbrol paint codes. Here are the most used colors, 78 is British Interior Green, 33 is Matt Black, and 56 is Aluminum. Exterior camouflage colors are identified by name and color patches.


The kit goes together easily, and the instructions contain no surprises. The turret is a multipart assembly that goes together very well. Airfix would have you install the turret after the model is built, but I assembled the lower portion of the turret and installed it before joining the fuselage halves. These parts are predominately black and I diligently painted them in different shades of black and dry-brushed them with an assortment of grays. Once installed, you can see none of it and the completed assembly looks like a manhole cover with a hole in it.

The gun mounts and machine guns were added after the model had been painted and weathered.

The kit’s clear parts have a total of twenty-four separate panes. Thirteen in the main canopy and eleven in the turret, I strongly recommend a set of Eduard canopy masks.

Tamiya paints were used for all of the interior parts. For the exterior camouflage colors I used AK Interactive RAF camouflage colors Dark Earth and Dark Green over Sky. Miracle masks for used the exterior camouflage. I used the kit decals for Number 264 Squadron in July 1940. The decals are produced by Cartograph and worked very well.


The finished model is striking and makes a welcome addition for anyone wanting a complete Battle of Britain collection.

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This is getting silly. I don’t really know who’s dumber, the subject or the photographer.  I know what the photographer would say.  Don’t blame me. – Arthur


There once was a wizzo who always wanted to be that “Special Weapon”…..


Lt Kevin “Super Dave” Greeley hung well and happy, ready to go to work.


Beautiful October day after an ORE at Volk Field, WI. “Super Dave” loaded on station 8. Note the two Mig kills on the splitter of F-4E 68-0338, the 131st TFW Cdr a/c. Images © Norris Graser.

I wonder if this was how they got the idea for that movie the Governator made 20 years or so ago…. – the webmaster

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