Midway Marauder progress: clear parts and cockpit

The Marauder interior is coming along slowly – but first I had some work to do on the transparencies. Otherwise, installing the clear parts in the fuselage might have meant damaging the detail.

The Monogram kit has the radioman’s window correct, but the navigator’s window is too small and rectangular. I opened it up and squared it off using small files. Then, I added the glass in the radioman-navigator’s compartment, and the two windows in the lower waist, with chunks of clear plastic cut from a CD case. These were filed to shape, CA-glued in place and sanded back. The scribing was restored, some polishing was added, and they were done.


I’ll do some final polishing just before painting. The trick is to make them a little larger than you need, then mask them so the rougher part of the joint is obscured.

There’s one more set of transparencies I’m worried about – the tail gunner’s compartment. The kit has the right tail gun arrangement for the B-26B-5, but in the earlier models the tail was an almost entirely glassed-off stinger. I will admit that I’m cheating here: I’ll borrow a tail position from the Valom kit and combine it with the Monogram parts to get what I want. I’m just not up to carving a new tail position master and smash-forming a copy. Of course, this then leads to the question, “why didn’t you just start with the Valom kit?”

This early tail gun position had a single .30 in a ball mount about half-way down the stinger. The problem with this was that the gunner couldn’t depress the gun to fire at targets below him – hence, the modified tail gun arrangements in later B-26s. I have a strategy for the guns on this model I want to try out – especially for the nose and tail guns. I plan to install the body of the guns inside the transparencies before adding them to the model. The barrels will be removed and set aside until everything’s mostly finished and then slipped through the transparencies to mate with the bodies of the guns. The objective is to avoid the “porcupine effect” – a model with a host of projections that are just begging to be broken off through the final assembly stages.

The Strategic Aircraft Conversions cockpit floor and forward bulkhead have been CA-glued into the nose, even before painting. I think this will make it easier to add details without breaking them off in the process of fitting the flight deck. I’m toying with adding some detail to the radioman-navigator’s compartment; it will at least get a rear bulkhead and a desk for the radioman. As it stands, the forward part of the plane has been detailed with styrene strip formers, which was a fairly easy task.


I was thinking about wheels – should I swap some resin ones for the snap-tite kit wheels? No – as it turns out, even the wheels changed on the B-26, and the Monogram kit has the correct ones for an early B-26. Bill Koster was one of the big wheels at Monogram at about this time frame; I look forward to asking him if he had a hand in this remarkably accurate model, because the level of accuracy is almost shocking for a snap-together model of the 1970s!

Next up: more interior and propellers…



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