- Manufacturer: Revell
- Scale: 1:48
- Aircraft: Lockheed PV-1 Ventura
- Markings: “Sea Deuce 2” | VPB-133 | Iwo Jima | Late 1944
- Aftermarket: Quickboost .50 caliber machine guns | Ultracast tires | Vector propellers | Lone Star Models exhausts | Zotz decals | Maketar paint mask (for octopus) | MV lenses
Back in the 1970s, Monogram and Revell released a string of big bombers in 1/48 scale, from the medium bombers like the B-25 up through the heavies, including the B-17, B-24 and B-29. And then, the whole big bomber thing kind of died. Tamiya made a Lancaster, Accurate Miniatures did a run of early B-25s, and little else happened. Today, if you want to build a 1/48 bomber, you’re often as not limited to the same selection of 40-year-old molds.
In recent years, though, the tide’s been turning, and the big bombers are back in vogue. To me, that’s the big deal about Revell’s PV-1 Ventura. Sure, it was only a light patrol bomber, but it’s also their first twin-engine bomber in a long time (since the A-26 Invader, I believe).
How is it? Fantastic, especially for the pricetag of around $30. Detail is soft in some areas, and the fit is awful with a few of the smaller bits like the gear bay doors, but overall, this one’s a winner.
Detail – 3
Detail overall is quite good – particularly the surface detail. It could be a bit crisper in places – the crew door in the port side of the fuselage feels a bit soft, for example. Where the detail falls apart is in the little things. The tires and machine guns are awful, and the cockpit lacks the business present in pretty much every WWII aircraft.
Engineering – 5
While the detail may be soft in places – at least soft for a new-tool kit – the engineering is top notch all the way. Everything is designed to go together logically, and it’s almost impossible to get it wrong.
Fit – 5
Smart engineering is one thing, but it all falls apart if the fit’s not there. Fortunately, the PV-1 is a paragon of great fit. The wings, in particular, seat into the fuselage along an internally-braced wingspar, and they fit so well that you can paint them separate from the fuselage. Likewise, the tail snaps into place with authority and no need to glue or fill.
Instructions – 3
The instructions are easy to follow, but don’t go into the detail I would like. For example, the gear bay doors have a rather vague fit, and the instructions offer no insight on how “deep” to mount them. Painting instructions are also too broad for my taste, particularly with detail items.
Markings – 3
I didn’t use the kit markings, but my main gripe is with the octopus design. Revell turns this into like four different decals, which just begs for obvious seam lines. If I were them, I’d have done this as a paint mask and charged an extra $5 or so.
Build Log 3 – Markings + Weathering
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