1/48 Liberator GR.VI, RAF Coastal Command…
April 6, 2014 in Aviation
This one goes way back to at least 1978, so I built it at least 36 years ago, when we lived in the City. This is from the Monogram 1/48 B-24J kit.
It depicts Consolidated Liberator GR.VI, “O-Orange”, of No. 220 Squadron, RAF Coastal Command, as seen at RAF Lagens (Lajes Field), in the Azores Islands, circa 1944-45. Serial, KG920, is a guess (and it may have been KG918), but this aircraft almost certainly was in a group of B-24J’s acquired by the RAF, with serials from KG821 to KH420.
This was back in the days of Pactra enamels for me, so the white is slightly discolored now, though that might actually be fairly accurate after all. The upper surfaces are Dark Slate Gray and Extra Dark Sea Grey. All national markings, and the letter codes in red, were masked and airbrushed, no decals. Used Avery self adhesive labels and a sharp X-acto knife for this as I remember, and a compass knife for the roundels. As with most Monogram kits I make, with raised detail, I very lightly sanded over everything, to bring out the detail. I scratch built some depth charges, and the bomb bay doors are open so they can be seen (each one has a hand painted 3 digit number). Also did a radome in place of the ventral ball turret. And various aerials and antennas were added.
Surely this was one of the more difficult builds I’ve ever tried, and I was almost paranoid about the possibility of breaking it (or something on it) someday. So, shortly after I finished it, I made a custom box of art board, with foam lined supports for the fuselage, and the two wings. The model has survived nearly 40 years, and 4 household moves, so I think that was a good plan. The mountings for the wings were pretty positive, so I didn’t glue them to the fuselage, I made them detachable, the reason I was able to make the special box. The joint is not perfect, but if I had tried to improve it, I would have lost the ability to detach them.
A couple of references used were “Canada’s Wings: Liberator & Fortress” by Carl Vincent, and the “Arco-Aircam book No. 11, Consolidated B-24D-M Liberator” by Richard Ward and Ernest McDowell.
Anyway, I always thought this RAF Coastal Command color scheme a rather classy one, and I’m happy I did the Liberator. And happy also that I still have it!
23 additional images. Click to enlarge