B-26 Marauder Rosie O’Brady of 344th Bomb Group
November 13, 2014 in Aviation
My Monogram/Revell B-26 Marauder in 1/48 scale was presented at the recent Scale Model World 2014 in Telford with some success. Here are some more pics and the commentary to go with them.
B-26 was the plane that went from the nickname »Widowmaker« of the early years of WWII all the way to become one of the most succesful USAF planes of the war with the lowest loss rate among allied bombers. The tipe my model presents was the B-26 B-50 of 344th Bomb Group, 9th Air Force, that became operational on 6th of March 1944 at Stansted air base in UK.
If you look at the photos of war time Marauders, you would see how rugged they usually looked, with chipped and discolored paint (see colour photos in R. Freeman’s The Ninth Air Force in Colour). One of little known facts is that Marauders to the B-50 tipe an the serial number 42-96128 came out of the production line with complete camouflage finish – OD tops and sides and neutral grey bottom surfaces (along the edges of wings and tail surfaces wavy medium green camo blotches were added). Even less known is that already in the States, before crossing to UK bases, paint on many of these Marauders was partially manualy removed by the crews (confirmed in books by J.K. Havener, The Martin B-26 Marauder, p. 167; R.C. Hasey, My Bombsight View of WWII, p. 78). One reason was that the planes so became lighter and faster, the other was that there was no need for complete camo in UK any more. So in many cases (not all) the OD from the fuselage sides and grey from bottoms was removed. But sometimes only the engine covers, in other cases front fuselage sides and and engine panels and cowlings were stripped, the back fuselage remaining in OD. The different ways the crews stripped their planes made for a large variety of plane schemes, none more colourful than in the 344th Bomb Group (best presented in the book by G. Pons, 9th Air Force, with a chapter devoted to 344 BG). My Rosie O’Brady represents one of these planes at the beginning of July 1944, when they also carried the D-day stripes for over a month.
The kit is the decades old Monogram/Revell, still the only one in 1/48. It has the raised panels so I engraved all the panel lines (they are a distinguished feature on war time photos). The metal finish was hand brushed Modelmaster alluminium. I used this technique for the first time and am very satisfied with the results. Much aftermarket was added: Lonestar resin cockpit, Eduard interior and exterior (incl. wheel wells), Squadron canopy and nose cone, Paragon flaps (a definite rarity to get), Quickboost engines and gun packs, Loon Models cowlings, True details wheels, Vector guns with Master barrels, some scratch. Only the use of Squadron canopy enables you to present the upper cockpit windows open to better see the interior (with original kit clear part it’s no go). The decals are the Superscale 48-603 sheet. At the end of my galery is the fantastic war time photo of rugged Rosie O’Brady in flight, albeit months after invasion, when the D-day stripes were painted over and the plane got even more worn out.
10 additional images. Click to enlarge