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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

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29 responses to B-26 Marauder Rosie O’Brady of 344th Bomb Group

  1. The photos from the Telford show had lots of wonderful models, but this one caught my attention and really stood out – thank you for giving me more and closer looks – it’s a prize winner in my book!

  2. Beautifully built and weathered indeed!

  3. Awesome work, I especially like the antenna leads and insulators, beautiful attention to detail and superbly executed.

  4. Outstanding work. I love the weathering on it, very realistic. Congratulations on what in my humble opinion is a difficult kit.

  5. I thought that looked familiar….nicely done, sir.

  6. Well researched, excellent write up, obviously a beautiful build with tremendous attention to detail and brilliant weathering. What more could we ask for? Great stuff, Miha.

  7. The weathering and paint job on your Marauder is VERY GOOD. This is inspiration for me to get mine out of the stash. AWESOME!!!!

    • What method did you use to do your very ealistic paint chipping? I tend to use salt.

      • Morne, I tried the salt before, but it didn’t get very realistic, by my oppinion. So now I am using worn effects acrylic fluid, produced by AK interactive. It is very easy to use, with great results. You only need some practise, i. e. chip slowly and very restrained.
        Good luck

  8. Bravo, Miha. Your work on this most demanding kit is remarkable. You went the extra mile with her and she’s deserving of high praise at whatever contest she’s in.

  9. Very impressive model! Well done Miha.
    California Steve

  10. This model really caught my eye among the shots from Telford. It’s obvious you have really done your research. The weathering of the camouflage paint is very realistic, and you picked up the fact that the D-Day stripes on the wings were narrower than called for, to fit on the flap. Lots of modelers miss that. This is really excellent work on this model. Congratulations for getting this so right.

  11. One of the best B-26 models i have ever seen !

  12. Incredible. Makes me wanna build a B-26. Very well done mate.

  13. Yes well done. I too remember this from the display. Beautiful work.

  14. Great work Miha.
    A well researched and built B-26.
    Question though, where did you find room to put the lead weight.
    Well done sir.

  15. Superb job Miha. Looks like not a lot of the orignial Monogram kit was left after all that aftermarket! You did a great job on everything from the details to the painting and weathering. Can you elaborate on the method you use for hand-painting the aluminum finish? I’m always on the lookout for any new techniques – and you certainly mastered this one. Wish I had been at Telford to see it in person!

    • Paul, I was shown the technique by a modeller colleague. He found it explained in detail somewhere on internet, I think by an Australian guy. I didn’t see that though, try to find it. It is hard to explainit in a few words.

  16. That’s looking rather nice, isn’t it? 🙂
    Great work!

  17. One of the best models I’ve seen. Wonderful weathering & attention to detail.
    You have my admiration for the effort you’ve put in to this Miha. Your hand brushed metallic finish is amazing. Congratulations.

  18. Great work Miha.
    It’s great to see someone really making an effort to build this old kit into a realistic replica of this great airplane. I took a very different approach to building this model, that works too, but my model doesn’t bear close scrutiny like yours.
    Hats off.

  19. Love the Marauder Miha! I’ve got one in 1/72 that I plan to finish similar to your – NMF below with drab on top. Because I don’t use an airbrush, I’d love to get more detail on your hand-painted metallic finish. I looked for the article you mentioned and couldn’t find it. Would love to get a private message describing your technique, or just post here! Beautiful work on the model – hope mines comes close!!

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