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Martin PBM-5 Mariner “FRISCO D is for Dog” 1944

June 18, 2015 in Aviation

In keeping with my modelers eye for the usual plane with an unusual paint scheme, I present the Mariner flying boat Air-Sea Rescue version. While as never popular or built in the same numbers as the PBY “Catalina”, the Mariner saw service as a patrol bomber, ASW aircraft, aerial cargo transport and air-sea rescue plane. In the ASR role, the aircraft was found at every coastal naval air station during WWII and rescued many downed aviators using a water landing (also know as a “controlled crash” by its’ air crews). The PBM was manufactued in both the flying boat version and the amphibian configuration. The Mariner made it’s last flight in 1958 being replaced by the Martin Marlin for long distance patrol and rescue work.

The Model
This kit is of the PBM-5A version and is offered by Minicraft in 1:72 scale. It’s a nice build and the parts fit together very snug, so filling in gaps is held to a minimum. The box states you can build two examples, a 1945 and 1947 version. Now here is my only complaint: the only options are different radar housing, 3 or 4 blade props and different national markings. Now I thought the kit could be built as the PBM-5A or flying boat version. Well, the Coast Guard never flew the amphib version so I had to cut sheet plastic and fill in the landing gear pockets. I even checked the direction to see if the plane could be built as just a PBM. After the hull correction I was looking at the kits sprue and there they were, two perfectly cut “fill ins” to make it the flying boat version. Yikes, why didn’t the manufacurer spell out the spare parts in the assembly instructions? Oh well, live and learn. This particular plane flew out of San Francisco in 1944 and was operated by the USCG as a SAR aircraft. It was painted in the anti submarine white and gray paint scheme making it look like a Short Sunderlund flying boat. The plane had the yellow SAR paint markings on it but for some reason had red engine cowlings as a hi-viz paint. These aircraft carried inflatable life rafts in their bomb bays to drop to ditched air crews, the gun turrets were replaced by a pair of 50cal in the nose and a 30cal in the tail. Since this model is going to the CG museum I didn’t rig any radio antenna wires.

9 additional images. Click to enlarge

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18 responses to Martin PBM-5 Mariner “FRISCO D is for Dog” 1944

  1. Mike, she’s a beauty! How did you piece together the “FRISCO” markings?
    I’ve seen at least one other build- there’s one in the GLM Museums case of Martin aircraft. It makes (as seen here) an imposing model. I like flying boats anyhow, wonder if Minicraft is gonna modify the molds for an earlier version?
    Some of us were wondering how come they didn’t do that for the initial release, guess that’s their business plan, or something. Gotta love them degreed bean counters!

    • Hi Bernard
      I printed the “FRISCO-D RESCUE” and the side markings from my computer. The side “Frisco” was printed with a yellow background and finished with black decal stripes. The plane was painted with Tamiya paints. I left it gloss as most museum 1:72 aircraft models have more “eye appeal” in gloss than a flat paint. Thanks for the nice comment.

  2. Nice to see an unusual version. Very clean build. Looks great!

  3. Very nicely finished and photographed, sir….I like it.

  4. Mike, what a spectacular looking aircraft!

  5. Nice work Mike, a lovely coastal craft.
    Well done mate.

  6. beautiful mike! we don’t see enough Mariners.

  7. Great job Mike, it looks good in that paint scheme, really nice.

  8. Excellent! I love colorful flying boats!

  9. What a great colour scheme, Mike, I’m sure the museum will be very happy to add this superb example to their exhibition.

  10. unique modelling…outstanding

  11. Greetings :
    Nice work on that MARINER as well as the photography.

  12. Mike Maynard wins the Intertoobz again!

  13. Great looking Mariner, Mike. Colorful and perfect, Congrats to this nice head turner.

  14. Thanks to all you modelers that took a moment and posted the nice comments, they are always appreciated!

  15. Hello Mike,
    What a paint scheme, amazing colorful
    The Dutch used them also in the Far East. For large maintenance they were flown to The Netherlands That did not go well. Black page in the Dutch FAA history.
    Thanks for giving the short history.

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