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Jim Sullivan
45 articles

1/72nd Minicraft PBM-5 Mariner

June 29, 2017 · in Aviation · · 31 · 4.5K

I found the PBM-5 to be an enjoyable build but not without its challenges. For the most part, the kit is nicely engineered with clean crisp parts and finely recessed panel lines. On the negative side, I found that the PBM-5 is a re-pop of the Minicraft earlier release of their PBM-5A. I never have understood why they released the PBM-5A version first since it was not the predominant version of the . In any event there is little difference between the two kits. The PBM-5 kit retains the wheel wells of the -5A version but provides 'plugs' to cover over the wheel well openings. I found the side fuselage plugs to fit well but the nose wheel bay was a different story. Perhaps it was just me but there was much difficulty in sealing and finishing that area as well as the underside of the bow at the front of the fuselage. That kit could have been much easier to work with had Minicraft actually re-done the fuselage with those areas being solid. The prop hubs were very undersized and had to be replaced. All three turrets required care to get a proper fit, especially the nose turret. All in all, it's a good kit and one I'd recommend as a fine addition to any WWII Naval aircraft collection. I chose to model a PBM-5 from VPB-21 and worked from a photo that I have included at the end of the photo section. The Mariner was finished with MM enamel paints consisting of dark sea blue (lightened up a bit with some flat white), intermediate blue and flat white. I applied Testors clear gloss on the areas where the decals would be. After the decals were applied and dry, I over-sprayed the entire model with Testors clear flat to blend everything in. The decals were from the set offered by Caracal Models (sheet CD72015) and they were a pleasure to work with. I've included some WIP shots to give some idea of how she went together. As always any comments, observations or critiques are welcome. Thanks for taking a look at her.

Reader reactions:
15  Awesome

25 additional images. Click to enlarge.

31 responses

  1. Awesome build sir!

  2. Beautiful, Jim! I've been looking forward to seeing this since you told me about it. It is a beauty!

  3. Jim, Nicely done, "my Dad's plane"! , I wish he was around to see it, I know he'd like it too !

  4. Gorgeous fade on the blues for the upperside.

  5. Very nice work as is your 'norm', Jim...beautiful build.

  6. Jim, beautiful build and paint job on her. Shame they let us down on the little details,and the choices of variations. Still, I'm happy we finally have one to add to list of the flying boats. Built locally, so all the more reason, of course.

    • Thanks Bernard. The Mariner was for sure a graceful looking bird that served well during WWII and beyond. Although the model was in 1/72nd, it had a 22" wingspan.

  7. STUNNING ! Well done Jim!

  8. A great build Jim(what more could I expect from a man called Jim)and thanks for the sponge idea never saw that before,Cheers.

  9. Very nice - and thanks for the heads-up to the challenging areas, as I have this same kit. Well done.

    • Thanks Greg and good luck with your Mariner build. I hope you'll post pics when she's done. One thing I forgot to mention about that Mariner kit is that the Eduard mask set is absolutely essential. I can't imaging trying to build that kit without it.

  10. Profile Photo
    said on June 30, 2017

    Very nice. Great lookin paint job.

  11. Hello Jim,
    Nice Mariner. These kind off Scout/Patrol planes were essential in the second world war.
    Regards, Dirk / The Netherlands.

  12. Outstanding work Jim, even in this scale probably pretty good size. Love the attention to detail and the modifications noted on the build. Haven't had much interest in flying boats but you know it is Navy and with this and the recent Catalina that Louis built in the Midway GB, may pick up a couple for future builds down the road. Thanks for sharing and the inspiration.

  13. Hello Chuck...While I build primarily in 1/48th I do enjoy the larger 1/72nd models. That Mariner had a 22" wingspan and was good to work with. I do have a problem with the smaller birds in that scale as the ole eyesight just doesn't want to cooperate even with the Optomizer glasses. Your good comments are much appreciated.

  14. Jim, what a fine looking Mariner. I really like the paintwork on this bird too. Congratulations on a job well done. The Mariner has always been a favorite of mine going back to the old Revell kit and Pine Island tender and a Rare Plane version some years ago. Tip of the old hat on this one, pal.

  15. Thanks Clark and I well remember the classic ole Revell Mariner too as well as the one on the USS Pine Island. I guess that makes us OLD modelers.

  16. Lovely job Jim, I did not realise the PBM-5 had been released. I have the 5A in the stash with a conversion set to make it a 5. Thanks for the write up on the issues you had, very helpful.

  17. Thank you Ray and good luck with your build. It's really a nice kit overall but not without a few challenges along the way.

  18. Really a great job, Jim. Congratulation. It will serve as an inspiration for what I am building, even though my choice was model PBM5-A (out-of-the-box). As soon as I finish it I will post some photos here.

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