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Marcello Rosa
13 articles

PB4Y-2 Privateer "Redwing" (Matchbox, 1980)

June 30, 2022 · in Aviation · · 17 · 1K

I have been meaning to post photos of this model for a long time, and finally got the motivation given the fact it won a first prize in the recent Australian Model Expo. The category was " - out of the box - non-Commonwealth" (of course, we have a separate category for Commonwealth planes!).

This was not an easy build; more, like a comedy of errors. This plane almost flew into the trash can more times than I can count. Thus particularly happy to have persevered to the point where it got a prize.

I was lucky to get this kit for a bargain, but now I hear that they are harder to find than hen's teeth, and may sell for a small fortune. If you have one in your stash, check my web page ( for the detailed build report. I hope this will save you a lot of headaches.

Reader reactions:
18  Awesome

16 additional images. Click to enlarge.

17 responses

  1. The result is absolutely stunning, Marcello!
    The kit, though challenging to build and come up with a result like yours, is a beloved one.

    • Thank you. As far as I could determine it remains the only available 1/72 plastic kit (all subsequent ones are re-boxings, including the Revell). I was lucky that someone kept this for 40 years, before selling to me, and that the decals were so good even after all this time.

  2. Profile Photo
    Lis said on June 30, 2022


  3. Beautiful work! The kit is a hot mess, you've made a silk purse from a sow's ear. For my part I'm waiting on someone to issue a new tool Privateer rather than fight with the Matchbox kit as you've done.

    • It is such a beautiful plane, and with such variety of interesting nose art options, that I am surprised no one has created a modern version. I think it would sell well.

  4. G'day Marcello (@marcellorosa1),
    An impressive build and a worthy winner.
    I overheard one of the event organisers say what a great job you did with a Matchbox kit.

  5. Nice to see this kit well made.
    I had 2 in my stash and was glad to sell them for more than I paid.
    the reason being that they did not serve in the European theatre. Otherwise, it is a very handsome aircraft .

  6. Great work, Marcello! I have one in the stash that waiting to build as a Korean War flare ship when the Caracal decal sheet comes out.

    • Looking forward to see it.
      My main problem with this build was with the Tamiya cement not “holding”. Any hard manipulation (like it was needed to get the wings slotted) would break seams I thought were secure weeks ago, so there were multiple cycles of reglueing, resanding, and repainting basically everywhere you can imagine. So, I’d recommend using a different cement, or superglue. Also, watch carefully for the wing alignments. It is not easy to get this “right”.

  7. Echoing all the above comments, Marcello @marcellorosa1
    You really got the best and even more out of this kit.
    It clearly shows your modelling skills.
    Well done.

  8. Well done, Marcello (@marcellorosa1). I know the Matchbox kit was tough to build, but you certainly brought out the best in it. Glad to see that your terrific model was rewarded with some well deserved recognition.

  9. A winning model, well done Marcello.

  10. I also built this kit a few years ago - it is a challenge, but only Privateer on the market in that scale, so worth the elbow grease! Nicely done!

  11. This beautiful model shows what a real craftsman can do to a kit that has, shall we say, a few challenges. It is no wonder it took first place. I wish that back in the day I had picked up this kit as well as the Matchbox Walrus. Thank you for sharing this exceptional model with us.

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