FM 1/48 PV-1 Ventura Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||November 2004||Manufacturer||Fonderie Miniature|
|Subject||Lockheed PV-1 Ventura||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||6040||Primary Media||Styrene, Resin, White Metal, Photo Etch, Vac|
|Pros||Nicely detailed kit||Cons||Slight texture on the styrene surfaces|
|Skill Level||Advanced||MSRP (USD)||$64.98|
The Lockheed Ventura was originally developed as a militarized version of the Lodestar, following in the footsteps of its smaller brother, the Hudson. As with the Hudson, these early machines had glass noses and Boulton-Paul dorsal turrets. Further developments of the aircraft led to the B-34 bomber for the USAAF, but the PV-1 would best be known in its US Navy service configuration.
For US Naval service, the PV-1 replaced its glass nose with a solid nose containing two fixed 50 caliber machine guns. Its weapons bay could accomodate torpedos, depth charges or free-fall bombs. Many of these PV-1s were exported to RAF Coastal Command, as well as with several Commonwealth air forces. France would also receive a number of these aircraft in 1944.
This kit is definitely a classic example of a multimedia kit! The airframe is molded in white styrene, with the side windows provided in clear styrene. The engine cowlings, propellers, external fuel tanks, etc., are on a single styrene tree molded in light gray. The cockpit transparency, dorsal turret and ventral gun position transparencies are provided as vacuformed parts.
The highly detailed cockpit is made up of cast-resin sidewalls and bulkheads as well as with white-metal cast drew seats. The photo-etched instrument panel rounds out the details. The two engines are also beautifully detailed as the engine core is cast from resin while each of the cylinder heads are cast in white metal.
Even the main wheel wells are beautifully laid out with the wells themselves in resin and the main gear struts in white metal. The main wheels are styrene.
There are some interesting options included in the kit.
- Underwing rocket launch rails are an option. While the instructions show four under each wing, only a total of six rails were supplied in the kit, but these are simple enough to fabricate from styrene
- External fuel tanks
- Three different ventral nose configurations including two different gun packs
- Night fighter nose and radar antennas
One item that will need a bit of attention during construction is the texture of the styrene surfaces. As is typical in limited run kits, the surface of the kit has a slight roughness that will need to be buffed smooth before assembly lest your paint and decals later reveal the texture.
Markings are included for two examples, one is a USN PV-1 from the Pacific Theater, the other is a French Aeronavale example in Free French markings.
This is the first Ventura offered in styrene in 1/48 scale and this will definitely build into a detailed example. While this is truly a multimedia kit employing about all of the modeling media available, construction appears to be straightforward. While not intended for the mainstream Tamiyagawa builders, this kit will stretch your modeling skills and render a beautiful result.
My sincere thanks to Squadron Mail Order for this review sample!