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PB4Y-2 Privateer
1/48 Conversion for Monogram B-24

 

Cutting Edge Modelworks

S u m m a r y
Catalogue Number and Description CEC48500 -  PB4Y-2 Privateer Conversion
Price: USD$259.99 from Meteor Productions website
Scale: 1/32
Contents and Media: 90 parts in grey resin; 6 parts in white metal; 15 parts in clear resin; markings for two aircraft; instructions; Black Magic masks for all clear parts.
Review Type: FirstLook and FirstBuild
Advantages: Serious "WOW" factor; large, comprehensive conversion covering all exterior (and some interior) requirements; beautifully cast grey and clear resin parts; clever engineering with few compromises; effective and appropriate use of multi-media; superior surface detail compared to original kit (panel lines and fabric rendition in particular); corrects shallow Monogram kit cockpit; includes high-quality markings for two aircraft and Black Magic masks for painting clear parts; did I say "WOW"?
Disadvantages: Modelling skills required for parts preparation and alignment; very limited production.
Recommendation: Highly Recommended


Reviewed by Brett Green
 


HyperScale is proudly sponsored by Meteor Productions


 

FirstLook

 

Cutting Edge Modelworks has created an amazing multi-media conversion to transform Monogram's 1/48 B-24D or B-24J kits into the single-tail Navy PB4Y-2 Privateer. 

Needless to say, this is a massive conversion both in terms of physical size and number of parts. 90 parts are supplied in grey resin, plus 15 clear resin parts and 6 white metal castings

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Without a doubt, the jewel in the resin crown is the complete fuselage halves. The large parts look like styrene, and they are uncommonly large for resin, but resin they are. They feature crisp and even recessed panel lines, with appropriately deeper engravings for the bomb bay sides. There are no pour stubs or casting blocks - I cannot quite figure out just how the parts were cast - but they are cast perfectly.

As impressive as the fuselage halves may be, the rest of the set is delivered to the same high quality. In addition to the fuselage, this major conversion comprises: 

  • Erco ball-type bow turret with clear resin windows

  •  two Erco waist blister turrets with clear resin windows

  • clear resin replacement canopy

  • an additional Martin top turret (to supplement the top turret included in the Monogram kit)

  •  four engine cowlings

  •  four engine nacelles

  • four sets of Privateer propeller assemblies

  • white metal nose and main landing gear

  • all RCM and radar radomes

  •  interior bulkheads, floors, etc.

  • white metal undercarriage replacement

Other notable features include the new cockpit floor correcting the depth of the kit cockpit (which is too shallow), the well-detailed turrets and armament.

Most resin parts are cast onto blocks, but removal should mostly be managed with a few minutes on each with a razor saw and a sanding stick. If you have had some experience working with resin kits or conversions in the past, you won't have any surprises here. You'll just need to be patient and methodical in preparing and organising the large number of parts.

Surgery to kit parts is surprisingly minor for such a big conversion. This is largely thanks to clever planning on Cutting Edge's part. The most work required will be preparing the kit wings (the only big kit component used in this project) for the all-new engine nacelles.

You will also want to allow plenty of time to line up the long fuselage halves before assembly, and perhaps consider using five-minute epoxy glue to give yourself time to make last minute adjustments even after the halves are joined. Fortunately, the wings and tail surfaces all have strong, positive locating positions, so assembly of these large parts should present no real challenge.

The white metal undercarriage parts are beautifully detailed and perfectly cast. With the overall load of this behemoth (significant nose weight will be required), the metal gear is a practical precaution as well as an attractive addition to the Privateer.

 

 

The clear resin parts are also excellent. These are the best clear resin castings that I have seen to date. Even before preparation they are quite transparent and free of distortion. Clear resin responds very well to a bath of Future floor polish, so they should genuinely sparkle after treatment.

 

 

The inclusion of Black Magic masks is a thoughtful touch, especially considering the heavily framed Privateer canopy.

Two markings options are supplied with the kit - a US Navy bird, and a French Privateer in the service of the Aeronavale.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

   


After-Market Decals

Two PYN-up Decals sheets covering four aircraft are also available separately, so there will be plenty of opportunity to have a truly individual Privateer. Markings for the four separately supplied decals are: 

PB4Y-2

Miss Sea-ducer

R582

VPB-116 (The

Blue Raiders)

Iwo Jima, March-June 1945.

PB4Y-2

Punkie

501

VPB-109 (The

Reluctant Raiders)

Palawan, Okinawa, and Iwo Jima, June-August 1945. 

Equipped for SWOD-9 Bat bombs.

PB4Y-2

Redwing

X505

VPB-106

(The Wolverators)

West Field, Tinian, and Westbrook Field, Palawan, Philippine Islands, March-May 1945.

PB4Y-2

The Super-chief/Lex Loci

None

VPB-106

(The Wolverators)

Westbrook Field, Palawan, Philippine

Islands, May-July 1945.

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


A bonus decal depicting a gun-toting Cherub is also included. It is not known which aircraft carried this marking on the bottom of the blister fairing, so you can take an artistic hunch!

PB4Y-2

Cherub with machine gun on left waist blister

Unknown

Unknown

 

 


 

Conclusion

 

With their giant Privateer set, Cutting Edge Modelworks has unveiled a Ferrari of the resin conversion world. If you love Ferraris, and if you have enough of the green folding stuff, you won't consider the price tag.  

Cutting Edge's Privateer conversion is similar. If you are a big fan of US Naval Aviation in general, or B-24 variants, or of the Privateer in particular, you are going to be more than impressed. If you suffer severe sticker shock when you see the $259.99 price tag, then at least you'll be able to admire the assembled kits that will inevitably grace the tables of major model competitions in the future.

But if you are one of the committed who really loves the Privateer, and you are comfortable working with resin, and you really want to see a big PB4Y-2 on your shelf, then the price tag will become a trifling peccadillo.

There really is a lot of impressive resin in the box. Just looking at the contents is breathtaking. Building the kit would represent a milestone in any modellers' career. But it is certainly not for everyone.

However if you are one of the select few, one of the true PB4Y believers, then you'd better hurry because we're not likely to see a lot more of these massive and complex castings manufactured. And I'd hate to think what they'll be asking for these on Ebay in a few years!

Highly Recommended.

Thanks to Cutting Edge Modelworks


Cutting Edge Modelworks products, including Cutting Edge Decals,
can be viewed at Meteor Productions website


Images and Information Copyright 2006 Meteor Productions
This Page Created on 27 January, 2006
Last updated 29 January, 2006

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