by Mick Evans
Miniature's 1/48 PV-1 Ventura is available online from Squadron.com
Here is my Fonderie Miniature 1/48 scale Lockheed PV-1 Ventura.
Please refer to my
in-box review for comments on the detail and breakdown of parts.
Construction required some very extensive cleanup of all of the
mating surfaces of every part, except for the resin. This job continued
with the sanding of the fuselage halves until the dimensions equaled the
width of the transparencies for the cockpit and lower rear gunners
window. Once this was complete the fuselage walls were thinned down to
accept the cockpit floor and bulkheads. This process requires constant
thinning and trial fitting until a snug fit is achieved.
The cockpit and navigators area is quite a complex build requiring a
fair amount of cleanup work and painting. The detail here is very good
and requires little extra work. The control column indentations on the
floor are in the wrong place as photographs show the columns mounted
close to the sidewalls. Once this process is complete, the fuselage
assembly is a very easy assembly process.
The wings then become the next big challenge. The halves need a huge
amount of sanding to achieve the correct thickness at the leading and
trailing edges. Once this is achieved a process of thinning the upper
wing area above the wheel well area to allow the resin wheel well tubs
to fit correctly. The wings also become a simple assembly process at
this point. The same process was repeated for the horizontal and
vertical tail planes. The wings, horizontal tail, and rudder were added
after some cleanup of the mating surfaces and very little filler was
The next major task was the transparencies. Firstly all parts were
dipped in Future. The transparencies were an easy fit with super glue.
The frames were all masked and any seams were filled and sanded. The
masking was left on until after the kit was completely painted. I spent
a lot of time blowing all of the sanding dust out of the fuselage, and a
final complete immersion in water ensured that when the masking was
removed no dust adhered to the inside of the transparencies due to
static caused by the tape removal.
The last major project was the engines. No instructions are given for
the 19 parts that make these up, except showing the completed units
being installed on the kit. The kit has individual metal cylinders for
both rows and these fit into the resin crankcase. The crankcase has 36
holes cast at the front and back to receive the ignition harness and
pushrods. I had to refer to the instructions for the 1/32 Technics R2800
engine to get the detail correct, but the end result was worth it. The
ignition leads were made from fine solder while the push rods were from
The final assembly was the gun turret. This was a straightforward
construction and paint.
The kit was finished in Xtra Colors for the standard US Navy 3 tone
scheme of Dark Sea Blue/Intermediate Blue and White. The aircraft was
finished in the Octopus scheme of VPB-150 Devilfish P-Viators based at
Tarawa and Tinian in 1944-45.
The Octopus was masked up and sprayed painted and the suction cups
hand painted. The kit was over sprayed with semi gloss before the cabin
windows were filled with Krystal Klear, as the supplied transparencies
were a bit average.
The end result was well worth the effort.
I can highly recommend Fonderie Miniature's 1/48 scale Lockheed PV-1
Ventura to experienced modellers.
Thanks to Squadron
for the sample.
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03 January, 2005
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