Home  |  What's New  |  Features  |  Gallery  |  Reviews  |  Reference  |  Forum  |  Search

Martin-Baker M.B.5

by Mick Evans


Martin-Baker M.B.5

images by Brett Green

Silver Cloud's 1/48 scale Martin-Baker M.B.5 is available online at Squadron.com




The M.B.5 represented the last of the Martin-Baker company’s dabble in aircraft development before becoming the most successful manufacturer of ejection seats.

The MB.5 had laminar flow wings, a powerful Rolls Royce Griffon engine driving contra rotating propellers. It was quite a large aircraft when sat next to a Spitfire or Mustang, but it was agile and fast.


The M.B.5 would have been the penultimate in piston engine fighter aircraft but it came just too late - the jet turbine powered aircraft was already the flavour of the day.





Silver Cloud’s 1/48 scale M.B.5 comprises 31 injection moulded plastic parts, 30 metal parts, and 1 clear part.

Kit Summary

Good detail
Nice surface detail
Accurate details and features
Excellent propeller and spinner.


Excess plastic on mating surfaces
Thick Canopy
Poor fitting wings
Average instructions.

Recommended for experienced modellers

The injection moulded parts have some nice and subtle detail moulded into the soft grey plastic. The only problem with the plastic parts is excess plastic on the mating surfaces. This is in the vicinity of 1mm in some places, and is awkward to remove. I removed the gun port blanks off the wings to allow the surfaces to be sanded more easily.

A lot of trial fitting is required to get the fuselage and wings to the correct width. Once this is done the assembly is straight forward, until it comes time to fit the wings.

The cockpit is a nice build but a bit scant on detail for a model in 2003.


The wings are built around the main spar which slips through the fuselage and ensures the correct dihedral on the wings. The wheel well surrounds are made of metal and have the correct ribbing and lightening holes moulded into them. On trying to fit the wings to the fuselage it was noticed that the wing contour did not match the moulded stubs on the fuselage. No amount of shimming, sanding, or hot water softening would fix the problem, so I reshaped the stubs with Tamiya putty until the shape of the wings was matched. This looks almost perfect on the completed model.

The kit features separate flaps, ailerons, and rudder, but the elevators are moulded on the horizontal tail surfaces.

The nose needed a bit of trimming work to make it fit to the fuselage.

The vertical and horizontal surfaces went together with almost no problems at all.

I replaced the wheels with some True Details Tempest wheels as these looked more accurate then the ones supplied in the kit.


I chose to polish the spinner to replicate the early prototype before the spinner was painted matt black. This required the spinner to be sanded with progressively higher grades of wet and dry paper until all imperfections disappeared. The spinner was then polished with Tamiya polishing compound until a high polished metal finish was achieved.

The canopy posed the largest problem.

It was accurate in shape and fit, but just way too thick - approximately 3 to 4mm. Not having any clear plastic for plunge moulding, I took to the canopy with my Dremel and rotary burr and ground away a large quantity of plastic from the inside. This was then smoothed with progressively finer grades of wet and dry paper before being polished with a felt pad coated in Tamiya polish mounted in the Dremel. The finished product was not perfect but no worse than the product that I started with - only a lot thinner.



Painting and Markings


The aircraft was painted in standard prototype colours for that period.

I painted the upper surfaces of my model using Xtra Color Dark Green and Dark Sea Grey, with Trainer Yellow underneath. The wheel wells and flap bays were painted in zinc chromate, while the cockpit was interior green and matt black.


The decals were quite good and adhered to the surface very nicely with a small dab of decal set.





Silver Cloud's Martine Baker M.B.5 looks great when finished and fills a void in my "favourite aircraft" section. However, be aware that a good result will require a very significant commitment in planning and modelling effort.

Thanks to Squadron.com for the review sample



Additional Images

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Model and Text Copyright © 2003 by Mick Evans 
Images Copyright © 2004 by Brett Green
Page Created 11 August, 2003
Last Updated 17 March, 2004

Back to HyperScale Main Page