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Reviews : American : American post war Last Updated: Apr 21st, 2015 - 23:52:06

Martin AM-1 Mauler, Czech Master resins. 1/72nd
By Bill Anderson, MM Pub
Apr 11, 2006, 09:11

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The Martin "Mauler" is probably one of the least well-known US Navy aircraft to have actually entered squadron service. Its career was eclipsed by the superior performance of the Douglas AD "Skyraider", which was a contemporary design. References to the "Mauler" are not particularly easy to find. The only detailed literature, that I know of, is number fourteen in the "Naval Fighter" series, published in 1994. This volume contains historical information, including photographs, detail sketches, and basic three-view drawings. Alan Ranger managed to find me a copy of the book on one of his trips to the USA, though it may be possible to obtain a copy from one of the UK bookshops.
This Czech Master kit was passed to me for review by Roger, some time ago (I'll say!! Ed.), but I doubt if many people have seen examples of it. In my opinion, it ranks among the best resin kits available, and the standard of detail and finish would put many injection-moulded kits to shame. The kit consists of forty parts for the aircraft, plus a further sixty-one finely-detailed resin parts for the optional armament fits of torpedoes, bombs, and rockets. A clear vacform canopy is provided, and a decal sheet, by Propagteam, is supplied, which offers two options, one in N.A.T.C. markings, the other in the markings of an aircraft of VA-174. Colour side views are included with the kit, and the instruction sheet supplied is in exploded view form, so should be easy to use.
I have, so far, satisfied myself with merely trial-fitting the major assemblies, but anticipate no great problems in completing the model. (Bill is not amongst the worldís fastest model builders .... Ed.) Only two points arouse criticism, both of a very minor nature. Firstly. I feel that the down-curve at the upper rear of the cowling may be slightly exaggerated, so some minor filling may be required. Secondly, no less than three different propeller units are supplied, with no information as to which applies to which aircraft. I will have to be careful to select the correct item for the aircraft being modelled. This is where the Naval Fighters reference will prove useful.
The kit parts do not match the drawings in my reference, but appear to match the photographs very closely. I feel that the kit is vastly superior to the drawings in this case.
For the modeller in a hurry, or for one who is just plain lazy, I have found one of the colours in the Halfords range of acrylic aerosols which appears to be a fair match for US Navy "Midnight Blue". This is " Renault Midnight Blue 455". It may not be precisely the correct shade, but it is close.

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