by: Kevin Brant [ ]
HistoryThe Lockheed Ventura was built as a bomber and patrol aircraft with deliveries starting at the end of 1941, early 1942. The PV-1 was designed for the Navy, with several ordered by Commonwealth countries. The Venturas were used for air raids into France early on, before being replaced by Mosquitoes. After which it was mainly used for Maritime patrols. While doing a little research on the Ventura, I discovered that in some cases, Ventura's were used by the USAAF to lead B-24 bombing raids due to being radar equipped.
the KitI have to admit, this is the first Minicraft kit I have bought. Opening the box, I was pleasantly surprised, it looked to be a decent kit. The box contained 4 sprues of light grey plastic, 2 clear sprues, a sheet of decals, and a 8 page instruction booklet. The molding overall looked crisp and clean, with good detail. I did find that the engines while looking not bad, are a little weak on detail, and the cockpit looks to be very simple, without a lot of detail. The same goes for the landing gear bays, while the struts don't look bad, there is no detail inside the bays. The engraved panel lines look great, not over done as sometimes done in 1/72 scale. There is a little bit of flash, and there are some ejector marks that will need to be cleaned up.
The clear pieces look good, crisp detail. I found some of the little windows a little foggy. The framing is not raised, rather more like the engraved panel lines, which could lead to a little difficulty when it come to masking. One draw back I found was there was only one set of clear pieces for the nose, and when painted solid for the RCAF version, the nose will not look correct with panel lines that should not be there.
The instructions seem to well laid out and clear, put I find sometimes you don't know until you start construction. In places the drawings are a little week, but it does not take away from showing construction step. Construction is split into 13 steps, as follows;
Step 1 - Cockpit and upper gun turret
Step 2 - Installation of cockpit, and side windows
Step 3 - Belly gun
Step 4 - Mating of fuselage halves
Step 5 - Canopy installation
Step 6 - Rear tail assembly
Step 7 - Engine assembly
Step 8 - Construction of landing gear
Steps 9 & 10 - Assembly of wings
Step 11 - Attaching wings to fuselage
Step 12 - Adding of under carriage
Step 13 - Final detail, antennas, drop tanks, and includes a rigging diagram
The instructions include some basic paint callouts, using just color name, and I presume they are Testors Model Master, as paint scheme colors do reference Model Master colors, both Acrylic and Enamel. Two paint schemes are included;
RAF No. 21 Sqn, 1943
RCAF No. 1 Air Armament School, 1952
The decals look great, all in register and sharp colors. A decal for the cockpit dash is included.
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