Monday, March 9, 2009

Martin MB-2: Sow's Ear Edition

I had a bunch of armor models lying around that I'd never build (one M113 ACAV was purchased in 1989 and was still only 3/4 built) and gobs and gobs of 1/35 figures, guns, heads, and assorted gew-gaws that I'd never use. I found out that a co-worker of mine builds and so I tossed them his way. I asked nothing in return except that they be built within a year; if they were to sit in a stash, they could sit in my stash and soothe my nostalgia.

The next day, he brought in a model he'd never build: a Martin MB-2 by a company called Glencoe. Apparently, Glencoe was an injection molding company that made models of odd subjects on the side. If this was any indication of their injection molding capabilities, I can see why they are out of business. This is a pretty terrible model. Where there are guide pins, they don't align, or the holes are so close to the skin that they are ripped; The injector points are in the stupidest places (trailing edge of fabric wings, center of mesh radiator screens); The pieces have no numbers unless they are large pieces, then it's stamped on; Sink marks; The figures, are an embarrassment; and the model is 25% flash.

It does, however have some very, very nice box art.

So, why am I building it. I have no idea really, except that I am between models, waiting for a Revell SNJ/T-6 Texzn to arrive from Great Models Webstore and I needed to build something.

So, I grabbed the engine and decreed if I could make the crappy engine look decent, I'll build the whole thing. Here's a compare of the unpainted engines.

First, I assembled the not-well-fitting pieces and puttied the bejeesus out of it. I'm actually very happy with how it turned out as I had to do some carving of the plastic to make things align; and it's smooth as a baby's cheek. I then carved away the wire/hose looking things below the cylinders and made new ones out of brass rod. I also added little ribbed supports that would have been cast into the block. You can barely see them as the white bits behind the brass. I also added exhaust pipes. Glencoe couldn't even make exhaust pipes. How hard would it have been? Jeezum.

The manifold that would go on top of the engine was problematic. I could have made an entire new one, but It would have been a pain and besides, I couldn't find a good reference for it. So, I just made some new 'blowers'. The new one is raised up a bit because I added some geeblie wires on the underside to flesh i out a bit.

The radiator needed work. As mentioned there's an injection mark in the middle of the screen. Check it out

The mesh is actually HO scale chain link fence that I had lying around for some reason (I may not have a current stash, but I have box full of model pieces that go back to the early 80s).

My SNJ Texan gets here on Friday, so the MB-2 may go into hiatus, but I think I'm doing pretty good so far and will complete it. Firstly because I could only find two examples on the web and also I'd like an excuse to buy one of these puppies

listening to while posting: The Elements (live) by Tom Leher

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