Monday, February 4

Build Guide 1/72nd scale WWII Liberator GR Mk.V Bomber - Riders in the Sky 1944 [Limited Edition] From Eduard

Clayton just loves the Liberator (we always knew he had good taste) - so when Eduard released their special edition B-24 from Coastal Command Liberator GR Mk.V in 72nd scale who was he to pass up building it? See Clayton's journey as he builds and paints his lovely kit in his guide...
Build Guide: WWII Liberator GR Mk.V Bomber - Riders in the Sky 1944 [Limited Edition]
From Eduard

1/72nd scale
Price: A$175.07 AUD on the Hobbylink Japan Website
It is a beast of a thing isn’t it? I guess it is open for debate, but in my mind, the B-24 Liberator is by far the coolest bomber of the Second World War…as a self-confessed armour tragic, it is just about impossible to not be drawn to this giant of the sky. It’s massive wingspan gave the Liberator the ability to carry a heavy bomb load paired with a long range and high cruise speed. The down side of that was that the plane was quite difficult to fly, especially at low speeds.
With around 18500 aircraft manufactured, the Liberator still holds the record for the World’s most produced bomber, heavy bomber, multi-engine aircraft and American military aircraft in history.
The Liberator saw action in every theatre of the Second World War and was used for a wide variety of roles such as bombing, antisubmarine and maritime patrols as well as early forms of electronic warfare and even transportation.
When I first saw the Eduard boxing of the Coastal Command B-24, I was instantly hooked by the box art. I had always loved the scheme and the imposing look depicted by the artist on the box was the only sales tool that was required to get me hooked. 

This Czechoslovak flown Liberator GR.Mk.V BZ796 (H), is included, its crew sank the German armed merchant ship Alsterufer.
A beautiful print is included in this boxing along with:
Plastic parts: Hasegawa + Eduard
Decals from Cartograf/ Eduard(13 + 1 choices)
A pre-painted photo-etched parts
painting mask
Plus a special 70 page photographic book
It is no secret that this Eduard release is a re-boxing of old Hasegawa kit, so the value is in all of the additional items included in it. I won’t go into sprue shots and descriptions of the parts. It is really a pointless exercise given the nature of the release…plus it isn’t hard to find the Hasegawa kit reviewed around the place, but what I will highlight is the fact that you get everything you need to build your Coastal Command Liberator. 
The etch fret, comprehensive masking set, a poster and a lovely reference book, albeit in Czech. (That said, a picture tells a thousand words, so just having access to the drawings and pictures will be good enough for most modellers limited to the bounds of the English language. Eduard however has been kind enough to include a translated version on their website -
The biggest draw for me however is the choice of schemes and the massive decal sheet that comes with the kit. There is a total of 12 schemes in the kit – they represent the following:

Liberator GR Mk.V, BZ721, flown by S/Ldr Terence Bulloch, No. 224 Squadron, St. Eval, July 1943;
Liberator GR Mk.V, BZ723, flown by S/Ldr Alois Šedivý, No. 311 Squadron, Tain, October 1944;
Liberator GR Mk.V, BZ774, flown by F/Sgt Otakar Žanta, No. 311 Squadron, Beaulieu, Autumn 1943;
Liberator GR Mk.V, BZ779, flown by F/Sgt Josef Kuhn, No. 311 Squadron, Beaulieu, October 1943;
Liberator GR Mk.V, BZ786, flown by P/O Jan Irving, No. 311 Squadron, Beaulieu, Autumn 1943;
Liberator GR Mk.V, BZ796, flown by P/O Oldřich Doležal, No. 311 Squadron, Beaulieu, December 1943;
Liberator GR Mk.V, FL961, flown by F/O Jan Vella, No. 311 Squadron, Predannack, June 1944;
Liberator GR Mk.V, FL949, flown by F/O Josef Pavelka, No. 311 Squadron, Tain, October 1944;
Liberator GR Mk.III, FL936, flown by P/O Ben Hall, No. 160 Squadron, Sigiriya, Ceylon, Autumn 1943;
Liberator GR Mk.V, BZ832, flown by F/O Lloyd A. Trigg, No. 200 Squadron, Yundum, Gambia, August 1943
Liberator GR Mk.V, BZ862, No. 354 Squadron, 1944;
Liberator GR Mk.V, BZ755, North West Air Command, Canada, Summer 1946
Of course, I couldn’t help but be intrigued by FL936 with the iconic boxing kangaroo on the nose. So here is how I set about building my Liberator.

I started by painting the insides of the two halves of the fuselage using the appropriate Vallejo colours. Interior Green and Interior Yellow.
The framework for the internals is now assembled and received a coat of paint. In reality most of this detail will be lost in the final build, so I tried to not get too held up in the process.
The cockpit now comes together. The coloured photo-etch in this Eduard boxing is really nice and adds a lot of value to the kit, but again, in reality most of this detail will be very hard to see in the final build.
The internal structure is now glued into the first half of the fuselage and is prepared to be sealed up.
The two halves come together. The fit needed a little persuading, but nothing too major. 
Wing and tail assemblies are now completed. The wheel bays were sprayed in interior yellow, but I would later go back to change that to the interior green colour. I’m happy to be corrected if my choice of colour was incorrect. Trying to research the colour became quite confusing…
Engines and cowlings were assembled and pre-painted. Fit was reasonable but the cowlings required a little putty and sanding.
The wing sections and engines are a snug fit onto the fuselage. It’s really starting to look like a Liberator now huh!
Window sections and the gun pods are now assembled, and the clear parts are masked up using only a fraction of the comprehensive masking set provided in the kit. Talk about a time saver!
The entire front section of the model is moulded in clear styrene. I had initially used PVA glue to attach these sections, but the bond was just too weak. In the end I gave up on that idea and carefully attached the pieces using superglue. Bulletproof now. The masking continues. LOVE that mask set!
It was about now I received my shipment of Mission Models acrylics, so I started the paint job by applying a coat of Insignia White to the underside. Note here I hadn’t bothered to prime the model. That turned out to be a BIG mistake…
As the wings were not glued in place, they were removed, and the masking began. Strips of Tamiya tape were used to get the defined line running down the length of the aircraft.
MMP-084 Gunship Grey was the colour I chose for the grey in the scheme. I purposely chose a lighter shade because the weathering I had planned would darken the whole tone of the paint scheme.
MMP-077 RAF Dark green was then set in place with a really quick mask job using both flexible masking film and Tamiya tape. (I know this will give the purists nightmares). The colour was given a bit of variation by mixing in yellow and buff tones.
It was about here disaster struck. When removing the masking tape great hunks of the paint literally peeled off the model. Given it was the white areas, it shouldn’t have been too hard to blow in, but it really took the wind out of my sails.

After a bit of soul searching and consultation with the paint manufacturer (of whom I must credit here as being incredibly responsive and helpful), it was highlighted to me that I should have primed the model prior to using the Mission Models paints. Unfortunately, I had come too far, so I was just going to have to deal with the patch-ups that would be required.

SO – Modelling life lesson… When using Mission Models paint you must prime prior to painting.

The picture really doesn’t shed light on how bad it was, but rest assured, it was bad… At this stage I also added a light oil wash to the darker colours. It’s one of those things I needed to try and breath some hope into the project.

To further give me something to be happy about with the paintwork, I now added a light post-shade using heavily thinned Tamiya black and red brown. You can start to see the colours in the scheme coming to life. 
I set about sanding the damaged areas and respraying them. I actually used different acrylics for the patch up because I tested them and knew they would stick to the plastic. Highlights and shading were also added at this point. More so to hide the blemishes and the variation in the finish.
Once dry, the leading edges of the wings were masked in preparation for some Aluminium.

Matte Aluminium from Ammo was then sprayed in place. I really love this colour. Very easy to use and the finish is always consistent. You may also see on the engine cowlings where great hunks of the grey were now starting to come away from the plastic. I was still being haunted by the issue.
Fine amounts of Vallejo liquid mask were dabbed onto the leading edge of the wing using a sponge. Once dry, a coat of matte black was applied.
The liquid mask is then removed by dragging a small piece of Blu-Tac over the area. That removes the mask solution and reveals the silver chipping underneath.
The effect was really pleasing 
The decals were now applied. The decals sheet is massive, and they performed very well. You may note the white overspray on the grey. This was a result of not being able to mask the grey due to the fear of it coming off… as a result, I would constantly be having to apply paint tough ups.
A black oil wash was then selectively applied over the model to create a little more depth to the paintwork.
I felt it was important to give my Liberator a weathered and worn look, so I thought I would try something a little different and employ a salt chipping technique or sorts. First the model is moistened with water using a flat brush. Whilst it is still wet, salt is sprinkled over the horizontal areas in a random fashion and left a few hours to dry. 
Once the salt mask was dry a heavily thinned mix of Dunkelgelb, white and Transparator were dusted over the horizontal surfaces and left to dry. This effect is meant to be subtle, so be careful your paint mix is very diluted and very light.
Once dry the salt mask is reactivated with water and slowly removed with a flat brush and wet cotton buds. Here you see the effect. I was quite happy with how it was looking.

The salt has a real habit of hanging around and you will need to spend some time ensuring it has all been removed.

The underside received the same treatment but with a darker shade. 
The top side then was treated to an additional layer by using the same method but this time using a darker tone. Given my time again I would have toned this colour down a little more than I did.
Antenna lines are added with some mending thread and stretched sprue. You may also note the model received some post-shading work to help add some contrast to the panel lines. This was done using a thinned mix of red brown and black.
A few touch ups here and there would see the model complete.
I am really grateful for the opportunity to get a look at this release and build this model. The box-art scheme really appealed to me, and the ‘limited edition’ added some appeal in a strange way too… Then I saw the markings with the boxing kangaroo I knew I had to build this one. The kit itself is very tidy and goes together well but the marking options and decal sheet are the highlight of the release without question. The book supplied with the kit is also very nice and the pictures are a handy reference for the modeller, but the fact it isn’t in English was a bit of a downside for me. I know the translation is available online, but it’s not the same. It would also be remiss of me not to drawn light on the comprehensive masking set. Absolutely invaluable on a kit like this.
I must confess I got in a bit of a hole with the build due to all the issues I had with the paint coming off with the masking. It really left me a little traumatised and very flat on the build. There are many shortcomings with this build, but I got to a point where I just had to call it a day. That said, the guys from Mission Models were very responsive and extremely helpful in troubleshooting where I went wrong. Safe to say I will be priming my model before using Mission Models paint next time.
The release has copped some flak for being a little overpriced and I have to say there is some merit in that. Here in Australia it retails for around $175 AUD. That is a lot of money in anyone’s language. To be fair, you get a plethora of choice and options in the kit, so you really go wanting for nothing.

Clayton Ockerby

Thanks to Eduard for supplying this kit for us to review and make
You can see more of Clayton's work on his modelling site Workbench Hobbies