Azur 1/72 Martin 167 Maryland
The Martin Model 167 was a response to a 1938 USAAC request for a twin engine light attack aircraft. Other designs pit forward for the same requirement later developed into the Douglas A-20 and the North American B-25. Martin’s 167 never saw front line service with the Americans, but it did go to war in service with the French and British. In French service, it was known as “Glenn”, and was used by both the Armée de l’Air and Aéronavale. Surviving machines were relocated to North Africa following the fall of France under the Vichy regime. Regrettably no Maryland survives today.
This is the sixth Azur kit I have built, and is one of 26 that I have bought so far. Azur’s Maryland is a welcome improvement on the old Frog kit in 1:72. It’s generally well detailed for the scale and has very fine engraved panel lines. The props, exhausts, pitot, aerial mast and DF loop are resin, with everything else moulded in styrene including the canopies. There is a choice of RAF desert of Vichy French schemes. No points for guessing which one I chose! This kit is representative of about mid-life in terms of Azur releases: better than their Breda Ba 65, but not as good as their Potez 63-11.
The kit only really on suffers from a couple of faults; these being the wrong engines (Wright 9-cylinder R1820’s instead of P&W 14-cylinder R1830’s), and very shallow inlets on the top and bottom of the cowl faces. Less serious is the need to cut a couple of windows into each side of the fuselage.
I spent most of my time dremelling out the intakes at the top and bottom of the cowl faces. On the kit these are only moulded in relief of about 0.5mm, and fail to do justice to what I feel is a significant feature of the Maryland. This was followed by more dremelling to get some resin copies of the Academy PBY Catalina’s R1830 engines to fit (these came courtesy of a friend).
Other additions and modifications included adding a belly gun, detailing the turret gun a bit, adding some etched seat belts, and two windows to the fuselage sides, wing guns and one or two items within the nose transparency area. I found the very clear canopies to be a little undersize, but better dry assembling would have led me to reduce the fuselage width before joining the halves. As a result I sanded all the moulded framing off them and replaced them using decal film.
Painting was fairly straightforward, with the striped areas being painted over a white undercoat. Masking the cowls and was a little fiddly to get the stripes tapering the right way. All camouflage was quickly free-handed as photos suggest quite a soft edge. The final model was weathered a bit with chips, scratches and stains, although looking at the photos I feel the props are too dark and I will attend to these at some time in the future. I’m happy enough with the final result as cabinet display model, and recommend the kit to anyone who fancies something a little different.