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 Glencoe 1/74 Martin MB-2 / NBS-1, 14th Bombardment Sq.

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pmmaker

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Location : Somers, Connecticut, USA

PostSubject: Glencoe 1/74 Martin MB-2 / NBS-1, 14th Bombardment Sq.   Tue Feb 21 2017, 07:18

Manufacturer: Glencoe Models

Model: Martin MB-2 / NBS-1, 14th Bombardment Sq., Ostfriesland Raid

Scale 1/74

Decals / Markings: Micro Scale sheet included with markings for three aircraft: 96th Bombardment Sq., 11th Bombardment Sq., 14th Bombardment Sq., Ostfriesland Raid


History / description: The Martin MB-2 was a modernized version of the original Martin MB-1 of 1918. In 1920, twenty MB-2s were ordered by the U.S. Army for use as night bombers. The increase in bomb carrying capacity led to the sacrificing of 6 mph in speed and a reduction of maneuverability in this role. The first five of the new Martins were built as MB-2s, then the designation was changed to NBS-1 (Night Bombardment, Short-range). Additional orders for the plane were placed with Curtiss, Aeromarine, and LWF, bringing the total of all planes built to 130. The NBS-1 became the standard front line bomber of the U.S. Army Air Service in 1920 and remained so until its replacement in 1928-1929 by the Keystone Aircraft series of bombers. The basic MB-2 design also was the standard against which prospective U.S. Army bombers were judged until the production of the Martin B-10 in 1933.

While the MB-2/NBS-1 was never used in combat, it was however destined to find a place in the log book of history. In July of 1921, eighteen of the Martin built bombers participated in perhaps one of the most significant bombing missions in aviation history.

After World War I, U.S. Army General William “Billy” Mitchell was convinced of the tremendous capabilities of bomb carrying aircraft. He sought to prove that airborne weapons could not only damage enemy warships, but could sink them as well. Despite much objection and controversy, Mitchell was able to arrange for an actual test in which German warships obtained by the U.S. after the armistice would be the targets.

On July 19, 1920, the ex-German cruiser Frankfort (5,100 tons) was struck by light bombers in the morning. Then in the afternoon, four MB-2s dropped eleven 600lb bombs on the ship scoring two direct hits and one near miss alongside the hull. In a matter of minutes the Frankfort rolled to port and then stood on its nose and dove under the sea.

But the real test came against the gigantic Ostfriesland, a 27,000 ton “unsinkable” battleship. The first strikes against the Ostfriesland took place on July 20th, but only light munitions were used. These damaged the ship sufficiently that in actual combat it would not be able to make headway. The next day, eight of Mitchell’s MB-2s, each carrying a 2,000 lb bomb approached the huge vessel and began lobbing their bombs at the ship. Within 22 minutes, only the frothing sea revealed the grave of the “indestructible” dreadnaught. Ironically, the important lessons learned from these tests would eventually be used against the United States by Japanese aircraft at Pearl Harbor.

There are no surviving original Martin NBS-1 bombers. In 2002, however, a full-scale reproduction went on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, constructed from original drawings.

An example of the plane was featured in director William Wellman's 1927 Paramount silent film Wings, disguised as a German Gotha bomber. Footage was shot overhead of the MB-2 as it exited its tent hangar and from the MB-2 during flight. These aerial shots were revolutionary at the time showing the public a perspective of aerial combat from the pilot’s point of view. Wings won the first ever Academy Award for best picture.




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The Mad Hatter: "Have I gone mad"
Alice: “I’m afraid so. . . you’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. . . All the BEST people are.”
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pmmaker

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PostSubject: Re: Glencoe 1/74 Martin MB-2 / NBS-1, 14th Bombardment Sq.   Tue Feb 21 2017, 07:19

The Model

This model was just an impulse buy for me.  I wanted to build something a bit unusual and this kit truly fit the build.  Copyrighted in 1988, the model was a pleasant surprise.  The parts were crisply molded with hardly any flash to scrape or sand off.  The fit of the parts was surprisingly very good as other Glencoe kits I’ve built in the past were awful to put together.  Even with this positive, this model is definitely not one for an inexperienced builder to try.

The only major complaint I had was with the instruction sheet.  The instruction sheet gave no painting guides other than how to paint the entire model.  Also the drawings are not very detailed.  The drawings do show all the part numbers, but Glencoe did not number the parts’ sprues.  So I had to guess what part was which based on the drawings – not a good formula for success for an inexperienced builder.  Here are some more observations of my build.

1) The main wing framing that connects both wings to the fuselage is very complicated.  These braces also surround the engines which are nestled inside both sets of braces.  Glencoe did a fantastic job of molding these supports as four separate parts.  They glue into pilot holes in the fuselage and help to align the top and bottom wings to the fuselage.  There was one issue with these parts.  Two of them have a curved horizontal brace and two have a straight horizontal brace.  When you build the model, the braces with the curved strut have to go in front and the ones with the straight strut go on the back.  But the instructions don’t clearly show this.  I found this out the hard way when I had mistakenly glued the two straight braces to the same side and could not get the engine in.  I had to undo hours of work and reglue the braces to the correct sides and wing locations.

While highly detailed, the engines require a bit of work.  The two halves don’t align very well and you need to sand them.  This causes the next area of concern; the triangular shaped fairing on the rear of the engine.  You are supposed to glue these on after you “slide” the completed and painted engines onto the bottom wing (Glencoe molded the attachment fairings onto the bottom wing) and into the braces.  The problem is when you do try to glue these on, you have a very large and noticeable gap where the engines and fairings meet.  I had to remove the engines, glue the fairing to each, and then fill the gaps with putty and sand them smooth.  But now the engines wouldn’t fit inside the wing braces at the back.  So I had to cut the horizontal brace, slide in and glue the engine, and then reglue the straight brace once the engines were dry.  Then I glued the block radiators onto the engines.  A far bit of work, but pretty straight forward for my skill level.

2) The landing gear system is intricate.  It features the main wheels being “suspended” within several struts and incorporates a bicycle type “fender” on the wheels.  Glencoe again did a very nice job molding the parts.  They didn’t all align correctly with the holes on the wing but with a bit of gentle force, I got the gear to sit correctly.

3) The model is a pretty good size even for a 1/74th scale kit.  There were several small parts of course – guns, their mounts, pilots, control stick, outer wing struts.  The model measures slightly over 12 inches wingspan and 8 inches fuselage length.

4) For a 25 year old decal sheet, the decals were excellent and easy to apply.  I built and painted the sub-assemblies such as the wings, tail, and primary fuselage  first and then I applied the decals.  Once I had the model completely built and rigged, I over sprayed the model with an acrylic based gloss.

5)  Once the wings and outer braces and cabane struts were glued on and aligned, I rigged the model.  Rigging was straight forward.  I did not rig my model with every line found on the actual plane.   That would have been an incredibly difficult job as the real plane has multiple rigging lines just about everywhere.  I chose to rig the main lines using a thin 0.15 inch music wire.  I cut each piece and glued them on using a white tacky glue.  I worked on the inner wires first and rigged my way out to the outer wires.  Rigging took a couple of days, but it really enhances the model quite a bit.

Paints: Tamiya acrylics: Olive Drab, Gun Metal,  Testors Rubber, Steel, Copper, flat Aluminum

So here is my completed model.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.











Some close up shots to show more details.  Sorry for the picture quality, my small camera doesn't always focus well for close-ups.










______________________________________________________
The Mad Hatter: "Have I gone mad"
Alice: “I’m afraid so. . . you’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. . . All the BEST people are.”


Last edited by pmmaker on Tue Mar 07 2017, 05:39; edited 1 time in total
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Migrant

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PostSubject: Re: Glencoe 1/74 Martin MB-2 / NBS-1, 14th Bombardment Sq.   Mon Mar 06 2017, 09:40

Fantastic. According to Scalemates your kit was originally tooled by ITC in 1962(!) which makes your result even more impressive.

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 Mike Grant | Calgary AB
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MikeD

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PostSubject: Re: Glencoe 1/74 Martin MB-2 / NBS-1, 14th Bombardment Sq.   Mon Mar 06 2017, 17:50

Very nice build! A job well done!
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Propwash

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PostSubject: Re: Glencoe 1/74 Martin MB-2 / NBS-1, 14th Bombardment Sq.   Mon Mar 06 2017, 23:11

I don't do WWI aircraft. But I sure do admire the builds of those that do. Really nice PMM.
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