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Martin started producing the Mauler in 1945 and made less than
150 planes. Production ceased in 1949. The Navy had decided that it wanted the
Skyraider instead. The Mauler broke a few single engine plane records for
payload and could outdo the Skyraider in this respect. The Mauler was difficult
to land on a carrier and had a lot of landing mishaps. The Mauler served with
reserve units until 1953.
I wanted a Mauler in 1/48 scale for quite a while and I have to admit that I
have a soft spot for big ungainly looking single engine navy planes like the
Grumman Guardian, the Helldiver, etc. It was obvious that nobody would be
interested in making such an unloved plane in injection form. Collect-Aire came
to the rescue again with a nice representation of this plane in 1:48th scale.
The kit is broken down much like an injection kit where the fuselage is
concerned but has a solid resin wing. It is a heavy model and I am glad that the
struts are cast in metal.
The surface detail in engraved and quite delicate. The wing
airbrakes are engraved and there is no option to pose them open. The perforated
under belly airbrake can be shown in the deployed position and it fits snug
enough not to require glue. I am showing it in my pictures both closed and open.
The cockpit had nice sidewall detail, okay instrument panel and
floor and stick details. However nothing was provided to go over the instrument
panel to hide the gap between the fuselage and the rear of the panel. I had to
make my own instrument coaming from styrene and Squadron putty. The only
difficulty was to make sure that my new coaming would not interfere with the
proper closing of the canopy. My good acquaintance GeneK from Florida helped me
with many pictures of the Mauler that they have at the Pensacola museum.
Something that is also missing from the kit was the exhaust
stacks that are very visible on the real bird. I recreated them from brass rod
based on the pictures I have and the Steve Ginter book.
The kit comes with three torpedoes and a ton of metal rockets
but the decals provided are for a reserve bird. These planes in all the pictures
that I have were usually flown with little or no weapons hanging from the wings.
In most pictures they are shown with two of the 20mm cannons removed. They are
also shown with a radar pod under one wing (I stole mine from a Helldiver kit).
The Steve Ginter book shows the specific Mauler I modeled with no tail hook and
with thicker tires with a prominent crisscross tread pattern necessary because
of its reserve life as a land based bird. It was easy not to include the
Collect-Aire provided hook. The wheel/tire situation was a different story
though. The kit provides the aircraft carrier type of narrower and smooth tires.
The wheel pattern on my sample was not represented well at all. I dug through my
box of True Details wheel stock and came up with something that looked just
right to my eyes. I used the main wheels from the 1/72 scale set for the
Liberator. I Dremeled out the wheels leaving only the tires. I inserted the
wheels from my Tamiya Skyraider that looked much closer to the ones in the
pictures (The Tamiya Skyraider has already after market shoes so don't accuse me
for cannibalizing it!).
After thoroughly washing the plane I sprayed it with automotive
primer (per Bondo Phil's recommendation). I lightly sanded it down with very
fine sandpaper and painted it with XtraColor Navy Blue and International Orange.
I weathered the plane lightly with pastels and silver pencil. A strand of my
wife's beautiful long hair was once again sacrificed to make the aerial.
The Mauler is resting now in my display case next to my Collect-Aire Guardian.
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Model, Images and
Article Copyright © 2002 by Fotios
Page Created 17 March 2002
Last updated 04 June 2007
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