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Martin AM-1 Mauler


Siga

 

S u m m a r y

Catalogue No.: SG72014
Contents and Media: 177 parts in white styrene; one part in clear; markings for three aircraft
Scale: 1/72
Price: USD$16.96 from Squadron.com
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Interesting subject; great variety and quantity of ordnance; separate cowl flap parts; fairly delicately recessed panel lines; some options (eg propeller blades); good value with the inclusion of ordnance.
Disadvantages: Some soft mouldings and indifferent details (eg cockpit); inaccurate flaps and main undercarriage bays; thickness of some parts overscale; fine, ragged flash on many parts; clear canopy not up to the standard of the rest of the kit.
Recommendation: Recommended.

 

Reviewed by Brett Green


Siga's 1/72 scale Martin Mauler is available online from Squadron.com

 

FirstLook

 

Siga is a relatively new company from the Ukraine that produces limited-run model kits. Unlike some recent releases of kits including MPM's Wellington or Classic Airframes' latest offerings, Siga's models are the product of a less sophisticated moulding process using fairly soft plastic, resulting in some soft detail, flash on many parts and reasonably thick sprue attachment points.

 

 

Having said that, my overall impression of Siga's 1/72 scale Martin AM-1 Mauler is very good indeed.

The kit comprises 80 parts in white styrene and one in clear styrene for the aircraft itself, and a further 97 parts for the ordnance options. The white plastic is quite soft and thick in places, but Siga has managed the limitations of the moulding process so that trailing edges of flying surfaces are acceptably thin and recessed panel lines are crisp and consistent. The overall shape of the aircraft looks good too.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Some nice touches include optional style propeller blades and spinners; and separate pieces for the side cowl flaps, lower cowl flap and lower mid-fuselage speed brake. Wheels and wing guns are fairly awful, but an average modellers "spares box" should provide some assistance in these areas. The cockpit is sparsely detailed with decals supplied for side consoles and the instrument panel, however the two-piece seat looks okay.

The clear canopy is supplied in one piece, and is not exactly sparkling. We can hope that Squadron or Falcon will release a vacform replacement for this part.

Ordnance options include Mk 13-2 aerial torpedos, 750 lb bombs, 250 lb bombs, AN/APS-4 search radar pod, 11/75" Tiny Tim rockets, 5" HVAR ground attack rockets and launchers.

These parts come with their own detailed painting, placement and assembly instructions.

The kit instructions are straightforward, as befitting the simple engineering of the model.

 

 

Three decal options are offered. The marking options offer any colour the modeller might want, as long as it is overall Gloss Sea Blue! Splashes of colour are available with green fin and spinner tips on one option.


 

A Footnote on Accuracy

After I originally posting this review, Phil Juvet has offered his opinion on the accuracy of some aspects of the Siga Mauler based on his first-hand observation and photographs of the type. Phil advises the following:

"The two main problems with the AM-1 kit, suggested by your photos of the sprues, are:

  1. The main wheel wells are incorrectly placed too far forward. The back of the wheel wells are hard against the leading edge of the flaps on the real aircraft. There is a notch in the flap leading edge where the tire sits when the gear is retracted.

 

 

  1. The arrangement of the flaps/dive brakes themselves is inaccurate. On the real aircraft, the flaps split in half when used as dive brakes and resemble combs; one half of the comb's teeth going up and the other half going down. I see no engraving on the flaps to show this (editor's note - actually, the box art shows this "comb" arrangement to good effect but there is no corresponding scribing on the kit flaps). What I do see is a notch in the spar between the front and rear wheel wells; this does not exist on the real bird. It was flush to the skin (see Czech Master wing photo below for accurate arrangment). The gear strut was below the wing surface in a fairing when retracted. I have photos of the real aircraft to show this."

Click the thumbnails below to view a second photo of the rear main wheel well, and of the lower wing on the Czech Master Resin kit which accurately depicts the wheel well arrangement:


 

Suggested Corrections

Modellers with moderate skills should be able to address the accuracy issues raised by Phil.

  1. Although it will be a tedious job, the "combs" on the flaps could be scribed.

  2. The rear undercarriage problem noted by Phil Juvet is compounded by a stepped main wheel bay. The real Mauler had a perfectly circular bay for the main wheel. Furthermore, the diameter of the smaller, rear half of the wheel well is actually too small to accommodate the main wheel. This problem can be corrected by enlarging the wheel well "hole" so that the entire circle is the diameter of the larger, forward half of the wheel well. This should have the bonus benefit of making the wheel well reach the leading edge of the flap, thus correcting that problem too.

  3. The spar between the front and rear of the main gear bay can be removed and replaced with a small block of styrene glued flush with the wing's lower surface. If you perform this surgery you will also need to shorten the retraction struts.

 

 

Conclusion

 

If you are a fan of late 1940s and early 1950s Naval Aviation and you build 1/72 scale models, you should enjoy Siga's Martin Mauler. The limited run nature of the kit means that each part will require a few minutes' attention for cleanup and checking alignment, but nothing to stretch the average modeller.

The inclusion of the ordnance, offered as a separate item in previous boxings of the kit, make the package look like even better value.

The accuracy issues related to the main gear bay and the flaps are disappointing but not insurmountable.

 

Recommended.

Thanks to Squadron for the review sample.


Review Copyright 2002 by Brett Green
Page Created 18 August, 2002
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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