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Martin PBM-3/5 Mariner



Mach 2


S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number and Description: MC0028 Martin PBM-3/5 Mariner
Scale: 1/72
Price: USD$63.96
Contents and Media: 106 light grey styrene parts; 26 parts in clear styrene
Review Type: First Look
Advantages: Important yet neglected subject; appropriate and consistent surface detail (engraved and raised); thoughtful engineering for wing to fuselage join and horizontal tail surfaces.
Disadvantages: Rough surface texture; lots of flash and raised ejector pin marks (joining surfaces); soft detail on smaller parts; poor clear parts (cloudy and indistinct); no locating pins.
Recommendation: Recommended only to experienced modellers who are real Mariner and US Navy enthusiasts.


Reviewed by Brett Green


Mach 2's 1/72 scale PBM-3/5 Mariner is available online from Squadron.com




The Martin Mariner was originally designed in the 1930s as a patrol bomber for the US Navy. Over 1,000 Mariners entered service before the end of the Second World War, and the type soldiered on until 1953.

Mach 2's 1/72 scale Mariner represents either of two variants from later in the war - the PBM-3 or PBM-5, equipped with turrets in the mid-upper, rear and nose positions.

The kit comprises 106 parts in light grey plastic and 26 parts in clear. The model is big. The wing span is almost 20", and the fuselage is around 13" long.



This is a limited-run kit and the contents of the box reflect the production method. The surface texture of the large parts is quite  rough. I suspect that this texture may be visible under paint, so all parts should be carefully sanded and polished before assembly. You will already have your sanding stick out anyhow, as most parts are surrounded by flash. While you're at it, the big raised ejector pin marks will have to be removed from the inside surface of parts such as wings and tail surfaces to avoid problems during assembly.

Detail on some of the smaller parts such as engines and wheels is soft, but the parts are usable. Other tiny details such as machine gun barrels and aerials will be best replaced by brass strip or stretched sprue.



On the positive side, the large parts are quite impressive. The surface detail is a good combination of engraved panel lines and raised panels. There are no locating pins, but there has been some thought put into the engineering of the wing to fuselage join. The upper-wing part overlaps the lower wing half, and should form a secure bond with a deep recess in each fuselage half.

The clear parts are poor. They are somewhat reminiscent of the clear parts supplied in old Novo copies of Frog kits. The parts are cloudy and detail is indistinct. We can only hope that Squadron produce a vacform replacement set for these parts at some time in the near future.



Instructions are supplied on one side of a single A-4 sheet. In reality, the construction of this model is quite simple despite its size, so most experienced modellers will not have any problems figuring what part goes where.

Decals are provided for three subjects - a PBM-3 in 1944, PBM-3C of RAF Coastal Command in 1943 and a PBM-5 based in Japan during 1953. No national markings are supplied for the RAF Coastal Command option.







Mach 2's 1/72 scale Mariner is not a model for wimps.

In terms of "limited run" presentation, the overall quality of parts looks similar to the early Classic Airframes and LTD kits. Some time and skill will be required to clean up the parts, test fit and fabricate some smaller details. This level of commitment limits the appeal of this model to the experienced modeller only.

Nevertheless, with time and care, it seems that an impressive replica of the Martin Mariner is possible.

Recommended only to experienced modellers who are USN enthusiasts.

Thanks to Squadron for the review sample.

Review Copyright 2001 by Brett Green
Page Created 21 July, 2001
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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