Hasegawa 1/72nd Scale

P5M-2 Marlin of Patrol Squadron 40

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 These are shots of my 1/72 scale model of a VP-40 P5M-2 or, as later designated, P5B. I built it from a Hasagawa kit years ago, using personal photos and occasional visits to real birds for detailing.

 I used Pactra spray paints for most of the general painting and opted for military flats which I then oversprayed clear satin coat. The interior of the real thing was, as I recall, a mixture of Navy gray and zinc chromate green, with the gray dominant. On the model, only the cockpit and tail observer's area need paint since no other interior areas are visible. The cockpit is mostly gray except for black instrument panels and international orange seat cushions and backs. The tail observer's position was pretty spartan, consisting of only a farm tractor style seat (gray metal, no cushions) and a small black intercom panel. I didn't bother to detail that area since you can't see much through the thick curved canopy.

 The panels on the underside of both nacelles, between the bomb bays and the cowl flaps, were unfinished metal, most likely stainless steel. I assume they served as a heat shield for the lower exhaust stacks (which, by the way were typically rust brown on the outside and soot black on the inside - ditto for the APU exhaust behind the trailing edge of the port wing).

 A "flat-top" antenna that stretched from center line of the fuselage, just forward of the gull area of the wing, to the leading edge of the starboard horizontal stabilizer has been broken off and I haven't gotten around to replacing it (it was stretched sprue). The whisker antennae on both sides of the nose were a reliable early warning of icing - the tips would begin to whip in circles as soon as a trace of rime began to form.

 Nearly all the hatches should show some use since they were nearly all used at some point during a flight evolution - at least those that originated and/or ended on the beach. All opened inward (except maybe the tail beaching gear hatch). It and the two above the main beaching gear were used by crewmen to access the beaching gear for attachment or release. The port waist hatch was the normal entry hatch, whether on the beach or in the water. It and the starboard waist hatch were equipped with Jato bottle (rocket) mounts. They were both opened to allow the ordnanceman and a helper to hang the bottles and then securely closed prior to final arming. The port bow hatch was the normal mooring position, although the starboard was occasionally used as well. The hatch just forward of the port wing leading edge opened to the flight deck where the tacco, navigator and all the sensor stations were located. It was a "lift out" hatch that was used primarily to provide access to the top of the airplane or for ventilation while on the water. Unfortunately, these could be (and occasionally were) dropped over the side, effectively grounding the airplane for an extended period since they were not in the normal supply channels.

 The Marlin's unique hydroflaps are barely noticeable as faint lines in the model detailing. These hydraulically operated "water flaps" swung out from each side of the hull under the vertical tail to provide limited rudder-like control during water taxi. They were controlled by the pilots' toe pedals and could be used individually for turning or together for braking ... sorta. Click here for an image.

 Two changes I'll probably make in a rebuild someday - I have second identical kit in storage - will be to flatten the beaching gear tires somewhat so they look like they're actually bearing the 78,000 pound weight of the aircraft and to make the bow pennant from stretched sprue rather than simply painting it on.


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Comments or Feedback to:bigleytl@earthlink.net
T. L. Bigley, CDR USNR-TAR (Retired)

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