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Martin Mauler

by Fotios Rouch

 

Martin Mauler

 


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Background

 

A Reference Gallery with ten museum photos may be viewed by following this link.

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.

 

 

Collect-Aire's 1/48 Scale Mauler



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!).

 

 

Painting and Finishing

 

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.

 

 

Additional Images

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Model, Images and Article Copyright 2002 by Fotios Rouch
Page Created 17 March 2002
Last updated 04 June 2007

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