Book Review
Building AMT B-26 Marauder
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Building and Detailing the AMT 1/48 Scale B-26 Marauder is the second manual of the new Mike Ashey Publishing Comprehensive Series Scale Model Aircraft Manual. This manual has 22 pages and 119 color photos in an A4 format. This publication series is unique in format, too, the pages are pre-punched to fit into a binder; a cover and title page are includes, as is a page of spine banners to identify the book.

Mike Ashey has been writing acclaimed modeling books since the late 1980s. Now he has entered the desktop publishing arena with his books and new titles. Let's examine why his books are so highly regarded.

This is a different approach to publishing, which allows incorporation of a lot of sequenced color pictures into each manual, at a nominal price. Each manual is printed on heavy stock glossy paper and designed to be stored in a customer supplied 3-ring "D" binder. Each manual is pre-punched for a 3-ring binder; it also comes with a front and back heavy cardstock cover to protect your manual, plus front, back and side cardstock inserts for the binder. The side insert has 3 different cutout sizes for 1.5, 2 and 3 inch "D" ring binders.

United States and Puerto Rico Purchases can be made using PAYPAL, personal checks or money orders.

For International Purchases see the website instructions before placing an order. Mike Ashey Publishing Comprehensive Series Scale Model Ship Manuals are also now available on eBay. EBay also has manuals which are in "bundle" packages.

The Manual
Building and Detailing the AMT 1/48 Scale B-26 Marauder does just what the title states. The primary purpose is demonstrating the assembly of this venerable model. To a lesser degree it also contrasts and compares aspects of the AMT Marauder with the 1/48 Monogram Martin B-26. The opening discusses that in a single paragraph and then describes what is demonstrated in the next 20 pages:
    Processing the engines
    Weighing for nose wheel aircraft
    Strengthening the airframe structure
    Color and primer
    Surface detail damage
    Interior detailing with aftermarket sets and scratchbuilding
    Painting and decaling

Content consists of 6-2 photos per page. These demonstrate to excellent effect Mr. Ashey's techniques. He uses tape to test fit of all parts. Superglue was copiously used in assembly. I am particularly impressed in his method of supergluing while the parts are taped. Also presented is the use of white glue to fill gaps. Eliminating ejector circle marks on various parts is demonstrated in several photos.

Fortifying areas for drilling is not new but it is interesting to see demonstrated. As is the use of plastic strips to fill gaps in lieu of putties and gap filling glues. AMT's Marauder is known for fit problems so this manual is valuable for modelers who have cavernous construction concerns. To ensure a strong wing to fuselage bond, a method of reinforcing with plastic rod is shown. The author even offers the use of sheet plastic along the fuselage halves to secure against future cracking.

Methods for correcting molding imperfections is exhibited in working with the cockpit interior. Plastic card comes to the rescue of a gap between the fuselage and canopy. Further interior work is shown with the bomb bay sub-assembly and cockpit parts. The kit instrument panel and control console feature raised detail that was sanded away and replaced with aftermarket items.

Liberal use of airbrushing of even tiny parts was used by the author and the reader can see how masking can be achieved even around tiny parts.

What to do about badly made model engines? Seven photos detail the remodeling of the kit powerplants into something closer to the real thing, with vastly improved detail.

Approximately 30 photographs detail the prepping and masking the aircraft for pain ting, and interesting methods for painting interior areas after the exterior paint has been applied. Prepping the model for decals is included. Prepping the old decals with excess clear film is discussed, too. The final page hosts two larger photos on each side, displaying the completed model in all it s glory.

The manual ends with a page for notes. Whether the reader intends to keep notes in building one's own AMT B-26 or to use the page for other models, it is quite a useful addition to the manual. Finally, the manual is accompanied by Mike Ashey adverts to whet one's appetite for his other interesting subjects.

There are plenty. All are clear, crisp, clean and sharp high-quality images of each step. For the "how-to" portion, six images are used per page, with two bigger images displaying the finished model. I can describe the photos to you or you can judge them by the images in this review - a far less loquacious presentation.

Mike Ashey's Building and Detailing the AMT 1/48 Scale B-26 Marauder is am impressive publication. Even if one has no interest in the AMT B-26, the tips, techniques, and ideas presented are valuable for any modeling genre. Okay, I admit that I am enthusiastic about these manuals. The other three I have reviewed are equally as comprehensive, clearly written, and pleasingly arraigned as this manual. The captions narrate the images imparting the topic without eclipsing the photos. Those photos are excellent.

I have no meaningful criticism of this product and happily recommend it.

Please remember to mention to Mike Ashey Publishing that you found this manual here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Comprehensive, clearly written, and pleasingly arraigned. Excellent photos.
Lows: Nothing really.
Verdict: I am enthusiastic about these manuals. It is valuable for any modeling genre.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: Aircraft Manual 2
  PUBLISHED: Dec 08, 2018
  NATIONALITY: United States

Our Thanks to Mike Ashey Publishing!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright 2021 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


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