RED ROO MODELS
1/72 SCALE PB2B-2 CATALINA CONVERSION
Academy Catalina, A24-307 RB-P, 20 SQN RAAF
I am most grateful to David Edwards for passing this conversion
to me to do a build review for this site, however if you
are considering buying it and don’t have the time to
read this first, BUY IY NOW! It’s excellent.
If you have seen Grahams ‘out
of box review’ in
the review section you will be familiar with the contents,
which are all crisply moulded in tan coloured resin. A replacement
fin, tail planes, nose, DF fairing, front guns, rudder post
plug, and 4 fish tail exhausts are included, together with
a large and extensive decal sheet which covers 5 subjects.
The inclusion of the nose fairing is a nice touch by Gary at
Red Roo as none of the decal options actually use this piece.
No doubt there are a great many colour schemes which can be
produced using this part. I am fairly sure decal sheets exist
for civilian operated P2B-2s. It could also
be used on standard PBY-5 or 5a kits to produce both civil
and military variants.
The instructions take the form of 14 pages of A4, all of
the kit bashing steps are covered with actual photographs
of the work involved, and I think this is a great way of
doing this as it gives you a real image of what is required.
Here is my first tip which I know everyone
will ignore because we’re all guilty of it. Read
the instructions first! It pays dividends with this conversion. It
does just about fall together which, as conversions go is
good but if you keep to the instructions there are no real
pitfalls at all. Filling will be kept to a minimum if (unlike
me) you are careful not to be to over enthusiastic with your
cleaning up of the resin parts particularly the fin and rudder.
Having detailed the interior to your tastes
the kit bashing will start. I restricted my detail work to
the area under the waist gunner’s canopiesas Academy
has only provided the most rudimentary detail. I also replaced
the very basic kit pilots seats with replacements from an
Eduard set I had. I don’t claim it to be 100% accurate
but under the canopies it looks the part.
The first job to get out of the way is the
removal and replacement of the PBY-5 fin and rudder. It is
very important here to be very careful on how much plastic
you remove because if you get it right you greatly reduce
the amount of filler needed.
This pictures below show the right side
under the elevators where most filler was needed as well
as the left; the difference in the amount of filler needed
is probably down to my over enthusiastic cleaning up of the
resin before fitting!
Right hand side
Left hand side
Right hand side
Now you can almost carry on as per the
kit instructions until it comes to the fitting of the exhausts.
These are real nice and delicately to scale and I for one
am glad to see Gary now retailing them separately, I shall
be getting some for a future Sunderland conversion, as well
as other RAAF Catalina’s I
plan to build. For a review of the exhausts go HERE.
Once these are in place the conversion is just about complete
it remains to finish and paint the model as normal. I think
most modellers who have built the Academy Catalina have found
it easier to paint before attaching the wing to the hull
and I am no different. The model was brush painted with 3
thin coats of Humbrol 33 black. This produced an overall
satisfactory finish that I was happy with. I painted the
exhausts my own preferred mix of gun metal and rust. Then
3 coats of Johnson’s Klear/Future and then to decaling.
the exhausts, radome and DF ‘bullet
in place during painting
the full model during final painting before decaling
Nothing more needs to be said about Gary’s
decals, they are superb! All laid down on my model with just
water, no setting solutions of any kind, no silvering just
perfect. I chose A24-307 RB-P of 20 Sqd.
Model is shown above after decals have been applied and
a final matt coat applied.
After decaling the final details such as
transparencies are fitted. I have used the kit transparencies
for now suitably painted to better replicate the originals,
eventually I intend to replace them with Squadron/Falcon
I then applied a coat of Humbrol Matt coat to the model leaving
the planning surfaces and wing tip floats glossy to replicate
the anti corrosion coating of the originals. A little weathering
was applied, I was sparing with this as all the photo’s
I have of these P2B-2’s show them to be (for flying
boats) quite clean, apart from some damage to the paint work
at water level and exhaust staining, probably because they
were relatively new.
So there we are, my model won’t win any competitions but
I’m happy with it and after all isn’t that what modelling
is all about having fun building kits? One of the things I judge
a kit/conversion on is whether I would make it again, in this
case that’s an emphatic yes!