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mimike

B-32 Dominator

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I would love to see a good 1:72 or 1:48 model of this aircraft. There used to be Vacuformed kit but I haven't seen even this around for a while.

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DITTO! I was actually searching for another vac the other day and think I saw the old B-32 vac kit listed. But, it IS very rare any more, and has never been done in 1/48 to my knowledge.

 

GIL :smiley16:

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Hi, guys,

 

The B-32 Dominator vacuform kit was made by Contrail in 1/72 scale. The box says it comes with drawings, instructions, photographs, decals, injection parts, white metal props and part U/C. It also says "Caution / not suitable for children / considerable modeling skill required. There is a picture of this box on the IPMS/USA Box Art Archive. The kit dates back to 1984.

 

There are two choices for decals: S/N 42-108529 "The Lady Is Fresh" and S/n 42-108532 "Hobo Queen"

 

Looking in the box, I found I had spent $10 on a set of four Engines & Things CW R-3350 engines for this build. Just ask me how far down on the bucket list this is today. The decals have yellowed slightly. The metal props have significant flash from the molds, but otherwise look OK. The injection landing gear wheels are terrible, and you have to build the struts from sections of various-sized plastic tubing provided. The metal part of the landing gear is the cross axle that must fit into the tubular strut. Substitutions would give a better result. Better yet, build it as a flying model with the gear up. The wings and fuselage pieces have very fine, understated rivet detail.

 

Ed

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Aviation USK also did a vac-form of the Dominator in 1/72 scale. I have one in the stash, and from what I remember, it was a nice kit.

 

But think of this from a manufacturer's standpoint--the Dominators didn't see widespread service, it had one user, it was built in limited numbers (115 or so were actually delivered to the USAAF), and was withdrawn from use very quickly after the war ended (the service life of the fleet was something like eight months). It is great fodder for the "Whiffers", sure, but would any mainstream company risk the tens of thousands of dollars to tool up and produce a kit with such limited appeal? The PBY and Ju-52 saw much wider service and was used by many more air arms, and was on top of many modelers' "Wish Lists" for years--but if you believe the stories, these were two of the worst selling kits Monogram ever produced. Granted they were in 1/48 scale--maybe it was the size of the competed model, but how does that explain the nearly perpetual production runs of Monogram's other big kits?

 

Wish lists are nice, but in many cases they are pipe dreams...

 

R

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You're right Ralph as to the overall big picture, especially as to the mainstream manufacturers. But, as evidenced by the large number of kits being injection molded that we thought we'd NEVER see, it's obvious that things HAVE changed somewhat. Perhaps it's due to cheaper molds for shorter runs (and higher prices), and the emergence of overseas (cheap) molding in Asia and eastern Europe (as compared to the US, Japan, and western Europe). And it's likely that CAD design saves money and shortens development time, increasing profitability in that area. Whether it's some or all of the above, we're seeing plastic kits from our "wish lists" that were thought to be pipe dreams a few years ago.

 

I personally don't pin my dreams to these lists and build my vac and resin kits rather than waiting for an injection model. But then again, it never hurts to let the manufacturers know what we're dreaming about having either!

 

GIL :smiley16:

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I've seen the Anigrand resin B-32 built-up. I looks nice, but is basically a resin version of the Aviation Usk/Xotic vacuform kit. I have that kit, and it's the only vac I harbor any serious consideration of actually building (although I think I acquired it sometime in the late 90s.) Like the aforementioned Contrail kit, the injected parts are pretty terrible (the engine faces are copies of the Hasegawa B-17 engines.) I picked up an Academy B-29 "bagged kit" with no decals or instructions for less than ten bucks to pirate the engines, props, wheels and other details.

 

The Anigrand and Usk kits both share a major shape error though: the nose turret is too big (it should be identical to the tail turret) and it's misshapen..it's wider than it is tall, when it should be spherical (and you only get the external half of the turrets.) This gives the model an even more "pug nose" look than it should..and would require major surgery to fix.

 

I'd love to see a state-of-the-art injected B-32, but I can't imagine any mainstream company taking it on. It's just too esoteric to sell enough to be profitable. I suppose I could see on of the Czech outfits taking it on, but the price would be astronomical..I still haven't convinced myself to pay $50+ for the Special Hobby B-18.

 

 

Steve Nelson

IPMS#30925

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