PV-2 Harpoon

Aircraft: PV-2 '24' of VPB 139, U.S. Navy, Casco airstrip, Attu Island, Aleutian Islands, Alaska March, 1945. Pilot: Lt. Alfred "Fritz" Daniel.

References: the above photos, and Ginter, S. 2010. Lockheed Vega PV-1 Ventura and PV-2 Harpoon. Naval Fighters #86. Ginter Publications, Simi, California ISBN# 0-942612-86-8, and Scrivner, C.L. and Scarborough, W.E. 1981. PV-1 Ventura in Action. Squadron/Signal Publications, Carrollton, Texas ISBN# 0-89747-118-0.

Kit: Special Hobby #72093 1/72.

Accessories/modifications: Seatbelts added (masking tape), 5" HVR rockets were borrowed from a 1/72 Tamiya Corsair kit (60752), rocket ignition wires made of fine copper wire added, radio antenna mast fabricated from strene card substituted for the crude kit part, large bow RDF antenna from spares box. Top turret sanded down 2 mm to a lower profile (correction). Fixed forward guns replaced with brass rod. Turret and ventral guns will be replaced with Quickboost resin eventually. Eduard canopy masks VERY helpful, recommended.

Paint: Tamiya acrylic, Alclad Aluminum II, weathering by oil wash and silver Prismacolor pencil, Testor's Dullcoat from spray can.

Decals: From the kit except all national marks with Tamiya acrylic paint and AdAstra masks.

Issues: This is an excellent limited run kit with very fine surface detail, and is the best option for representing this obscure aircraft. The wings were attaced to the fuselage halves before these were joined, with reinforcements made from epoxy putty plugs in the wing roots and brass rods extending through the butt joint at the fuselage sides into the plugs, for strength, and to get the correct and symmetrical dihedral. The guns need to be replaced with scratchbuilt or aftermarket parts. What colour was the nose radome? (yellow?) Buy your own Harpoon (here).

Armourers loading rockets on a VPB 139 PV-2 at Attu, winter 1944-45

Rocket attack on Imperial Japanese positions in the Kurile Islands by VPB 139 PV-2s based at Attu (762 miles away), winter 1944-45.

VPB 139 PV-2s over Attu, winter 1944-45.


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