1/72 Martin Seamaster by Anigrand Craftswork

Gallery Article by Michael J Maynard on Feb 3 2010


The Martin XP6M-1 Seamaster was a cutting edge Seaplane of the 1950’s. Designed by the flying boat experts at Martin Aircraft, the 635 knot Seamaster was envisioned to be a jet powered mine layer, reconnaissance aircraft, and in flight refueler. But the Seamaster was also planned in a long range nuclear strike role, free from the confines of runways and fixed support facilities.  This remarkable aircraft easily outclassed its Air Force contemporaries by its speed and low level penetrating capabilities.  Plagued by initial design faults, underperforming engines, and the crash of two prototypes, the program quickly lost momentum in a period of rapidly changing technology. Politics, production setbacks and the arrival of carrier based long range aircraft gave the US Navy the nuclear punch it sought. With limited funds available, the idea of a waterborne jet bomber became obsolete overnight. The Seamaster program was cancelled in 1959.

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The model is of resin construction and is very basic in detail. It was my first resin kit and I must admit it was a learning experience. The instructions are VERY rudimentary and paint/finish suggestions are minimal. I was fortunate to get a copy of “Martin Seamaster, P6M” by Stan Piet and Al Raithel. If you build this Anigrand Craftsman kit, I would suggest getting a copy of this book; it allowed me to make a presentable model. The biggest shortcoming of the kit is an absence of a beaching dolly or even a display stand, as the cost of the kit was high, one would have expected it. I scratch built the launching carriage using Evergreen plastic and parts from the “scrap box”.

As with many post war bombers, there isn’t a lot of detail (gun turrets, external bomb load) to make the model interesting. Using the Seamaster book as reference, I scratch built the rotary bomb door, refueling pod and photographic pod. I also scratch built the early Allison j-47 engine, as well as the engine doors.  And with all these peripheral items a taxiway was built to display them and make the model easier to handle. The bomber was airbrushed with Testors paint and decals supplied with the model were used. The kit makes up a nice plane (my model won three awards at a local IPMS contest) but if you’re an injection plastic builder you’ll see why this resin offering is a “craftsman’s” kit. You’ll need to upgrade this kit with spare parts to make a detailed presentation of the actual aircraft. As a side note, the Navy destroyed all 16 Seamasters at the end of the program, no example of this fine aircraft exists.   

Michael J Maynard

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Photos and text © by Michael J Maynard