1/72 Anigrand Craftworks Martin YP6M-1 Sea Master

Gallery Article by Tom Valaoras on Feb 22 2013



This is a diorama of a Martin YP6M-1 Sea Master prototype #6 circa 1957 in the waters of the Middle River, adjacent to the Glenn L. Martin Aircraft factory, Baltimore, Maryland. The airplane is undergoing trials involving the loading of two dummy Mk-91 tactical nuclear weapons via the dorsal weapons access compartment behind the wing root. This access facilitated delivery of weapons ranging from mines, fuel, recon pods, or bombs from surface ships and submarines anywhere at sea. The Navy was actively pursuing this plane as a nuclear deterrent option until the advent of the Polaris missile system, which then marked the end of the Sea Master program in late 1959 after 14 planes total were built.


Click on images below to see larger images

The plane, despite teething troubles throughout the development phase, was easy to fly. It remains one of the fastest planes to date through the low altitude high-speed cruise flight envelope. It had numerous innovations such as an in-flight rotary bomb bay, inertial navigation system, dorsal loading access, and a special beaching system allowing for easy transit to land-based facilities.

This aircraft displayed is an Anigrand Craftworks 1:72 scale resin kit with vacuform canopy. The plane out of the box is very simple, with minimal detail externally and no internal detail save for a rudimentary cockpit. This gave enormous possibilities for scratch-built modifications, if one has the time and patience for that.  I was able to pick up a copy of Stan Piet and Al Raithel’s book “P6M Martin Seamaster”, which is probably the best individual resource available as far as photos, detailed history, and descriptions goes.

I found the dorsal access weapons bay and crane very interesting so I decided to start there with scratch-built construction using a wide variety of parts and shapes from Plastruct.  I then opted to construct the flaps, airbrakes, and slats, which was a bit tedious.  Rather than try to use resin material from the wing as the slat, I shaved the slat area down the appropriate thickness, cut the notches carefully, and built the slats out of thin plastic styrene.  It actually worked better than expected, thanks to the high quality resin product I was working with. 

I added lighting with HO scale low voltage lights to the internal weapons bay and to the crew compartment behind the canopy to facilitate viewing of those areas. 

The beaching system was completely constructed using scrap styrene.  Figures were 1:72 scale Tamiya USAF ground crew, with positions of limbs, heads, and torsos modified accordingly.  Vallejo acrylics were used on the figures.

Raft was found in the scrap box, cut and sized accordingly based on scale.

I decided that for realism and to facilitate steps such as the attaching of the wings after the beaching system was secured to the airframe, I would cover the plane with Bare Metal Foil, followed by Tamiya flat White and Dark Sea Blue. With the foil, rivet placement was possible as it would be impossible to add them to brittle resin plastic.  I then sprayed Future over panel lines to offer fading option on the panels, as the flat paint provided a natural fade so that I did not have to add tint to the Dark Sea Blue. 

The model was secured to a 2 x 2 foot piece of plywood, with poplar wood trim around the edges to provide a secure seal for the resin water.  Magic Water was used tinted with Humbrol enamels, and waves were created using Woodland Scenics Water Effects. Both of these products proved to be excellent, especially for the first-timer. 

The model will be on display at the Martin Aviation Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.

Thank you for your interest. 

Tom Valaoras

Click on images below to see larger images


Photos and text © by Tom Valaoras