1/72 PB2B-2 conversion for Academy PBY-5 kit

Review by Graham Slingsby


Red Roo Models are pleased to announce the release of a new 'multi-media' conversion set for the ubiquitos PB2B-2 Catalina in 1/72 scale.


The review sample, kindly supplied by Mr. Gary Byk, was presented with all contents enclosed in a large 'zip lock' style plastic bag. Contained within the main bag are:

1. Comprehensive 14 page A4 size colour instruction manual.

2. Decal sheet - for five (5) aircraft.

3. Twelve (12) finely cast resin pieces.

4. Two (2) pre-cut pieces of .005 plastic card.

The resin items consist of:

  • 1 x ADF fairing1 x Fin and Rudder (combined piece)2 x Tail planes1 x Lower fin insert1 x Radar pod1 x Twin machine gun mount4 x Fishtail exhaust pipes
  • 1 x Bow nose fairing for civilian variant.
All the pieces are moulded in light brown resin and display the characteristics of crisp moulding with fine engraved surface detail. This set is one of the best to come from Red Roo Models and is typical of the quality one now comes to expect from this fine Australian manufacturer.

What really impressed me was the instruction manual. Many of the so called 'premier' aftermarket manufacturers' tend to provide the modeller with nothing more than a small scrap piece of paper with poorly hand drawn and difficult to interpret line drawings. The accompanying text is often difficult to read and rather vague in places too!

There's none of this with Red Roo's Catalina conversion set. Gary and his staff have produced a fourteen page manual, containing comprehensive text and high quality constructional photographs - all in colour!
There are five (5) superb colour plates detailing painting instructions and decal placement for each 'bird'. The colour plates show the starboard view and main planes for each aircraft. Also included is a comprehensive colour chart depicting the colour chip, FS number, RAAF 'K' number and colour description.
Gary has also included a number of historically significant photographs of the "Black Cat" for the modeller's reference.



The decal sheet is comprehensive and allows the modeller to depict any one of five aircraft. These include:

  • A24-362, FJ-V, 11 Squadron, RAAF - late World War IIA24-362, OX-V, 43 Squadron, RAAF - late World War IIA24-307, RB-P, 20 Squadron, RAAF- late World War IIA24-385, RAAF Coastal Command - Late 1945
  • VH-ASA, "Frigate Bird II", (ex A24-385) - March 1950.

click image to enlarge

The decal sheet itself is printed in the usual manner - using extremely thin film, special inks and are fragile. All decals are printed on seperate carrier film (not just on one whole carrier film) and are in register.

Photo believed to be from the Peter Dunn collection.


Red Roo Models have excelled with this conversion set. It now allows the modeller to create an accurate "Black Cat" in 1/72 scale using the 'Academy' PBY-5 kit. The inclusion of VH-ASA in this set is very pleasing, as it permits the modeller to recreate a piece of early post-war civilian aviation history.

See the NSW Power House Museum's website for more information pertaining to the history of VH-ASA.

The conversion set retails direct from Red Roo Models at a RRP of $44.10. See the Red Roo Models website for ordering instructions or, call Gary Byk direct on - (03) 95600695 or fax on (03) 95453542

My thanks to Gary Byk and Red Roo Models for the review sample.

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