Designed to meet a US Army Air Corps specification for an attack bomber, the Martin XA-22 prototype was a twin-engined cantilever low/mid-wing monoplane with retractable tailwheel landing gear and room for a crew of three. Flown for the first time 14 March 1939, it was rejected by the USAAC after offical testing, although France had ordered 115 aircraft "off the plan". Delivery of these was delayed until the lifting of the US arms embargo in October 1939 and by that time France had ordered another 100 aircraft. Only a total of 140 aircraft were delivered to France before the armistice in 1940 and had the designation Martin 167A-3. They saw action against Axis forces till June 1940 but were then used by Vichy forces in West Africa and the Middle East.
The remaing 75 aircraft were diverted to the UK for use by the RAF and these (as well as another 75 ordered by the RAF) became known as the Maryland Mk1. Better engines and a two-stage supercharger led to the Maryland Mk II and the British ordered 150 more.
Marylands were used for target-towing and long-range reconnaissance and also as light bombers and were used by the RAF in the Western Desert with a large number of them being re-allocated to the South African Air Force. The FAA also used Marylands most notably in reconnaisance before the Battle of Taranto in 1940.
To the best of my knowledge this is the second injection-molded kit of the Martin Maryland, with the first kit being the old and somewhat hard to find Frog example. After only a few decades we finally have a new-tool Maryland kit, and this one looks good. I don’t have a Frog kit to compare it to but I’m sure this one is better, as it features recessed panel lines throughout and has a nice selection of resin bits. The clear parts are injection molded and are very clear. A nicely printed decal sheet offers two options, one French and one British.
Starting with the interior, this kit comes with a mix of injection and resin parts, with the main floor, seats and control columns in plastic and the rest in resin. Sidewall detail is molded onto the fuselage halves. The nose is made up from three clear parts, while the rear turret comes with a rung, gun and seat under the clear turret. The Maryland had a pretty narrow fuselage, so not too much else is really needed here, as once the fuselage is together it’ll be pretty dark in there.
Moving to the outside, the wings are split into upper and lower halves and are butt-joined to the fuselage. The stabilizers get the same treatment, and you might want to strengthen the joint on these somehow, especially with the wings. The engine nacelles are made up from right and left halves, with a separate front ring and separate engine front halves. The completed nacelles slip onto the wings, and once that’s done the landing gear is attached to the wings. Once that’s done the rest is downhill. Resin hubs get plastic propeller blades, and a few antennae round out the final details.
The choice of markings are a couple of colorful Marylands, one being French and the other RAF. The French example is finished in three-color camouflage of khaki, brown and dark blue gray, all over light blue gray. Being a Vichy plane, it also has red and yellow stripes on the cowlings and tailplanes, making it a very colorful plane indeed. Decals include the roundels, rudder markings and diagonal wing stripes, as well as squadron markings for the tail. The second example is a North African RAF plane finished in Dark Earth and Middlestone over Azure Blue. There’s nothing else on the scheme other than roundels and serials, but the desert camouflage is always an attractive one, in my opinion.
This is a nice little kit of a plane that really hasn’t received its due in the modeling world. The simple construction of this kit should make it a fun project without too many hidden problems. If you’re wanting to build one of the unsung twin-engined aircraft of the Second World War, pick up a couple of this kit and have fun.