SIGA 1/72 AM-1 Mauler (Production version)




$19.95 MSRP ($16.96 from Squadron)


Three aircraft


Scott Van Aken


Special boxing with weapons set


The Martin AM-1 Mauler was developed as a backup for the AD-1 Skyraider being developed by Douglas. Both aircraft were designed to basically the same specifications, though the AM-1 was able to lift a larger war load. When it came time to choose between the two, the Skyraider had an edge, but the Navy wasn't taking any chances on it turning out to be a bust. As a result, both aircraft were given limited production orders. As history has shown us, the Skyraider was the plane that finally won out. The Mauler was in many ways as good an aircraft and in some ways better. Unfortunately for Martin, the expected large order was never to come. There were enough aircraft built to equip several squadrons and the planes did see short usage in both fleet and reserve squadrons before it was determined that it was uneconomical to keep the aircraft and they were quickly removed from service to become instructional airframes.

For more information on the AM-1, this link is a good place to start.



If this looks like deja vu all over again, well, it is. There is absolutely no difference in the plastic between this kit and the early version that was previewed earlier. All of the bits and pieces to make both the early and production versions of the Mauler are on the sprues. However, what is different about this kit is that the weapons set is included. As you can see on the box top, this kit has been commissioned by Squadron. That is also why there is an 's' in the part number (for 'special', I guess).

I know it is a bit of a cheat to do things this way, but I really don't want to repeat myself. There are a couple of differences in this boxing that are not in the other two. For one thing, there is no decal sheet for the weapons, at least not in my kit, so don't go looking for it. The other is that there is a different decal sheet that covers three aircraft. All are in the overall gloss dark sea blue scheme.

One scheme is for a reserve unit at NAS Dallas so has the orange fuselage band that is normal for these squadrons at this time. A second is for VA-84 aboard the USS Midway, circa 1949. It has some additional color in a green prop spinner front and a green fin tip. The final unit on the sheet is from VA-174 aboard the USS Kearsarge in 1948. Its lone dash of color is a white spinner tip. Siga decals are amongst the best I have ever used. They are diaphanously thin, and extremely opaque. I had no problems whatsoever with bleed-through when I built the early version and I expect these to be the same.


It is nice to see this kit finally offered as the full production version. I'd be less than candid if I didn't say that it will take a bit of work to build this kit. It isn't a fall-together kit, but the people who do those kinds of kits wouldn't do a Mauler (hmm, seems I've said something like this before...). Recommended for those who have done a few short run kits and don't mind using those modeling skills.

You can find this kit and many others at

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