Last week I started the Trumpeter ‘Midway Version” SBD-3 in 1/32. This kit has received several reviews which speak highly of the kit. I was hoping to also have a good build experience similar to the review’s shared experiences. The box is huge and filled with many parts including rubber tires, photo-etch, and lot’s of clear parts but not just for the canopy and lights. In fact I was rather disappointed to discover that the entire fuselage and cowling is all clear plastic. I dont recall any of the reviews I read pointing out this aspect of the Trumpeter kit, but maybe I just chose to ignore that detail. This may not be a big deal to many but it is to me. Basically I do not like working with clear plastic parts due to the brittle, and hard characteristic of clear plastic. It is so prone to cracking IMHO. I just dont like working with it and it creates a strange work experience for me. Nothing much I can do about it so I just moved forward with the build.
As with most builds I started with the cockpit and fuselage side wall details construction. This model is loaded with cockpit detail beyond most kits of any scale, and/or size. The steps related to cockpit build kept me busy for a very long time. Lots of pieces. Unless you are someone who really enjoys super-detailing you should not find the need to add after-market parts to this section of the model. The only add-on purchases were the Eduard Early War Seat Belt kit, cockpit dials decals, and aircraft placards for WW2 US aircraft. The kit does include some basic PE seat belts but you will need to paint them. The kit also includes dial decals for the main instrument panels but not the auxiliary dials on the electronic boxes, radio and side wall detail dials. It also does not include any placards and at this scale these items are needed and will be visible.
Assembly in this area was straightforward and easy with excellent fits. There are very secure methods of attachments built into the kit parts to help place and secure all the cockpit detail. Once basic assembly of the cockpit/side walls were complete I primed all the assemblies and sub-assemblies with medium grey primer with a little flat black added to this mix. I added the black to darken the primer for 2-reasons. 1st the primer matched the color of the plastic and it was hard to apply due to this, secondary I wanted to create a dark based appearance to help with highlighting the base coat of Zinc Chromate.
3 attached images. Click to enlarge.