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Tom Cleaver
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Accurate Miniatures 1/48 SB2U-3 Vindicator

December 31, 2012 · in Aviation · · 5 · 2.4K

SB2U-3 of VMSB-231, flown by 2nd Lt Sumner Whitten with gunner Sgt Frank Zelnis, who survived the squadron's attack against the Japanese fleet on 4 June 1942. The next day 2nd Lt. Robert Vaupell flew Whitten's airplane for the attack on the Japanese cruiser "Mogami," the last combat action of the SB2U. Model is OOB using kit decals other than the national insignia on the wings, for which the kit decals are too large, so these came from the decal stash.

This was one of the first release kits with the short-shot "creased" fuselage halves (right through the fabric!), which took a bit of effort to cover up and restore.

Reader reactions:

3 additional images. Click to enlarge.

5 responses

  1. When I think of Marines and Vindicators the phrases that come to mind are "devotion to duty" and "raw courage". Your model emulates that spirit well, Tom, and the finish certainly looks the part- the hints of the previous insignia style are a very nice touch.

  2. I'll echo Erik-another beautiful build.

  3. I think of innocence, lack of combat experience, and total ignorance of carrier warfare and Japanese air prowess in 1942.

    • As regards the Marines, you're entirely right. I had the privilege of being friends with the late Richard, "Dick" (Okay Editor, that's a person's nickname, so get the prudery out of the editing system here, OK?) Best, the man who turned the battle around by sinking the Akagi, for the last ten years of his life, and I can tell you that the one thing that animated everyone - including those kids on Midway who had come over there from Hawaii where they had seen the results of the Japanese attack - was a desire to make the enemy pay for that. Best flew into Pearl Harbor the night of the attack from the Enterprise, and said "I looked down at the fleet and swore vengeance on the enemy." Marion Carl who was in the fighters there at Midway, had a similar attitude.

  4. Great work on an interesting subject!

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