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Tom Cleaver
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A-M 1/48 SBD-5 Dauntless

January 1, 2013 · in Aviation · · 6 · 2.3K

Another OOB build of one of the best OOB kits ever released, the -5 in the markings of VMSB-232 during the Central Pacific Campaign. Following the successful taking of Kwajalein in the Marshalls, the other Japanese bases in the Gilberts and Carolines were bypassed and left to the Marines to keep them off-balance with air attacks of SBD-5s and F4U-1A Corsairs. Major Elmer Glidden of VMSB-232 holds the record for dive-bombing attacks at something over 200 missions, and this is one of the airplanes he flew.

While the Marines were confined to the war's "backwater" for a year, taking losses bombing places of little military importance, the skill they developed in dive bombing stood them to good stead when they were sent to the Philippines to provide air support for the Army during the advance on Manila. The Marines were able to accurately dive bomb enemy positions in the jungle within 50 yards of US forces.

The SBD-5 was the most-produced Dauntless sub-type. I used Gunze-Sangyo "Navy Blue" and "Intermediate Blue" for the upper surfaces and "U.S. Navy White" (a blue-tinged white) for the lower-surfaces. I used decals from the stash for the markings, including smaller national insignia as used in the later-production SBD-5s rather than the large insignia included in the kit.

Reader reactions:
7  Awesome

12 additional images. Click to enlarge.

6 responses

  1. Nice build, TC...and your pics are gettin' better, too.

  2. Actually, the camera was a less-capable one, but the layout of the work area (a different house) gave more room for photography and better lighting layout than possible here.

  3. great build! this model is on my workbench now, seeing examples an researching it now

  4. Excellent build Tom, looks like the real thing!

  5. Beautiful colouring, Tom.

    2 additional images. Click to enlarge.

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