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Tom Cleaver
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Helldivers! SB2C-1, two SB2C-4s, SB2C-5

January 2, 2013 · in Aviation · · 6 · 2.5K

All from the Monogram kit.

The SB2C-1 is the release, corrected to be an SB2C-1 (what they provided was kinda/sorta an SB2C-1C), with 4 50s in the wings, the rear glass in the pilot's canopy, correct 3 blade prop, corrected rear sliding canopy, corrected national insignia. A representation of a VB-17 , the only unit to fly the SB2C-1 in combat.

The first SB2C-4 is done with the Eduard Big-Ed set with photo-etch opened dive brakes and detailed cockpits (those dive brakes are not for the "p-e challenged"). A VB-83 airplane off the Essex in the spring of 1945. I also dropped the turtledeck, which isn't that difficult, using plastic sheet for the folding sections.

The second SB2C-4 was done a couple years earlier, my first attempt at dropping the turtledeck, otherwise it's OOB. VB-3 off the Yorktown at the time of the first Tokyo strikes in February 1945.

The SB2C-5 was a Revell-Europe release, which gave the Aeronavale markings. Modified to SB2C-5 with a prop from an P-47N, canopy filed clear then sanded and polished out, pilot's cockpit modified to SB2C-5 configuration inside (very different from the others). The bomb bay was closed up because the SB2C-5 has a different shaped bomb bay, which I rescribed. Flotille 3B flew these off Arromanches (An ex-USN CVL, which the Navy said was too small to operate the SB2C) for three tours in the First Indochina War, and provided close air support at Dien Bien Phu, the last combat missions flown by the Helldiver.

I don't know why I ended up doing every version but the prototype (which would be a difficult conversion, having smaller wings and tail surfaces), but the ugly old Helldiver has always managed to work its spell on me.

Reader reactions:
2  Awesome

10 additional images. Click to enlarge.

6 responses

  1. Great anthology. You do a nice job with the subtleties of blue finishes-not easy.

  2. Fearsome foursome, Tom! One of my favorite childhood memories is building the old Monogram Helldiver with working everything and then using it to blast every square inch of the back patio. Particularly like the VB-83 machine- with all that wing and tail surface this plane really lends itself to the geometric ID markings. Nice collection!

  3. You make 'the beast' look good.

  4. Like Bryan said- Great Anthology. Great Model, Less than Great aeroplane.

  5. Good stuff, Tom. I like the unloved Son of a Buck, 2nd Class. (Nickname changed slightly to protect the faint-of-heart) As mentioned, you do the blues very well ... among other things. Well done, Sir and very interesting!

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