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Dirty Dora by Accurate Miniatures in 1/48th Scale

August 22, 2013 · in Aviation · · 15 · 4.3K

This is the “Dirty Dora” kit. After seeing one built at a show I knew that I had to have that kit and that I would build it if I ever got it. Fast forward a couple of years, and doing a little trading on another site, I was able to get the kit. I know lots have been written about the kit, but my two cents is that it looks stunning in the box, is well thought out, has nice surface detail but tends to build with all the same fit issues as the older Monogram kits did. That said it is not a dig at the kit, the fact is I had a lot of fun building the kit and am very pleased with the results, even if they may not be up to others standards.

Dirty Dora was based in the Pacific and after 175 missions, retired as a war weary. The climate and field conditions were not kind to the planes during the war and I wanted to portray that in my finish of this plane. I went for lots of tonal variation in the colors and heavy weathering.

Because of my good friend Ed, I had the Aires interior detail set and the Verlinden control surfaces set. I don't usually bother with these luxuries but since I had them I figured lets have some fun. First off let me say that once again the Verlinden set was junk. I have yet to find a Verlinden product that was of any decent quality. In this case the control surfaces were cast directly from kit parts, which is fine, except that the Verlinden resin has a high degree of shrinkage. I had to lengthen every control surface, and the ailerons were close to 1/8” of an inch short and not useable in any way.

The Aires on the other hand was quite the opposite. My experience in the past has been that Aires resin had beautiful detail but they require almost feats of magic to get them to fit. In this case I found that the fit of the Aires resin was very nice and didn't take much work to get it to fit right. That said most of the work will go unappreciated as you can't see most of it once you close up the fuselage.

Once built and painted the decal work is very trying. Accurate Miniatures supplies masks for the blue areas, and then you are to apply the white boarder and color details as decals. I can say that I probably have about a week and a half of decal work trying to get everything to lay down right and where it was supposed to be. After all that I was doing some touch up and lifted the upper national insignia from the wing. I had to go back and create mask and paint that one on.

The base is the Eduard PSP injection molded base that you can get from Squadron or other sites for around $7. I took it to work and cut off the edge and removed the corner section then epoxied it to a piece of plywood. The PSP was Perforated Steel Planking and would be laid down on the dirt and you get instant runway. Since it is on dirt, even though it is steel, it would generally be covered with dirt during the dry season. That was my thinking anyways when I painted it that color. Truly though, I am most proud of and happy with my palm tree. I have wanted to do one for more than 10 years. My intention was initially to make the palm fronds out of feathers, but instead used heavy aluminum foil. As an aside the feathers I have I bought about 10 years ago at Michaels, I went into the store got my feathers and walked out to find my car stolen. I still have the feathers and I did get my car back a couple of days later minus my jacket, airfield pass, work id and all the change in the ash tray.

Thanks for taking the time to look and I hope that you enjoy the pictures.

Reader reactions:
9  Awesome

15 responses

  1. This looks fabulous, Walt.

  2. Really nice build, there, Walt...looks great!

  3. Beautiful. Exceptional work.

  4. Great job, Walt, and 5 stars for patience !

  5. Exceptional build Walt love the dio as well

  6. wonderful looking dio walt...fantastic weathering and beautiful build...amazing decal work and patience...just a splendid piece of eye candy...should be up for an award in my opinion

    • thanks Bob, in the end after getting the Verlinden to fit the decals were the biggest challenge. Luckily I had few problems, just took lots of time.

  7. An "out-side-the-box" paint job-excellent! Very nice build...

  8. Walt,
    What an absolutely beautiful and stunning piece of modeling skill. Your have to be very proud of this.

    • Thanks, after it was all said and done I am happy with the kit but was particularly tickled with finally making a palm tree. Funny how that works sometimes.

  9. Very nice work. Vic Tatelman, the pilot of both Dirty Dora and Dirty Dora II, is a friend, and I am sure he would like this. He first learned to fly in 1936 in an Alexander Eaglerock that my father may have delivered from the factory to the guy who taught him. He is the most successful strafer pilot in history, the only one to survive one tour and come back for a second that he also survived. He's always been an active pilot and until he had to give up the left seat 3 years ago at 92, he was the last WW2 B-25 pilot flying a B-25, when he would fly the restored B-25H "Barbie III." He got into building and flying his own helicopters in the 1990s, and it was having to autorate the last one at age 94 that led to him finally grounding himself. I don't know one of those old guys I ever met who is in the same universe with him on the "what a character" list.

    Shameless personal commercial plug: you can read Vic's story among many others in my e-book, "Air Combat Annals" - Amazon has a free Kindle download for Mac, PC and iBook. You can check it out here:

    • Thanks for the additional information about Vic Tatelman. I found that the history of Dirty Dora to be quite interesting and Mr. Tatelman must be an extraordinary individual. I hope he has an opportunity to see this. I am constantly amazed at the feats that the men and women in the service performed during WWII and didn't really seem to think it was any big deal when they did it. Again thanks for sharing and I will be visiting Amazon to take a look at your book.

  10. Beautiful, Walt, I love it. You've not only built a great model, you've told us how you did it as well. The photographs are brilliant I've seen some etched palm trees before, but yours looks like a real one. Good job all round.

  11. Very nice job, just beautiful. And now I have GAS for a Mitchell, thanks...thanks a lot 🙂

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