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Tom Rodgers
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Accurate Miniatures 1/48 SBD-5 Dauntless

November 4, 2017 · in Aviation · · 18 Comments

AM -5. VMSB-331, Marshall Islands, Spring 1944.

I built this kit for a family friend whose late husband was a Marine Radio Operator/Gunner on SBD’s on Guadalcanal. She asked me one day after church how my new adventures in modeling were going, so I decided to give her a surprise. I was unable to determine her husband’s actual unit during the war so I chose this kit and used decals from the Eduard limited edition kit so I could portray a Marine aircraft.

The detail in this kit is amazing. There is really no need to get any aftermarket parts because everything is there. The cockpit is a work of art. The fit and finish are superb. I used almost no filler…just a bit at the bottom aft wing join. That said, I would say that you had best follow the instructions, step by step. If not, you will most likely run into some problems.

Vallejo Air paints and varnishes were used. I didn’t want to “dirty” it up too much since it is a gift…just a little oil panel line wash for some detail.

Lastly, I want to thank Tom Cleaver for his help in answering numerous detail questions during the build. He is THE go to guy for answers dealing with Naval Aviation and also Army Air corps ops in the Pacific.

I hope Miss Billy and her kids like this tribute to Roy.

11 additional images. Click to enlarge.

18 responses

  1. VERY nice build, sir...those AM kits are pretty sweet kits to start with and this only proves the point...well done!

  2. Yes, I agree! Very nice indeed sir. That has to be the best kit in that scale.

  3. I have to agree as well with the assessment on Accurate Miniature kits. I have the Dauntless and Avenger in the stash. You did an amazing job on this one and serves as a fine tribute!

  4. Tom, Looks great, I really like the paint scheme, I'm also very impressed with the color and overall paint finish you did here. If this was a ship based aircraft it wouldn't have gotten very dirty any way, maybe a little sun baked after awhile. Therefore they all probably looked clean like this at some time. Well done.

  5. Great looking Dauntless! and a nice tribute.

  6. Got that one in the stash, and really looking forward to it. Excellent finish, Tom.

  7. Nice work Tom. Glad to help.

  8. Very nice! Love the SBD, and you did this one justice.

  9. Tom, beautiful Dauntless!

  10. Your AM Dauntless looks fantastic ! I really like it, and agree there's really no need to add anything aftermarket to it. It's a gem right out of the box. I built one for the Midway GB and it was much fun. Two thumbs up Sir ! Some day I plan on building one from Deland NAS, since they trained Dauntless pilots here at our local airport during WW2.

    • Thanks. The only thing I had to do was change out the kit tail wheel. The Marine birds has larger pneumatic tires for land Ops. I kit-bashed the tail wheel from an old Spitfire kit.

  11. Beautifully done Dauntless, Tom! Your fit, finish and weathering are just spot-on.

  12. Great looking aircraft

  13. VERY well done, Tom. I have a soft spot in my heart for the SBD. My Dad flew them in the war and got his 1/2 credited "kill" of a Betty bomber while flying in one.

    I'd say that Miss Billie is VERY proud of it in remembrance of her Roy.

    Bravo !

    • Thanks a bunch, Jeff. It was truly a "labor of Love". Billie and Roy are/were such nice folks. I'm surprised you found this so far back in the "archives". Happy New Year!

  14. Awesome build, just picked up the AM SBD-5 Dauntless, looking for info on the kit, I'm glad you mentioned the "follow the assembly Instructions" once again sharp build on an amazing airplane.

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