TBF-1 Avenger Battle of Midway Diorama (1/48 Accurate Miniatures)
New Member and first post.
I got the inspiration to do this diorama from the Osprey Combat Aircraft #16 TBF/TBM Avenger Units of World War 2 by Barrett Tillman.
I based my model on the after-action report. Not only did I try to recreate the battle damage to the aircraft, but I also “battle damaged” the crew. The pilot, Ens. Albert K. Earnest, had his right cheek cut by shrapnel. The turret gunner, AMM3/c J. D. Manning, was mortally wounded and the radioman, RM2/2c H. H. Ferrier, was hit in the head and knocked unconscious. The hydraulic system was hit, which caused the tail wheel to drop, making the stinger machine gun useless. The cables to the elevator were severed, causing the TBF to lose altitude. The pilot dropped his torpedo at a light cruiser to try to lose weight. He used the trim tabs to level off and was able to crash land on the beach at Midway Island, when the right landing gear collapsed.
I installed a small electric motor to turn the prop, ran the wires down the shell splash and put an on/off switch on the base.
The weathering and battle damage on the model had to match the reference photos that I had and I tried to copy it as close as I could.
The “ocean” was created by forming the waves with modeling clay and covering with crumpled aluminum foil. A urethane rubber mold was poured. Clear urethane resin was poured in the mold. The underside was colored transluscent blue/green and the waves were highlighted with white. The resin water was glued to an oval MDF base and the edge painted Gloss Sea Blue. The splashes were made by covering fiber optic strands with clear resin and highlighted with white paint.
I converted the Accurate Miniatures TBF-1C to an early TBF-1. I’ll post another article on the conversion and battle damage.
9 additional images. Click to enlarge.