Douglas SBD Dauntless – Hasegawa 1/48
I suppose this is the right time to post my first official article here.
I'd like to present one of my first built a/c since finding time to rediscover the hobby, finished early last year. This is one of Hasegawas 1/48 SBD kits, built with no particular plane in mind. Id like to tell you there was a marine bird that looked like this, but at the time of construction I thought that these decals would look good and ran with it, as explained below.
This plane was built on my kitchen counter, and it's a miracle to me that it came together with no major mishaps. I actually had an SBD-3 kit as well as their SBD-4 which includes the PE airbrakes & flaps, as well as an A/M Eduard PE set. After comparing the kits, I found that the plastic was largely identical, save for the addition of the spinner on the -3 variant. With this in mind, and wanting to use the PE goodies to build an earlier bird (perhaps Buno 2106) I decided to build this as a non-descript SBD that simply looked the part. I used the decals from the -4 kit (which weren't yellowed like the -3s) and made it happen.
The kit builds up nicely, and certainly looks the part. I'm sure the AM kit bests it in many ways but this Hasegawa kit has nice consistent panel line engravings & surface details, and practically fell together. My only qualm (as youd likely hear in other reviews) is with the canopies. The plastic here is thick such that you can't properly display the gun deployed without leaving out the rear most pieces. I'm certain this would only be possible with vacuum canopies. In summary, built out of the box, with the only mods being the decal selection, drilled holes on the flaps and airbrakes, and the aerial.
Paint was done with an airbrush, and would you believe this is my first airbrushed model? Combination of pre and post shading accounts for the tonal variations. I used Vallejos color, though mixed up to produce differing shades of blue, rather than the straight faded PRU that they'd have you use, which didn't look right to me. I'm still not sure it looks right, but I'm happy with it. 🙂 Matt coat was from a Humbol spray can. Exposed green primer and silver chipping done with Prisma color pencils. Washed with artist oils, umber and black shades.
Lastly, I built this kit with the mind that I would present it as a gift my wife's uncle. He is a retired career Marine, but I wanted to give it to him because his father, who was a Naval aviator that trained in SBD and Helldivers late in the war, just recently passed away. Well... I just presented it to him last night, and how gratifying that was! I made the display base for an acrylic case, and though I know the planks are way oversized for the scale, I sprayed them with Testors deck blue enamel, and it provided exactly the effect I was looking to achieve.
I hope you like!
Some pics auto-corrected for color, brightness