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Andrew H
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Douglas SBD DauntlessHasegawa 1/48

January 18, 2020 · in Aviation · · 11 · 2.7K

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 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 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

Reader reactions:
9  Awesome

17 additional images. Click to enlarge.

11 responses

  1. Hello Andrew...Thanks for sharing your fine Dauntless build with us and welcome back to the hobby. That model is nicely done with weathering, decals and photography. My compliments to you and I look forward to seeing your next project. Perhaps a Corsair?

  2. Really nice work. Looks good with the flaps up.

  3. Excellent, Andrew. There’s few things more appreciated than a gift to a vet - I think they understand how much we modellers appreciate and respect their experiences. Well done, sir.



  4. I could certainly see it in his emotions at the moment he received it. Here is a shot of his father, at 21 years young, atop an SB2-C.

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

  5. Thanks for sharing, Andrew.


  6. I've always done planes with an amalgamation of decals. I rarely build them totally accurate.

  7. Really nice result here. Good work!

    I'd love to see what you'd do with an Accurate Miniatures kit (they're out there, look for the Italerei reboxing at eBay - OK price and the kits include canopy masks). You can open the canopy up with them, to see your excellent "office work."

  8. Looks excellent Andrew, Especially the cockpit work. Looking forward to your next posting.

  9. Excellent intro "back into the hobby!" Nice weathering and paint work.

  10. Hi Andrew, I’ll feel blessed if this gets to you after many years. My father was a Master Tech Sargent who actually flew the Dauntless number 77 as the Radio/Machine Gunner and Communication Chief with VMSB-141. He flew many missions with Squadron Commander Col. Claude Carlson. I am constantly amazed he came back from Guadacanal. He entered the Marines at 20 in 1940. He went through his first Radio School at Quantico. He became the nighttime supervisor for the radio shack. He said on December 7th he spent the whole day at the radio shack. He was quit a man and my hero. He spent three tour of duties in the Solomons. Twenty two months. The administrator at the Pensacola Naval Museum was blown away when I pulled out things from a large Manila envelope like his 1st Marine Division shoulder patch with the Big Red One with Guadalcanal written down it. Most people don’t know history but I guess you would. Thanks again. George Payne

    2 attached images. Click to enlarge.

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