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George Henderson
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ACADEMY 1:48 Grumman TBM-3 Avenger Kit Number #12285

February 14, 2021 · in Aviation · · 34 Comments

I've had this kit for a long time; it's an Accurate Miniatures re-pop. I've been wanting to do this as an Atlantic Scheme and settled on this version. The thing that delayed the build for years was the lack of information on the underwing strike camera and if I did find the info, how to make said strike camera. While going through the stash I found a camera that looks very similar to the one in the photo in an Accurate Miniature F-6B kit and the die was cast. To add to the oddballiness of this build, to my eyes, the pilots sliding portion of the cockpit and antenna look like replacements but instead of Atlantic Scheme colours, they look like the are for aircraft painted Glossy Sea Blue. The aircraft was painted with Vallejo White Surface Primer with some Grey added to tone it down some. The upper colour was Tamiya XF-54 Dark Sea Grey toned down with white to stand in for Dark Gull Grey. Decals came from the stash and the antennae were Uschi van der Rosten Super-fine. The worst part of the kit was the instructions. No words and some vagueness on locations. And the worst part of the worst part was the turret in build and when to place it. Do not...I repeat...don't install the cockpit clear parts and then expect the turret to fit...it ain't gonna happen. Too late, I found a set of Accurate Miniatures instructions, upload these and use them instead. A God send for the clear parts was the Eduard canopy set

6 additional images. Click to enlarge.


34 responses

  1. Ok, this just made me laugh. I'm working on the AM version of this kit right now, and I even painted it like that lol.

    Well done! Had the same turret problems. Like your build alot!

    • The turret is fairly easy (once you know the secret): do not glue the rear bit of the cockpit coaming of the second cockpit to the "far" side fuselage. Then after you have painted the model and gotten everything done, you can spread the fuselage there enough to pop it in. Then glue the cockpit interior to the far side, then attach the canopy. Voila!

      And yes, having masks to do that canopy rather than cut you own is a godsend.

  2. There's something about these naval aircraft that makes them so attractive, and this one is no exception. Masking and painting the canopies, even with Eduard's help, looks like a nightmare to me. Definitely liked.

    • Thanks George. The only problem I have with Eduard masks is my repeated attempts to get them into place. Sometime it took more than five but there is a lot of sticking power in the masks and I've never had any bleed-under

  3. Great looking Avenger George, great paint scheme.
    I remember hearing in a movie one time:
    'Instructions?!?!...we don't need no stinkin' instructions!"

  4. Well done George, always liked the Atlantic paint scheme, yours' looks great. I ditto the canopy masks, she has lots of glass and I hate masking canopies.

  5. I like this a lot George. You did great with it.

    and yes, you cannot assemble it without the AM instructions.

    • Thanks Tom and thanks for the tip about the turret. I'd love to do an FAA Avenger one day. The kit did include the dome windows but did not show how to do the conversion. It looks like all the wanted one to do was glue the windows over the U.S. version windows without enlarging the openings

  6. Really nice looking Avenger, George (@blackadder57). I think the Atlantic paint scheme makes any plane look just a little bit more classy. This is one of those planes that I probably wouldn't attempt if I couldn't get canopy masks for it.

    • Thanks George and totally agree about the masks. This has to be some kinda record, four Georges in one article. We should do a George group build and build N1K "Georges" I have one left in the stash

  7. Nice looking Avenger! I really like the Atlantic paint scheme.

  8. Great kit. Great job.

  9. Very nice build, George.
    The Atlantic scheme suites this Avenger very well.
    Good you added that camera, it definitely looks like the real one.

  10. Totally echoing all Gents above comments, my friend @blackadder57.
    Congratulations on your build!
    It's so nice that Academy reboxes AM kits and beyond my understanding of the reasons for not republishing the original great instructions...
    Good that the net provides them for downloading.
    @tcinla 's catch on turret installation is great!

  11. Always been a fan of the Atlantic scheme on Avengers and your build sure looks good.

  12. That is a very handsome bird. Great build.

  13. Tail end Charlie here. I can only parrot what has been written about your work George. The Avenger is a crowd favorite and this "Old" Accurate Miniature kit and the work you have done on it is time less. The folks who designed and made the molds at the time had a vision and really opened the door for today's standard in modeling.

    Two thumbs up.

  14. Nice work George. I like the look of the Atlantic paint scheme.
    the Avengers are it. Iconic plane

  15. Love the Atlantic scheme - nice looking Avenger. Well done.

  16. Thank you, gentlemen

  17. Great job on this one George! All positive waves.

  18. Hey George @blackadder57
    You built a very nice looking Avenger. Well done buddy...definitely some positive waves. Just don't load a paint canister when your hunting Tigers... I pressed the "liked" button too.

    I recently finished up my "Flight 19" Avenger, and the tribute build to Lloyce Dean. These are some very nice building kits, and they look exceptionally good in the Atlantic ASW scheme. Someday I have plans to build one up exactly as you have done here. I don't have one like this in the display case...yet.

    The turret is fairly easy to install if you rock it at an angle. I posted how I did it on the build journal I posted here as part of the Midway group build several years ago. Our friend Rick Wilkes was kind enough to share with me the procedure he had copied from the now defunct Accurate Miniatures website. It is included as part of the journal. Like you, I also have glued the canopy in place... nope it doesn't work. Too bad as it looked like a good idea at the time.

  19. 🙂 ... Greetings ... 🙂 :
    A very good attention caller George.
    I always have liked the Avenger, much so in this Atlantic scheme.
    Nice and well depicted paint job and a clean and classy build.

  20. Nice work, George. FYI, British Avengers had a seat behind the pilot for an observer. Along with the domed windows and British seat belts, nothing else is different visually from an American plane except the paint.

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