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Dauntless!

This is the from . I chose to interpret an from VMSB-241, based on Midway Atoll in 1942 and, I assume, one of the planes used in the fabled attack on the Japanese fleet in June.

Since it was first produced by Accurate Miniatures, this vintage kit has justifiably developed a reputation as the definitive kit of the Dauntless in this scale. It’s well engineered, with great fit and a level of detail that requires no after-market parts (nor were any made, apparently). However, having chosen to represent it in-flight, I had to invest in a gunner from PJ Productions and requisition a pilot from a Tamiya Corsair.

Also - as one of the distinctive features of the Dauntless was its surface texture - I decided to cover the thing in raised rivets. I initially tried HGW wet transfers, but found these to be useless; all the rivets floated away from the backing film with every attempt. I landed on Archer rivets, which performed excellently. I couldn’t quite get every row with complete accuracy, but they give an impression of the bristling surface of the airframe and provided a good structure to paint and weather.

The process of painting it was one of the main attractions of building this plane. Perhaps I went a little overboard given this specific variant, but I was inspired by the many beautiful shots of the Dauntless’ mottled, patched and damaged paintwork - a story in colour and texture. I used mostly Mission Model paints; they layer well and lend themselves to subtle effects built over time.

Although I recommend the kit wholeheartedly, I think the decals in the original Accurate Miniatures boxing might be better; the big roundels were all out of register. Any other errors in the build are mine, not the kit's; I keep forcing parked planes into flying mode, so I create plenty of problems for myself that way.

Thanks for looking!

10 additional images. Click to enlarge.


23 responses

  1. That’s one good weathering exercise.
    Your SBD looks terrific, very realistic, and if I may add the crew and the inflight are superb.

  2. OMGosh Tim, it appears that your model and photos could actually have been used for the recent MIDWAY Movie! Beautifully done.

  3. Great work! All good!

  4. You've really done this nicely, and I can tell you that you have the weathering right. These SBD-2s came from VB-6, transferred from the squadron when they got back from the Doolittle Raid that Enterprise had escorted. According to my old friend the late Dick Best, who had been Squadron Flight Officer, XO and CO between Pearl Harbor and Midway, the SBD-2s were "the oldest Dauntlesses in the fleet, and we had ridden them hard over five months." So you have it right on the look.

    And yes, the A-M Dauntless might be the "most right" plastic kit ever. The 1/32 Trumpeter kits are scale-ups of this, as is the 1/18 model.

    "Liked" (a lot!)

  5. Great looking SBD. The paint work and weathering is outstanding.

  6. That is fabulous. The weathering-wow. Best part is the crew...that pilot looks like he's concentrating on the target, the gunner tracking a Zero. Out-friggin' standing.
    One thing-is there any way to get that prop spinning...photoshop? Just wondering aloud.

  7. Tim T said on May 8, 2021

    Thanks, everyone! Your kind comments are really appreciated. It was a long build!

  8. First thought- superb weathering!... Second thought- Great wheels up pose!... Third thought- Bloody shame that prop's stationary... Stunning build & paint!

  9. Fantastic paint work, on a gorgeous canvas! You sir, have nailed the look, so far as I'm concerned. Thank you for sharing!

  10. The weathering makes the model!

  11. Top shelf weathering.

  12. Well done, Tim.

  13. Absolutely stunning paint work. The SBD is one of my favorite aircraft and you’ve captured her completely. Also a big fan of Archers rivets, follow the directions and the work like a charm. Well done indeed sir.

  14. Speechless, Tim.
    A perfect example of how quality builds look like.
    Fully agree on all the above gentlemen, superb weathering.

  15. Tim,
    This is an incredible build. Just splendid all the way around. Wonderful work.

  16. Amazing Dauntless, Tim!
    Let me just echo all Gents praising comments above!
    Congratulations!

  17. Beautiful job on that weathering. Not easy to do.

  18. Tim T said on May 8, 2021

    Thank you again, everyone. Such warm support certainly makes the effort worthwhile. Cheers!

  19. Great work on the weathering, Tim. It is refreshing to have a model in an appropriately dynamic pose. The Dauntless looks best wheels up, airbrakes out in a dive! Nice that the historic pose also lets you leave the canopy open as well.

  20. G'day Tim (@timtozer231),
    Love your build and agree with your comments on the quality of the kit.
    I built the same Academy boxing in 2019. My decals were in register and I built the same aircraft in an earlier guise with the large insignia. You can see it elsewhere on this site.
    I like your weathering, something I'm still a bit too cautious with.
    I must try and build a really worn aircraft, like yours.
    Liked!

  21. Awesome result. Really liked the extra effort with the pilot & rear gunner. Liked.

  22. A real beauty! Love the weathering and paint work, and since I build all mine wheels-up, I am partial to that pose! Excellent.

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