Trumpeter 1/32 SBD-1/2 Dauntless, kit # 02241
I started this Model on 4 June, 2022, the 80th anniversary of the battle of Midway. The Trumpeter kit offers two sets of markings, one for a pre-war SBD-1 of VMB-2 (Marine Bombing 2) and SBD-2 of VMSB-241. (Marine Scout Bombing 241). The model represents an SBD-2 as flown by Major Lofton Henderson on 4 June 1942 based on Midway Island. He was killed during his diving run on Hiryu and listed as MIA until 1943.
I stepped out of my comfort zone on this one with washes, weathering, oil staining, chipping, masks and shading. Lessons learned will be applied on the next USN Carrier Aircraft Project. I enjoyed the build, and typically, I like the airplane; what's not to like about a Dauntless. It has nice lines, was a great airplane at the right time. The evolution of the Dauntless is a neat bit of history as well as it almost didn't exist. I like the national marking masks; they are a bit fiddly but yield nice results and in the end gives the modeler a nice looking national insignia.
The engine is bone stock save for brass wire used for the spark plug leads. I painted the cylinders Alclad Aluminum and then highlighted with Tamiya Black Panel Line Paint.
Paints on the aircraft were Mr. Hobby Intermediate blue using Mr. Hobby leveling thinner and a mix of Tamiya grey and white for the underside Light Grey. After the initial coat of intermediate blue was painted, I tried to "evenly" paint white in between the panels, but I couldn't seem to keep a steady finger pressure on the airbrush trigger, coupled with a very humid summer to date, I encountered a lot of water spritzing, so I gave up and went over it with a mist of Intermediate blue to tone it down. The cowling turned out the best, but there isn't a lot of area to paint either. For the chipping I used a brush and good old Testors Silver enamel. It's nice because I had a Q-tip handy that had been dipped in terpenoid to correct any areas or remove the paint from areas I didn't like.
The rubber tires are the kits. I went over them with a 600-grit sanding stick laden with a lot of sanding dust, and weathered the tires accordingly. Overall, I like the way it turned out. I am fairly pleased with the weathering and will certainly give another one a go.
I gotta tell ya, I'm really enjoying these 1/32nd war birds.