1/48 Accurate Miniatures SBD-3 Dauntless, USS Enterprise VB-6, flown by Lt. Cmdr. Richard Best

  • 82 posts
  • Last reply 3 years, 2 months ago
  • 1/48, Accurate Miniatures, Dauntless, Douglas, Midway Group Build, SBD
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  • Louis Gardner said 3 years, 5 months ago:

    My first entry for the Midway themed Group build will be a Dauntless that was flown by Lieutenant Commander Richard “Dick” Best. His plane was numbered “B-1”.

    I have yet to build an Accurate Miniatures SBD. If they’re anything like the TBF and early Mustang kits then I will be very happy !!!!!

    I have several of these AM kits, and a few days ago I purchased another pair of them, along with a set of appropriate Midway decals from “Evilbay”. I purchased a dash -3 and a dash -4 version. I am anxiously awaiting their arrival. My SBD kit doesn’t have this box. In fact my kit was purchased without a box, having just the contents and no decals.

    I will post some photos of the dash 3 &4 plastic soon. Meanwhile here are a few pictures I found online of the man and his machine. His SBD is the first one in the foreground and has a small number 1 on the wing just outboard of the wing root. The pictures of the plastic sprues are of one of the dash 5 kits I have.

    Currently I have another build going on that may end up over here in the group build. It’s another Accurate Miniatures kit, the TBF-1C Avenger. Mine is being back dated to an earlier dash 1 that made their initial debut during the Battle of Midway.

    Please stay tuned for updates.

    Thanks for looking, and please feel free to join in on the Group build. You’re all welcome to join up.

    7 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  • Tom Cleaver said 3 years, 5 months ago:

    You want to do a “factory-fresh” airplane. Dick told me the SBD-3s that VB-6 re-equipped with after their return from the Doolittle Raid had just been shipped out to Pearl Harbor and “they were the cleanest airplanes I ever flew in the Navy.”

    I have a review of doing this airplane with the Trumpeter kit here on my blog.

  • Deleted User said 3 years, 5 months ago:

    I have this Accurate Miniatures SBD I started some time back and I plan on having it finished in time for the “Group Build” kick-off in June. Thanks, Louis, for the idea.

  • Rick Wilkes said 3 years, 5 months ago:

    Hi Louis, I built that SBD using the 1/48 Hasegawa kit many moons ago. Tom Cleaver was nice enough to get Lt Cmdr Best to sign it for me. It needs an antenna repaired then I’ll post some pictures.

  • Bernd Müller said 3 years, 5 months ago:

    You can t go wrong with Accurate Miniatures, happy modelling !

  • Rob Pollock said 3 years, 5 months ago:

    Hi Louis,

    Probably can’t do a new build because of other project commitments, but may repost something I did here about four years ago – Trumpeter SBD3 1/32. Looking forward to seeing your work. Cheers.

  • Louis Gardner said 3 years, 5 months ago:

    Thanks for the input about the plane being “factory fresh” Tom. I read one of your articles about meeting and becoming friends with Richard Best. That must have been something…………. meeting a hero like him.

    Craig, thanks for joining us. looks like you have a nice start on your build. Welcome aboard Sir !!!

    Rick, I would keep the signed model in a safe place if it were mine. Something like being exhibited in a small display case where it could be seen, but was still protected.

    I would REALLY like to see some pictures of it. You’re a lucky man and have a nice piece of history !!!! Please post the photos when you can. Thanks my friend.

    Bernd, this will be my first Accurate Miniatures SBD. I have the older Hasegawa kit but I wanted to try this one first. I built a nice looking Matchbox 1/32 scale SBD several years ago. It’s in the tri color scheme of Dark Sea Blue, Intermediate Blue and White. Hopefully this AM one will turn out OK. Thanks buddy.

    Hello Rob !!!! Who knows ??? Maybe you can join us later ???? We welcome stragglers to this build………… Please repost your 1/32 build. I think it would be fitting for the 75th Anniversary in June. Thanks again.

  • Louis Gardner said 3 years, 5 months ago:

    Great news !!! The two AM kits AND the decals arrived this afternoon……… I’m stoked !!!!!

    The first picture shows both new kits. One is a dash 3 in Yorktown trim, while the other is a RNZAF bird. I didn’t expect the boxes to come along with the kits. I was under the impression that these kits didn’t have a box. I knew they didn’t have the kit decals. that’s why I found another set from another seller. Works for me…………..

    The second photo shows the two sets of appropriate SBD decals. One set is from Operation Torch, while the other set is the one I was really after. The set on the bottom is the ones I can use to depict Richard Best’s plane. The numbers B-15 are present. All I’ll have to do is cut off the “5”. Not exactly sure what is in store for the proper Bureau Number though……. I may have to get creative with that………………. (There is another close up of the decals as the last photo).

    The 3rd photo shows the inner box tray liner. This one is a plane flown by Ensign Leppla and Airman Liska at Coral Sea.

    The 4th picture shows the instruction sheet and clear bits.

    The 5th and 6th pictures show the gray plastic parts. Now I have to do some research to ensure that the correct parts are there to allow me to build a Midway kit. Plus I need to verify that the Dash 3 parts are there too……………..

    Photo number 7 shows off some of the box art. Looks like this plane, “B-2” from Lexington’s VB-3 scored the first hit on the Soryu.

    Number 8 shows a completed model. It depicts “B-2”.

    The last picture is a close up of the decal set I plan on using for my plane. I’ll simply cut away the offending #5 and I hope to be good to go.

    If by some chance there are missing parts that would allow me to build a proper dash 3 from the Midway era, I have several other AM Dauntless kits to hopefully “acquire” the needed pieces.

    I have 2 dash 5’s, 2 dash 1’s and another dash 4.

    Thanks for looking. Off to do some kit research now to ensure nothing is missing for the build.

    Take care.

    9 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  • Chuck A. Villanueva said 3 years, 5 months ago:

    You will like this kit. It builds very well, great detail in cockpit and in the rear compartment. Lot of detail in that interior and installs without much fuss. Lot’s of parts but not like a Trumpeter kit, it’s not over engineered. Laid out nicely the instructions are easy to follow though with a lot of info. Have fun

  • Louis Gardner said 3 years, 5 months ago:

    I have found out that there were “Quality Control” issues for this kit release. Some people found the wrong parts inside the box for this version. (something between mixing the dash 2 and dash 5 kit parts).

    I’ll do some more in depth research to make sure I don’t have one of these kits. Apparently the problem is with the upper cowling and the way it fits the forward fuselage. There was a difference with the length of the fuselage that caused a big gap ahead of the wings. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

    http://www.internetmodeler.com/2007/october/aviation/am_sbd3dauntless.php

  • Chuck A. Villanueva said 3 years, 5 months ago:

    Hmmm. first I have heard of this myself. Though I did build this kit when it first came out in the mid 90’s. Everything was good in my kit, the only issue I remember now that I’m looking right at it as I type this is the LH/RH lower flaps were slightly warped. You can see it on the images I posted here about 3 years ago. Funny how the internet was still in it’s infancy back in the mid 90’s. Relied mostly on model magazines, books and the account of some of the pilots who flew them.

  • Bernd Müller said 3 years, 5 months ago:

    Thats a great addition to your stash, Louis. Its so sad that AM went out of business. Their moulds are staill available but their boxes are cult !
    Eduard has a -5 from these moulds out with a good bunch of pe parts, masks and a very nice decal sheet.

  • Louis Gardner said 3 years, 4 months ago:

    I just scored two more Accurate Miniatures SBD-4 kits on Ebay !!!!!! They are almost complete, missing only the decals.

    Chuck,
    I’ll check out your SBD build. Thanks for giving me a heads up about the flaps. I only recently started using the internet for research. Prior to then I relied a lot on books, which I still use in addition to the internet. Books just seem easier for me when I’m building. I can look at a book at my hobby building table. (maybe I’m just getting old, ha ha,……..).

    Bernd, I really like how they did their boxes, with the clear bits, instruction booklet and decals under a separate false bottom. The bottom ledge also has some nice art work on it too………………….. I may look into some Eduard stuff for this one. Haven’t really decided on this part yet.

    Hey Tom, thanks again for the information about how clean the original plane was. I’ll be sure to look into your other build threads. I always gain valuable insight reading your articles.

    Rick, your autographed SBD is a masterpiece !!!!! It was really nice of Tom to get it signed for you.

    Rob, please feel free to repost your build during the June Anniversary with the rest of us. While your at it, if time permits another build, we would really like to have you join us.

    Craig, why don’t you start a build thread here on your SBD ??? Looks like you have a good start……………..

    Thanks again everyone for the kind words of encouragement.

    Hopefully later tonight I can do a mock up fit on the SBD using tape to hold the parts together. This way I can see how the cowling / fuselage / wing joint is. If time permits, I’ll snap a few photos of it in the process.

    Sincerely,
    Louis

  • Louis Gardner said 3 years, 4 months ago:

    After some research, it looks like I will have to “borrow” some parts from one of my AM SBD-5 kits to make an accurate Midway dash 3. I’ll need the fuselage halves since the Midway planes had twin rear firing weapons. The fuselage had been modified on Midway planes to allow for stowage of the twin guns, where originally there was only a single weapon.

    I will need the twin guns from the dash 5 kit too, as well as the ammo trays that mount to the rear bulkhead.

    My dash 3 kit didn’t come with the rubber spinner needed for a dash 1 through the dash 3. My kits came with the later dash 5 propeller which had no spinner on it. So this spinner part will have to come from an earlier dash 1 kit I have in the stash.

    These AM SBD kits I recently purchased on Ebay were not factory sealed kits, but instead were pieced together using various “seconds” parts trees leftover after the company went out of business.

    Another hurdle I need to overcome is the upper cowling air intake. My kits all have the larger dash 1 variation. The dash 2 and 3 had a smaller air intake, so I will have to modify one to work. Sounds confusing…………………

    Please stay tuned…………….

  • Rick Wilkes said 3 years, 4 months ago:

    Louis, all you really need to do to make a “Midway” SBD-3 is use the twin .30 cal mount from the -5, in AM’s Coral Sea SBD-3. The sliding doors on either side of the storage trough behind the gunner came after Midway, first as a field modification then it became standard.
    If you look at my SBD I added the extra doors but I later learned that I was wrong. I’ll see if I have an extra prop spinner for a -3 rattling around in my spares.
    Here’s a picture of a VB-6 SBD being recovered on June 4 after the attack on the Akagi.
    You can see the trough door open and that there aren’t any sliding doors next to it.

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

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