1/32 Trumpeter SBD-3 from Battle of Midway: Work in Progress

  • 11 posts
  • Last reply 3 months ago
  • 1/32, SBD, Trumpeter
Viewing 1 - 11 of 11 posts
  • paul teixeira said 3 months ago:

    Last week I started the Trumpeter ‘Midway Version” SBD-3 in 1/32. This kit has received several reviews which speak highly of the kit. I was hoping to also have a good build experience similar to the review’s shared experiences. The box is huge and filled with many parts including rubber tires, photo-etch, and lot’s of clear parts but not just for the canopy and lights. In fact I was rather disappointed to discover that the entire fuselage and cowling is all clear plastic. I dont recall any of the reviews I read pointing out this aspect of the Trumpeter kit, but maybe I just chose to ignore that detail. This may not be a big deal to many but it is to me. Basically I do not like working with clear plastic parts due to the brittle, and hard characteristic of clear plastic. It is so prone to cracking IMHO. I just dont like working with it and it creates a strange work experience for me. Nothing much I can do about it so I just moved forward with the build.

    As with most builds I started with the cockpit and fuselage side wall details construction. This model is loaded with cockpit detail beyond most kits of any scale, and/or size. The steps related to cockpit build kept me busy for a very long time. Lots of pieces. Unless you are someone who really enjoys super-detailing you should not find the need to add after-market parts to this section of the model. The only add-on purchases were the Eduard Early War Seat Belt kit, cockpit dials decals, and aircraft placards for WW2 US aircraft. The kit does include some basic PE seat belts but you will need to paint them. The kit also includes dial decals for the main instrument panels but not the auxiliary dials on the electronic boxes, radio and side wall detail dials. It also does not include any placards and at this scale these items are needed and will be visible.

    Assembly in this area was straightforward and easy with excellent fits. There are very secure methods of attachments built into the kit parts to help place and secure all the cockpit detail. Once basic assembly of the cockpit/side walls were complete I primed all the assemblies and sub-assemblies with medium grey primer with a little flat black added to this mix. I added the black to darken the primer for 2-reasons. 1st the primer matched the color of the plastic and it was hard to apply due to this, secondary I wanted to create a dark based appearance to help with highlighting the base coat of Zinc Chromate.

    3 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  • paul teixeira said 3 months ago:

    After applying the primer to the fuselage interior and cockpit assemblies I started to do some detail painting of the cockpit pieces while the main primer cured for a day. The pieces painted were the main instrument panels, radio assembly, gunner ammo box, and some sort of tubes that are added to the cargo compartment behind the rear bulkhead. If anyone knows what this latter piece is please let me know? I did some extra work with the clear main IP face. This piece is a solid clear plastic part which would make the dials hard to mask so I used a small drill bit to drill out all the holes for the dials. Also on the real plane the dials are recessed, but the glass dials on this part actually sat proud of the IP face, so it had a reverse appearance to the actual plane. I dry brushed the assemblies with dark grey over the black paint, and picked out a few details with white/silver paint and a pointed toothbrush. The silver ammo box had what appears to be 4 small hand-held bombs attached to rear of box, does anyone know what these are?

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

  • paul teixeira said 3 months ago:

    Once the areas primed had dried and cured I applied the Zinc Chromate base paint. I 1st applied a light solid coat over the primer. I then applied some pre-shade cloudy patterns of different tones as the next coat and then finally covered this with a transparent coat mixed with 10% paint and 90% thinner. Some of the reviews indicated a small problem with the fuselage halves coming together once the interior detail and cockpit floor are sandwiched between them. I could not wait to test fit this assemble to see if I would have any problems. As you can see from the halves in the pictures they closed up nicely and stayed securely in place with no seams showing without any glue. I did a lot more test fitting prior to this final test to make sure no single piece making up this assembly would cause interference. Large and pronounced locating tabs helped to properly align the internal pieces so that the fit would be secure and accurate.

    4 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  • Chuck A. Villanueva said 3 months ago:

    Good start Paul, didn’t know about the clear fuselage halves either. Interesting concept but why and what advantage it serves unless the intention was for a visible Dauntlass, like the Mustang and B-17 we know of from the past. But if I remember right wasn’t it only one side of the fuselage visible? I can’t say as I just know of them I have never peeked inside a box of one of those kits. But I do understand about the negative aspects of working with clear components and the brittle plastic that can easily fracture or break. And how it will handle sanding when it comes to the prep work prior to painting. Will watch and learn as you proceed. So far your off to a good start.

  • Craig Abrahamson said 3 months ago:

    I don’t blame ya about being upset with the fact that Trumpeter didn’t at least offer an option regarding the clear fuselage(s). Just gotta be careful with ’em, I guess – bummer!.

  • paul teixeira said 3 months ago:

    Clear on both halves and the complete cowling….aggg!

  • paul teixeira said 3 months ago:

    After the base colors were applied to internal structures I weathered the interior parts using an enamel dark brown wash thinned and applied with a wide brush. This was left to dry. I also used a small sponge square to apply acrylic aluminium paint to replicate excessive wear and paint chipping to the base paint. I also used a small pointed brush to apply some chipping. I then did more detail painting to specific parts and sections of the internal structures. I installed the main instrument panel and electrical panel to the forward IP bulkhead and completed the wiring process for the individual instruments.

    5 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  • paul teixeira said 3 months ago:

    Adding more details and test fitting of cockpit to fuselage halves to insured continued fit after adding more details. There are lots of cockpit structures that bridge across the cockpit like the main radio section behind the pilots seat. It is critical that you test fit to insure the fuselage closes properly and sandwich these parts properly. Many of these structures must bridge across the cockpit and slid into the opposing halve slots. The silver ammunition box does not fit into the cockpit if you choose the SBD Early option rear bulkhead in the 1st assembly stage. I did not know this b/c instructions do not indicate this so I needed to remove some early option pieces already attached to the rear bulkhead.

    5 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  • paul teixeira said 3 months ago:

    Following all detail painting, and attachment of cockpit sub-assemblies it was time to close up the 2 fuselage halves. This was no easy matter b/c even despite the test fitting there are so many things that can go wrong. This challenge is in regards to the multiple sub-assemblies which must be perfectly aligned in order to fit into the opposing locating slots as the halves are being closed. They are very pronounced and tight locating slots with no tolerance for the parts to be slightly off. I had to attempt closing up the fuselage halves several times before I was assured that all these tabs are connected perfectly. You will know that they are not aligned b/c halves will be difficult to close up. Even on my final attempt I could not get perfect closure without applying high clamping pressure to the seam immediately behind the cockpit along the top. It needed to be held tight by hand for a good 20 to 30min before the Tamiya Liquid Thin cement held it closed. I applied this thin cement along the seams around the whole fuselage after closure. Masking tape was used to hold the seam tight following hand pressure. The end result was a perfect seam without the need for filler. I did get some stress fractures in the clear fuselage skin due to the tight fit of the tabs into the slots and the high pressure needed to close the fuselage. This is why I hate working with clear structural parts.

    5 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  • paul teixeira said 3 months ago:

    More pictures of the whole fuselage assembly closed up. I also attached the photo-etch seat belts on seats prior to closing up the fuselage. I had a difficult time getting the front pilot’s seat to align and attach properly to the middle bulkhead. The attachment points are sort of fiddly and it is odd the way it lines up. It would be easier to add this seat prior to closing up the fuselage halves.

    5 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  • paul teixeira said 3 months ago:

    More pics of were I left off before moving on to the engine assembly.

    5 attached images. Click to enlarge.

Viewing 1 - 11 of 11 posts