Sunday, September 11, 2016

Accurate Miniatures SBD-3 Douglas Dauntless Pt 2

 A few months ago, I posted about this model.  I finished it a month later, but I am just getting around to posting now.

It turned out rather well in my opinion.  Accurate Miniatures attempted to put on the market the most detailed kits of the subject in 1/48th scale.  It is too bad that they were only in business a few years, but in those few years they left us some really superb kits.

I chose the markings that came with the kit.  The machine depicted is an SBD-3 for VB-6 on the carrier Yorktown during the Battle of Midway.  If you go to Wikipedia and look up the Dauntless, there is a photo of this aircraft having landed back on Yorktown with battle damage. 

The paint is Vallejo Model Air which is my favorite.  I prime everything with surface primer before I put on the color coats.  This model was primed  with black and the color coats applied “thinly” giving it a subtle mottled effect.  That is the extent of the weathering.  The real aircraft was fairly well faded at the time of the Battle of Midway, but I chose not to try to duplicate that.

The dive brake flaps have the holes in them already.  I understand that Hasegawa 1/48th Dauntless does not.  It is one of the kew features of the aircraft.  They are depicted as they would be deployed for landing.

The kits comes with both single and twin .30 caliber machine guns for the observer/radio operator.  It is unclear from what I have read whether this aircraft had the twin mount or not.  They were added to the -3 models in the field by and large.  The aforementioned photo of this aircraft was taken with the aft gun/s stowed, so I don’t know.  Therefore, I opted for a single gun.

Since the aft canopies were frequently dispensed with, I do also.

I am a big fan of Ultracast seats.  They are beautifully cast, and they include the seat belt harnesses.  That silver “U” shaped object in the front cockpit is the wire cable harness used to suspend the Dauntless fro the ceiling of the hangar bay.  The Dauntless did not have folding wings, and hanging them up was a good way to store them.  It goes to show how much detail Accurate Miniatures put in these kits.  Hidden inside the aft cockpit is a detailed set of radios and a second set of flight controls.

The kit includes a 1,000 pound bomb and two 100 pound bombs.  The detail of the bomb mounts and landing gear is excellent.

The antenna is fine Easy Line I got from an Ebay merchant.  It is elastic thread, and it is very easy to use, much easier than stretched sprue.   And, it withstands some mild abuse.  I recommend it for 1/48th scale and larger models.


This is the second Accurate Miniatures kit I have constructed.  It is such a shame that this company did not survive for very long.  The kits they did produce live on is re-issues by Italieri and Eduard.  This was a real pleasure to build, and I look forward to digging into my stash and building a few more AM kits.

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