|NOTES:||An old classic that can still shine with some extra work|
Since the mid 1990ís the 1/48 scale modeling world has had their pick between the Hasegawa and Accurate Miniatures SBD Dauntless kits. However, before these two kits showed up there was the Monogram SBD kit. Released in the early 1960ís it has working features like retracting main gear, a bomb that drops and working dive flaps. Having recently completed a Hasegawa SBD-3 I decided to backtrack a bit and see if I could build a reasonable representation out of the old Monogram kit.
Upon opening the box we find three sprues.
Molded in black and dark blue the airframe has rivet detail and finely
raised panel lines with separate dive flaps.
There is a decent amount of flash to be cleaned up especially on the
The engine cowling
front and engine are molded as one part.
The engine detail is pretty good though.
Also included are a pilot, rear gunner,
Moving to the wings I made the choice to drill out all of the holes on the dive brakes. Itís not near as tedious as it initially appears and is well worth the time and effort. The inside of these parts have sink holes and raised copyright detail that needs to be sanded/filled for a perfect look. After doing this I primed the insides with Dupli-Color Flat White Primer and then used Dupli-Color Universal Red for the finish color. I have to comment that Monogram did this right as the Hasegawa kit fails in molding the dive flaps to the wing. After this step I moved onto the main gear. The kit wheels have mounting holes drilled completely through them. To solve this I cut the wheel mounting tab in half off of the main gear and used the small piece as filler for the wheel, sanding it smooth and flat to shape. Then I mounted the main gear in the lower wing and glued the upper wing halves to lower wing section. The gear was left to retract and was not glued into place. I completed the two 500lb. bombs and set them aside for painting.
The following day I mated the fuselage to the wing section. These assemblies fit together pretty well with a small amount of filler needed. I attached the horizontal stabs at this time along with the pitot tube and main gear covers. The two-piece canopy was masked with Bare Metal Foil at this time and glued into place with 15 minute epoxy. The main wheels were painted MM flat black and the hubs painted MM Light grey with Tamiya silver for the outer ring of the hub. The bombs were painted MM Olive Drab and set aside to be attached at the end of the build.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
I had decided to use my leftover Hasegawa
decals (from kit Jt 19) to finish this kit.
As the SBDs at
Weathering consisted of using Formula P3
For a quick knockout that looks the part the old Monogram kit gets the job done. Itís not detailed much in the cockpit area and the main wheels are small but with a good paint job and nice decals it will look good on your shelf. The extra effort put into the dive flaps and small details makes a big difference. The pilot and rear gunner help fill the plain (and not entirely correct) interior and the additional figures and accessories really round out the kit. I would recommend replacing the kit decals though and using a set of aftermarket main wheels. And if you do want to go all out Medallion Models made a very nice detail set for this kit. If you can find one I recommend purchasing it. The old KMC cockpit set should work here as well. Donít blow this one off if you find it cheap and want to quickly knock something out. Youíll be pleasantly surprised at how well it comes together and looks the part!
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