Superscale 48-1035: SBD-3/5 Dauntless

Units: See review




Scott Van Aken

Here is another repeat performance, this time, sheet 48-700. It includes three aircraft and the recommended kit is the Accurate Miniatures version, though I'm sure that those of you with Hasegawa or even Monogram kits will find this one useful.

The most successful Allied dive bomber was the SBD Dauntless. By most accounts, the Dauntless was responsible for sinking more Japanese tonnage than by any other aircraft or by the combined efforts of the US submarine force during WWII. That is a truly amazing statistic. Much of that can be attributed to the fact that when the SBD sank a ship, it was usually a large one, such as an aircraft carrier. Doesn't take to many of those to really rack up the tonnage!

Despite its obsolescence, it was still on active duty against the enemy as late as 1944 on Bougainville in the Solomons and in the Philippines. Its replacement, the SB2C was faster, more complicated, and really not as good a dive bombing platform as the easily maintained Dauntless.

The first plane on the sheet is an SBD-5 from VMSB-231. This particular plane is in the mid-war tricolor paint scheme. and carries a considerable mission tally on the side of the fuselage.

Next is an SBD-3 from VMSB-114. This one is in the earlier scheme of medium blue-grey over light grey. This aircraft is named 'Push Push'. Haven't a clue as to the significance of that!

The final aircraft is from VS-2. This SBD-3 is in the same colors as the one above and also has the very early markings for a pre-Midway plane with the red/white tail stripes and the red dot in the national insignia. This one is quite famous, being the mount of Lt(jg) Leppla and his radioman, John Liska. These men and other SBDs were called to act as fighters when the regular combat air patrol was off chasing enemy fighters. Their score shows that they were pretty successful..

August  2005

Review copy courtesy of . Thanks for your support.

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly by a site that has around 300,000 visitors a month, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.