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Paul A H

SB2C-5 Helldiver "The Final Version" - 1:72 Special Hobby

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SB2C-5 Helldiver "The Final Version"

1:72 Special Hobby

 

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The Curtiss SB2C Helldiver was, as the name suggests, a dedicated divebomber which replaced the Douglas SBD Dauntless in US Navy Service. The design was beset by problems and its entry into service was severely delated while Curtiss attempted to resolve all of the flaws. The final production version was the SB2C-5 which was able to carry more fuel, featured a revised paddle-shaped propeller, enlarged bomb bay and revised cockpit canopy with simplified framing. It was also equipped with the AN/APS-4 radar. The SB2C-5 was delivered just in time to participate in the final skirmishes of the War. 

 

It survived in US Navy service for a short time after the War, but the real twilight of its career was through the post-War military aid programme. SB2C-5s were delivered to Italy, Greece, Portugal and Thailand. The Italian Helldivers flew until 1959, while Greek were deployed against communist insurgents during the Greek Civil War. French Helldivers were deployed in French Indo-China against the Viet-Minh and were used in the unsuccessfull operation to liberate Dien Bien Phu. All-in-all, quite a career for an aircraft that some considered to be a failure. 

 

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As you might have spotted, this is Academy´s SB2C-4 kit with extra parts produced by Special Hobby to enable construction of the Dash 5 version. I shan't go into great detail about Academy's kit, save to say that it is accurate, well detailed and throughly modern. The kit has a good reputaton, and deservedly so. Special Hobby's extra parts include the enlarged bomb bay doors, the spinnerless paddle-shaped propeller and the revised canopy. The kit also includes a range of resin ordnance, including napalm tanks, the AN/APS-4 radar and rockets for the underwing hardpoints. Also included are resin wheels, complete with detailed tyre tread and separate hub covers. 

 

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The decal sheet provides for four options:

  • SB2C-5 89357, Flottille 3F, Aéronavale, French Indo-China, 1954. This aicraft operated from the carrier Arromanches;
  • SB2C-5 215, VB-9, USS Lexington, US Navy, Pacific Ocean, August/September 1945;
  • SB2C-5 80036, Italian Aeronautica Militare, 1950-55; and
  • SB2C-5 3329, No.336 Squadron, Larissa, Hellenic Air Force, 1949.
     

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Conclusion

 

It's interesting to see Special Hobby release another manufacturers kit with their own additional parts and decals in order to produce another version. The Academy kit is already a very good kit, while the addition of Special Hobby's extra parts opens up some great new possibilities and some attractive schemes. Overall, this is a nice kit an can be highly recommended.

 

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Review sample courtesy of 


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I was thinking "too bad that the anchor is printed together with the flag on the tailplane", when I saw the last picture...

Looks like it's a great kit, and it'll be certainly difficult to choose between Aéronavale, Italian and Greek options.

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Looks like some good stuff in the box there.

 

JUlien

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Super job on the photos too :coolio: Shame about the dust though :tease:

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I have almost finished converting the original Academy kit into the very model depicted here by Special Hobby, using the Berna Decals sheet- a project started just before this was announced (you are all welcome).

 

Antoine is right on: my model looks pretty awful because the (Carpena)  tail decals were impossible to get snuggled down despite a gloss surface and a jerrycan full of Microsol.  The resin wheels are a must, PE flaps/dive brakes will also help this kit, which is otherwise excellent.

 

I've always wondered if these planes carried their rear defensive guns, I couldn't really tell from the pictures I had but can't see any reason they would have.

Edited by Peter Lloyd

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3 hours ago, Peter Lloyd said:

I've always wondered if these planes carried their rear defensive guns, I couldn't really tell from the pictures I had but can't see any reason they would have.

Difficult to tell, yes, but most of the time, they were crewed by the pilot only, to save weight in order to gain a bit more in range term.

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On 26/10/2017 at 4:23 AM, Peter Lloyd said:

Antoine is right on: my model looks pretty awful because the (Carpena)  tail decals were impossible to get snuggled down despite a gloss surface and a jerrycan full of Microsol.

Hi Peter,

I just wanted to say that if needed, there's a Carpena/Colorado decals sheet dedicated to Aéronavale anchor.

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Would it be possible to build one of the Royal Navy Helldiver Is obtained for evaluation from this kit?

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On 11/14/2017 at 2:33 PM, Procopius said:

Would it be possible to build one of the Royal Navy Helldiver Is obtained for evaluation from this kit?

There's a photo of one form 1820 Squadron which looks like a -5, so it would be correct. But that's only based on five minutes' research and I only saw one photo.

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