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Showing results for tags 'TBD'.
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Time to get this one back out of its box. One can never have too many ongoing projects It's a Great Wall Hobby kit, which I hadn't actually heard of but bought when I saw it at Flying Legends airshow last year (because the little pictures on the sides of the box looked good). I already have the Monogram kit in the stash, as well as the matching Eduard PE set. I also bought this decal set many years back. "The Battle of Midway" was one of those films I wore out on VHS, then bought again on DVD as a grown up (and "let" my daughters watch it). My dad explained that the aeroplanes in the movie clips were just stock footage but that was ok - I reconciled that - it was the militarily typical mix of blunders and luck interspersed with nuggets of personal stories that interested me and the interest with Midway in particular held. Ensign George Gay, the only survivor from USS Hornet's TBD squadron Torpedo 8 was played by this guy in the movie: The film was a dramatisation obviously, but quite a good one. Gay did indeed get a bullet in the arm and an injury to his hand, then ditched his damaged TBD close to the Japanese fleet. Whether already dead or just badly injured, the gunner in the aircraft sank with it leaving Gay to watch Akagi, Kaga and Soryu destroyed from a ring-side position, clinging to his seat cushion as the dive bomber squadrons arrived late and attacked unhindered - the Japanese A6M2s on CAP had either landed or were all at sea level chasing TBDs away. I thought I'd use the GWH kit to build the Devastator Gay ditched during the battle. Then I noticed a problem. The GWH kit is sold as 3 separate boxings. One is a floatplane version; fair enough. The other two strike me as a bit pointless, and although it's my own fault, it does underscore why I seldom buy a kit without researching first. You'd think a TBD-1 with wheels was a TBD-1 with wheels, right? Wrong. GWH moulded the torpedo and, crucially, the belly fairing it sits in on a separate sprue which isn't included in this boxing. For all it is, that's a little annoying frankly. It means this one only has a flat belly and a couple of firework-sized bombs. I could rob the Monogram kit, but that doesn't really solve anything long term. I could buy the Midway boxing of the GWH kit, now I know it exists, just to get that sprue, but at £40 a go that habit could get expensive. The Wake Island campaign colours are attractive, so I have settled for those with this kit. Mr Gay can have the Monogram one which was the plan all along. So, to business. I actually opened the box in November, then put it away again. My first mistake was to assume something, and spray the cockpit US Interior Green. This was in a big part influenced by GWH's avoidance of giving colour guidance on the cockpit - the instructions say "Cockpit Colour" - nicely done! I realised from looking at the fairly limited selection of public domain photographs that although very well detailed, the GWH cockpit didn't really resemble the real thing all that closely, so I turned to Eduard, and bought their pre-painted self-adhesive set, which came pre-painted in their version of US Interior Green which is a bit lurid. Dana Bell gave me some advice on here that Devastators started off aluminium lacquer inside, but due to glare they were trialled and approved to be painted Bronze Green inside, and that they were probably all painted Bronze Green by Midway. I was still thinking of the Torpedo 8 scheme at that point, and accepting Dana's advice and caveats in the spirit they were intended, I reached a personal opinion that whatever colour they were inside, they probably weren't the tinted chromate US Interior Green. The only colour photos I could find were of a pair of Devastators lying under water. Sea water obviously distorts colour, but it was as plain as day that those two at least certainly weren't US Interior Green, but a much deeper, darker green. Whether they were the official shade of Bronze Green #9 or not - who knows, and frankly who cares? I resprayed the interior of the kit, and carefully masked and resprayed the green bits of the Eduard set in Bronze Green #9. Tonight I then realised I hadn't resprayed the kit's PE fret. I thought I'd show the two colours side by side in natural light for interest's sake. I painted it after this, as well as get two of the colours on the prop. The engine crank case is likewise painted. It then dawned on me that by going for the Wake Island scheme, there's a risk that my TBD hadn't been repainted green inside, and may still be lacquered. Officially is seems it should have been repainted by that point (the colour was approved in 1939 IIRC?) so unless someone knows where there's a wreck from the Wake Island action that's silver inside, mine is going to be Bronze Green.
This is Airfix's old Devastator kit with Starfighter Decals markings for a VT-6 TBD circa 1940. I used White Ensign's PE set for the interior and added a small bulge for the machine gun breech to the fuselage side and a pitot tube, the rest is as Airfix made it. -Dan
Here’s my Monogram TBD, still a terrific kit despite its age. I added lots of scratch-built details, seat belts and a few photo-etched pieces to dress up the cockpit, a vac-form canopy, and enclosed the wheel wells. The decals from the spares box (I built it about 15 years ago, before Golden Wings came along!) The wing stars and fuselage code letters were taken from various Micro-Scale national insignia and letters and numbers sheets. The VT-6 squadron insignia is also Micro-Scale, but from a 1/72 sheet for TBD’s. It’s a little undersized, but it was the only one I could find at the time. I’ll eventually replace it with a larger version I now have. The aircraft designator and BuNo on the tail were pieced together from some decals in my spars box, and some left-over numbers from an Accutate Minitures F3F-1 sheet. The red wing and fuselage stripes and the thin black pinstripes were from clear decal sheet I painted. I used the kit decals as a template for the wing chevrons and fuselage band. I have another TBD on my shelf in Coral Sea markings, and two more in the stash. Still tempted to get the Great Wall kit, though. I love TBD’s!