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Julien

Douglas SBD-5 Dauntless - 1:48 Eduard Limited Edition

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Douglas SBD-5 Dauntless
1:48 Eduard Limited Edition


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The Douglas SBD Dauntless was a Naval Dive Bomber and Scout aircraft developed by Douglas for the US Navy. The SBD being Scout Bomber Douglas. Design work on the aircraft was started back in 1935 by the then Northtrop Corporation under the designation BT-1. Northrop being taken over by Douglas in 1937. The design was modified to become the BT-2. This was ordered by both the US Navy and Marine Corps.

The original SBD-1, and later SBD-2 (with increased range and different armament) were the first two types deployed. The USMC getting the 1 in late 1940, and the USN the 2 in early 1941. One of the main features of the aircraft were the split flaps, more commonly referred to as Dive Brakes which were designed to stop tail buffeting in dives. The SBD-3 was to follow in 1941 which had increased armour, self sealing fuel tanks, and four machine guns.

The SDB-5 followed and was to become the most produced variant with 2965 being built). This aircraft had a 1200 hp engine, and increased ammunition capacity. The Royal Navy was to evaluate the SBD-5 but not take it on. As well as use by the USMC & USN the SND-5 would be used by the Royal New Zealand Navy, and the French who used them against the Germans in Western France in early 1945, and lastly in Indochina in 1947. The US Army would use the A-24 Banshee of which the A-24B was equivalent to the SBD-5, but with the tail hook removed. The A-24s survived long enough to be incorporated into the new USAF inventory where they would become F-24s.


The Kit
The kit is a Boxing where Eduard have taken the Accurate Miniatures plastic, added two sheets of photo etch; brassin wheels & guns; and a full set of cockpit/wheel masks. Construction starts in the conventionally enough in the cockpit area. The Instrument panel (which is on the clear sprue) has virtually all of the raised detail replaces by PE parts. This is ten added to the main cockpit floor. Various side control columns and linkages are then added. Once this is done the floor is put aside for later.

sp1.JPG


There is then an extensive set of parts which need to be fitted into each side of the main fuselage. First the rear bulkhead goes in, along with all of the control levers for the engine and bomb release gear. All of these are replaced by PE in this kit. Other control, boxes, radio equipment and ancillary gear is installed. Again a lot of this is enhanced by, or replaced by PE. The rear gunners seat is made up, again with PE enhancements and installed. The pilots seat and armoured back is then installed. PE belts are provided for both seats. Once all of these parts are in the main fuselage can be closed up and the cockpit floor can then be added from the underside.

sp4.JPG


The wings can then be attached to the main fuselage. These are a conventional one part lower wing with upper left/right parts. Once the main wings are on the instructions would have the modeller attach the tail planes, though I suspect most will leave these until later on. Depending on the version being modelled the tail wheel can be replaced and the arrestor hook added.

sp2.JPG


Construction then move onto the front of the aircraft. The front fuselage parts (left & right) are glued together and the forward firing guns to the top are added. The engine is assembled and added to the front of the aircraft. Once this is on the cowling can be added.

sp3.JPG


The modeller then moves onto the underside of the aircraft. The landing gear legs are added along with the gear door. The kit wheels are replaced with resin ones. Here two styles of hubs are provided for the wheels, but Eduard make no mention of which style is to be used for you preferred building option (I guess its back to doing your research). The main dive brake is added along with the bomb racks and their bombs. Wing antenna are then added along with the wing mounted dive brakes.

sp5.JPG


We then move to the rear gunners area. Complete new resin guns along with mounts are provided, with the gun armour being in PE, along with some smaller parts, and the ammo belt. The rear guns are a small model kit in their own right. Care will be needed with the parts but when done the par of guns should really look good.

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sp7.JPG


The last parts to add to the model are the external aerial antenna, propeller and the glazing. A one part canopy is provided, as is a multipart one. With all the effort and PE going into the cockpit are it would be a shame to box it all in. Full masks are supplied in the kit for the whole canopy.

sp8.JPG


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Decals
The decal sheet provides 5 sets of markings for the diverse users of the aircraft. The sheet is printed by Cartograf and should pose no problems.
  • No. 25 Sqn Royal New Zeeland Air Force, Piva, Bougainville, April 1944.
  • US Marine Corps Sqn VMS-3, Virgin Islands, Spring 1944.
  • US MArine Corps Sqn VMSB-331, Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands, Spring 1944.
  • USAAF A-24 Banshee 407th Bomb Group, Amchitka, Alaska, Summer 1944.
  • French Navy or Aeronavlae, 4°Flotile, Western France, Early 1945.

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Conclusion
Eduard have taken what is already a great kit and added the right level of embellishment to make it into an excellent kit. Highly recommended for this one.

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Review sample courtesy of logo.gif

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Once again, a nice Limited Edition.

I'm wondering about the markings, choice will be difficult.

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