Jump to content

Douglas TBD-1 Devastator - T-4 in the Battle of the Coral Sea, May 1942


Ventora3300
 Share

Recommended Posts

Looking at the canopies provided by Airfix, the middle and rear sections each have two or three pieces fused together rather than being able to move separately. 

 

100_2937crew

 

There are some decent pictures in my reference book 'TBD Devastator Units of the US Navy' by Barrett Tillman.

 

100_2952

 

You can see here that every section of the canopy is separate and is able to fit snugly inside the next to open up access to the cockpits for the crew and let the defensive m/g operate.

100_2954

 

It looks like I am going to have to cut the two 'long' sections into two and three pieces before masking and painting. I've seen someone suggest 'packing' any canopies before cutting and I will do exactly that with bluetac - wish me luck!

Edited by Ventora3300
Link to comment
Share on other sites

And what about the crew, now ready to go? As I said previously, I'm doing a representation of T-4 which was the SBD-1 in which Walter Nelson was a radioman/gunner in USN Torpedo Squadron 2 in 1942.

 

The full crew was Lt R F Farrington as pilot, ARM3c W N Nelson as Observer (in the middle seat) and AOM2c T R Wiebe as Gunner.

 

You can see the passages below (sorry for the photo quality) which describe their actions on 7th and 8th May 1942 in the Battle of the Coral Sea, which ended with the USS Lexington scuttled and going down, taking T-4 with her.

 

100_2969100_2970100_2971100_2972100_2973100_2974100_2975

 

Edited by Ventora3300
Better Pictures
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Ventora3300 changed the title to Douglas TBD-1 Devastator - T-4 in the Battle of the Coral Sea, May 1942

you're doing some great work here, well done and keep it up. I and I think most people are use to seeing the Devastator in bright colours and not these later muted schemes. So it's really nice to see this scheme and it's looking great.

 

Yeah, just take your time with the canopy and yes make sure you pack the inside, plus mark either side of the cut with masking tape, it'll help guide you and protect the canopy as well.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, trickyrich said:

you're doing some great work here, well done and keep it up. I and I think most people are use to seeing the Devastator in bright colours and not these later muted schemes. So it's really nice to see this scheme and it's looking great.

 

Yeah, just take your time with the canopy and yes make sure you pack the inside, plus mark either side of the cut with masking tape, it'll help guide you and protect the canopy as well.

Many thanks Ritch, I'm really enjoying this build. It's been a bit of a revelation all round from initially thinking the Devastator was an inter-war aircraft (from the colourful Airfix boxart) to appreciating the 'rounded' lines of the actual aircraft then finding out about the actions it was involved in from doing the research. Very fascinating and I'm enjoying getting more knowledgeable on the Pacific War in general - well done for hosting this GB. I'm now also wondering what is going to happen when I try to get the wing decals to settle down over the surface ribbing! All the best. Mike. 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Moving on with the Devastator - painted in the torpedo screw in Bronze - not sure if this is an accurate representation of a USN Mk13 torpedo or not!

 

Finished the blue and red on the prop tips and added the decals - these are tiny and I did use my drawn circles to get them placed identically on the blades. The white pieces of paper are actually the white decals from which I'll make up the 'T-4' codes for the fuselage. 

100_2976

 

 

Finished the blue-grey and light grey touch ups and painted in the moulded landing light on the leading edge of the port wing and the navigation lights on the wingtips - no representation of these so took a guess for position.

 

Gave the appropriate areas some gloss cote and started the decals - these are first class quality and covered the blue-grey with no 'show-through'. The stripes for the tail were a little difficult as they don't seem to cover the delineated rudder fully so it may be another kit was used for design - they start to butt up against the rear of the stabilisers so you can only push them in so far. I could have nicked the edge with a knife blade to create a parting, I suppose.

100_2977

 

Added the walkways.

100_2978

 

The stars settled down on the ribbing beautifully so no complaints. I seem to have got some green paint on one of them and the camera seems to want to be out of focus today.

100_2979

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Aircraft code is now on the fuselage and upper wings and the cowling removed, prop fitted and all re-assembled. Exhausts are fitted and undercarriage is on. Torpedo is dry-fitted.

 

Matt cote overall and I have started to represent the exhaust staining on the fuselage sides that I can see on the underwater pics of aircraft still with the USS Lexington - needs toning down though.

 

100_2998100_2997

The crew of T-4 is ready to go - now for the canopies!

100_3000

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The canopy on the Devastator appears to be made up of seven separate pieces all of differing heights, which form a pretty attractive sloping 'greenhouse' for the crew. The separate sections all slide either forwards or back to give access for the crew and let the defensive machine gun operate (the gunner's seat actually tilts 360 degrees in the horizontal and 90 degrees backwards to give a very wide range of fire).

 

However, Airfix provided the canopy in four sections so the first job is to separate these out into seven.

100_2990

 

I don't have a razor saw but a pretty thin and fine hacksaw blade was used. I packed out the pieces with bluetac and they all survived without breaking - result!

100_3005

 

Here's what we are trying to achieve.

100_2954

.

A few dry runs show that these sections are not going to slide within each other easily without perhaps some re-shaping with hot water.

100_3007

Masking in progress.

Edited by Ventora3300
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

The deadline is past by a week now but I'm continuing on. Devastator canopy sections are painted and the 'fixed' portions on with PVA glue. The moving sections have been stacked on where possible and I haven't tempted fate by trying to re-mould with hot water.

 

100_3008

 

Ready for the communications equipment now.....

100_3009

 

Edited by Ventora3300
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The aerial mast is back on and wire strung - the mast has never recovered from the initial break while removing from the sprue and has allowed the aerial wire to sag. All canopies are on - not as smooth a fit as I hoped - the m/g stowed and nest doors closed.

 

100_3014100_3019

The crew likes the canopies open for take-off. Prop spins like a good 'un though! Devastator T-4 is ready for a mission!

 

100_3061

 

Take-off...

100_3024

 

Walter Nelson in T-4's centre seat and on his way to battle over the Coral Sea.

100_3044

 

On the torpedo run...... Hope the aerial mast doesn't take another hit!

100_3039

 

Torpedo gone, the long return flight over and ready for landing.

100_3047

 

Safely back on the USS Lexington but unfortunately, not all is well with 'the Lady'.

100_3054

 

I thoroughly enjoyed this build - loved this old kit and the research material that it opened up with regards to the Pacific War in general and the Douglas TBD-1 Devastator in particular. Thanks to Rich for hosting and all the BM community for their inspiration and input as always.

100_3028

 

Edited by Ventora3300
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

well done on completing her, and well done on a successful mission too!

 

She looks great, it's so nice to see her in a different scheme from the norm as well.

 

I'm glad you enjoyed the build, it was great to have you along and to follow your build. Again well done. :thumbsup:

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, vppelt68 said:

I like the build and love the "torpedo run" at the end :inlove:! That's actually why we still build these, right, and I hope you made correct radial engine wrooms while making the story :pilot:! V-P

Many thanks VP. You are right, of course. As well as flying round the room, I have been playing my 'Midway' DVD just to get the atmosphere right! Massive enjoyment. BTW, it's a bit late for me to join in the B17 GB but I'll be there for 'Frog'. All the best. Mike

10 hours ago, degsye39 said:

Great work mate..need to build my couple.. love these old airfix kits!

Many thanks, Degsy. I also loved your old Airfix Corsair build with the old Humbrol paint! Now you've found the canopy for the Zero, crack on! All the best. Mike

1 hour ago, trickyrich said:

well done on completing her, and well done on a successful mission too!

 

She looks great, it's so nice to see her in a different scheme from the norm as well.

 

I'm glad you enjoyed the build, it was great to have you along and to follow your build. Again well done. :thumbsup:

Many thanks Rich and congratulations on an excellent GB and your own excellent builds - poll went very well and was a fitting finish. Roll on the next one! All the best. Mike

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...