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Le Beast! 1/48 Curtiss SB2C-5 Helldiver Aeronautique Navale


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Time to mark my spot for this GB which I have been looking forward to for a long time, I really enjoyed the last one where I built an F4U-7 Corsair and thought that I would continue the Aeronautique Navale theme by building an SB2C-5 Helldiver. I am not 100% certain which unit i shall build it from as although I do have an interest in the Indochina conflict I also have one in the aircraft used by France in her North African colonies but as the airframes are the same and it is pretty much just a case of which markings to use I can make that decision later in the build.

The kit I shall be using for my build is the venerable Pro-Modeller 1/48 kit as later released by Revell which I was lucky to pick up the last Milton Keynes model show (remember them!) for good price as these go for silly money on a certain internet auction site, here are the ubiquitous box and contents shots;

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And a look at the kit supplied decals and etched brass;

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As you can see the original decal sheet does come with the option of an aircraft used in Indochina but I am unsure as to how they will behave as they are quite old, however I have timed this very well as Model Art Decals have just released a superb sheet covering French SB2C's in Indochina, North Africa and France and it looks to be of top quality;

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Very nice indeed, and I have to say that Jean-Pierre's customer service is second to none and I will definitely be ordering directly from him again.

 

I have a Bf 109 to finish before I can get started on this one but I hope that it will not be too long after the start date of the GB because I have wanted one of these in my collection for a while now. Good luck to all of you with your builds and all comments and criticisms on mine are gratefully received.

 

Craig.

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Craig,

 

Nice to see another Beast in the GB,
 Does the kit give you the frameless canopy and the extended bomb bay doors of the -5?

 

Anyway, welcome to the GB and good luck.

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12 minutes ago, Wez said:

Craig,

 

Nice to see another Beast in the GB,
 Does the kit give you the frameless canopy and the extended bomb bay doors of the -5?

 

Anyway, welcome to the GB and good luck.

Cheers Wez,

 

Unfortunately no the kit doesn't give you the frameless canopy, I plan to scrape away the frames and then polish away their marks just like dealing with the mould lines on canopies such as the F-16 ones. I don't know about the extended bomb bay doors, I shall have to look into that.

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3 minutes ago, modelling minion said:

Cheers Wez,

 

Unfortunately no the kit doesn't give you the frameless canopy, I plan to scrape away the frames and then polish away their marks just like dealing with the mould lines on canopies such as the F-16 ones. I don't know about the extended bomb bay doors, I shall have to look into that.

 

It's a shame that you should have to do that.

 

The bomb doors would be an easy fix if you're going to model the kit with the bomb doors shut, just a bit of scribing and filling.

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Just now, Wez said:

 

It's a shame that you should have to do that.

 

The bomb doors would be an easy fix if you're going to model the kit with the bomb doors shut, just a bit of scribing and filling.

It is a pain, especially as -5's are offered as decal options from the box. I will be doing this one with the bomb doors shut so that should make the conversion job a bit easier.

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2 hours ago, modelling minion said:

It is a pain, especially as -5's are offered as decal options from the box. I will be doing this one with the bomb doors shut so that should make the conversion job a bit easier.

 

I could scan the 1/72nd scale plans in from the D&S book if it would help?

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6 minutes ago, Wez said:

 

I could scan the 1/72nd scale plans in from the D&S book if it would help?

Thanks Wez, I think I have a copy of it somewhere but if I can't find it I will take you up on your kind offer.

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With my second 109 now completed I have been spending some time on the "Beast". Most of my time so far has been spent sorting out the differences between the -4 that the kit is and a -5 which is what I want to build and the list of things that need to be done ( ie that I could be bothered to do) are; a new prop from a late model P-47, the framing removed from the pilots canopy, the bomb bay enlarging by adding some new scribed lines and altering the pilots cockpit area. I have started with the alterations to the cockpit which requires side consoles adding as used on most other US Navy aircraft of the time, prior to this the SB2C had a mish-mash of controls in various places which made the pilots task that much more difficult than it needed to be. I went rummaging through my extensive spares collection and came upon the cockpit from a Revell 1/48 F-86D that had been replaced by a Black Box one upon it's build, whilst not 100% accurate the consoles are close enough for me and should look okay when painted up so I chopped them off and cut them to size and have installed them onto the cockpit section;

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Not too bad a fit actually. I will need to add smaller panels at the front which will be sloped upwards to join the instrument panel, which shouldn't be too much bother to do. Speaking of the instrument panel I bought an Eduard etched set for the Beast which has a replacement panel on it, I can't bring myself to butcher the very nice kit IP to fit it too so shall mount it to a piece of plain plastic card cut roughly to shape. Here is a pic of the two IP's side by side;

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These etched panels really do look very 2 dimensional to my eyes, and very stark, I shall see if weathering it a little makes me feel more comfortable about using it, if not then I will have a go at painting the kit one.

 

Not much progress unfortunately but as I said I have spent a lot of time looking at what I need/ can be bothered to do to make her a true -5, hopefully the next update will have a bit more to show. Thanks for looking in and as usual all comments and criticisms are gratefully received.

 

Craig.

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Like a lot of these things it probably seemed like a good idea at the time.The etch in my Rafale build came with the kit,there's not much of it will be used because it doesn't really bring a great deal to the party.There is some out there,and the Quinta Studio stuff,that looks phenomenally good and would be worth the investment.

I look forward to seeing what you do with this one,if it's anything like their Ventura kit you're in for a treat.

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1 hour ago, Hewy said:

A good start craig, a real nice kit this , and pretty large in 48th , you'll  do this justice I'm  sure 👍

Cheers Glynn, it is a pretty big kit with quite a big wingspan, around the same as an Avenger.

29 minutes ago, stevej60 said:

Great start Craig looks a cracking kit to was it a Revell original or a re-box of the Accurate Minitures kit?

Thanks Steve, it's an original Monogram/Revell kit and was re-boxed by Accurate Miniatures. It is a nicely detailed kit, both internally and the detailing on the outer surfaces.

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I have spent the past couple of days painting and assembling the cockpit interior, including the instrument panel which I am really glad I have done as in my opinion it looks much better than the flat Eduard etched one. I started out by giving all the cockpit parts a coat of interior green and them mixed a lighter batch with some yellow and dry brushed it over all the raised details to give some highlighting, I then gave everything a wash with some very thin Revell Anthracite which has settled into all the details nicely and helped accentuate them without being too stark. Pictures speak louder than words so lets have a look at some, starting with the inside of one of the fuselage halves;

 

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And the front cockpit area;

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And the kit instrument panel and the radio boxes for the rear cockpit;

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Part of the rear cockpit area is made up of side panels which are attached to a section of the floor, which I should have taken pictures of before I assembled them but hopefully you will get some idea from these pictures;

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And finally the turtledeck area;

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With all of that done I now have to figure out how to fit it between the fuselage halves and get them fixed together.

 

Thanks for looking in and as usual all comments and criticisms are gratefully received.

 

Craig.

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