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Sword TBM-3S2 Avenger JMSDF


Whirly
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Hello, just a quick post to place my forthcoming build of the Sword post-war Avenger in white and Light Gull Grey. More images to come in due course.

I'm glad this GB seems very popular, already many threads opened with very interesting subjects!

Cheers Fabio

 

sw72131-tbm-3s2.jpg

 

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welcome along and what a great choice!

 

I didn't know the Japanese operated Avengers, so I didn't expect to see one here. I do like this scheme a lot, she looks really smart in it.

 

Well good luck with the build , will be another one to follow.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thank you all for the welcome. Build finally started, here you can see all the components supplied in the box.

Decals seems really nice, hope they will behave well. Injected parts are nicely moulded, considering it is short-run technology.

Transparent parts are also injection moulded, no vacuform parts to wrestle with, but some issues to consider, more of that later.

 

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We start with the wings: some injection towers need removing otherwise you will not be able to close the halves. It's also better to sand a bit all mating surfaces, especially the trailing edges which are a bit thick:

 

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The u/c wells are built up of several parts: a bit tricky, but miles apart from the "half relief" rendition of the Hasegawa kit!

Please notice how one of the walls is best joined to the opposing wing half instead of following the instructions as I did at first: fit is much better.

 

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Before joining the wing halves I reamed out the landing light hole and backed it with kitchen aluminium secured with sellotape.

 

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Thanks for looking!

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Here we are with some more progress:

 

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The wings and tailplanes went together quite well, nothing serious to report. Just needed enlarging a tiny bit the cutouts in the fuselage to have the mounting tabs fit inside.

 

The cockpit parts are a whole other story....  First you really need to remove these nasty ejecting towers protruding just where the bulkhead and floor should go, otherwise nothing will fit.

I forgot to take a photo, please forgive me if I'm using this from another site: I will remove that if needed.

 

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I first assembled the whole interior parts as a unit following the instructions guidance but it really didn't work for me, I couldn't have everything fitting as expected. So I broke the joint between cockpit floor and rear bulkhead (causing some damage which I repaired with thin plasticard) and reinstalled only the rear parts.

Here is the cockpit painted and nearly complete: there are lots of details for a short-run kit but I'm not really sure it is a faithful representation of the real article, especially in the rear seats.

For example you get two oxygen bottles (parts 29) but they really seem to appear only in cockpit images of the prototype. One bottle only for the starboard side seems more correct, but I may be wrong. Anyway little will be visible down there.

 

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Before closing the fuselage, keep an eye on the small windows Sword would have you install from both sides.... In my experience they all must be glued from the internal side.

Pay attention also to parts 40 and 21: there's no way to fit the quite thick rear canopy with these installed and I had to remove them later, we'll see how much reduction will be needed.

Immagine 2022-05-19 103539

 

A word too about the tailwheel and its mounting bulkhead: this last only was installed to avoid breaking the long tailwheel leg during the build. Not easy to add that later but worth a try.

 

Thanks for looking!

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Hello!

 

Fuselage is now closed, no major issues to report.

 

20220427_214737

 

The engine is quite good and needs to be trapped between the halves, I will paint it later.

Notice how you are supposed to glue the propeller to that 'pimple' instead of having a proper propeller shaft passing through the engine!

I modified this arrangement in order to have a more positive location of the propeller and avoid fixing it to the model.

 

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The rear belly window was installed and the fit could be better: we are lucky there are no side windows in this late variant, otherwise it would be really tricky to fill the steps on the side without ruining the transparency.

 

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The instructions are quite generic about part C8, differing from the actual shape!

 

Immagine 2022-05-25 142141

 

Thanks for looking!

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Hello everybody!

 

this build is progressing slowly but I try to keep a regular pace in updating.

I added part 5, the front cowling ring, and the fit is quite disappointing. Don't know if this could be avoided with some actions on the the front fuselage, anyway it's a pity because in fairing the joint you loose most of the delicate details engraved on the cowling (panel lines and fasteners). Will see what can I do to restore them later.

 

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Back to the internal details, I found an excellent reference in this build: https://www.hyperscale.com/2008/galleries/tbm3s272aj_1.htm

Far from trying to reach the same heights, I could grab some inspiration for the rear seats. Unfortunately I had already installed the rearmost one and could not rotate it backwards without risking major damages, anyway I reckon it should be a swivelling seat since there are instruments both in front and behind it.

 

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And finally a blurred close-up of the engine exhausts: they are provided as solid blocks and I drilled out the internals as best as I could.

 

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Thanks for looking!

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5 hours ago, Whirly said:

I added part 5, the front cowling ring, and the fit is quite disappointing. Don't know if this could be avoided with some actions on the the front fuselage

Oddly I just built the Hasegawa kit a few months ago and it had the exact same fit issue’s on its nose ring ? I wonder if the two kits are related at all. 
 

So went and looked at the instructions and a good number seemed to be similar in breakdown of parts. Granted theres only so many ways to design a kit of the same aircraft. My thinking is they took ideas from the Hasegawa kit and updated it for theirs. 

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The Sword kit is certainly "inspired" by the Hasegawa kit, I will try a side by side comparison whenever I can.

It's interesting what you say about the cowling: I thought it might be an issue with distortions of the front fuselage brought about by my assembly or poor cooling of the just pressed part with short-run technology.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello!

 

I finally managed to add the transparent canopies: unfortunately the fit is quite complex and some filling is needed, especially in the rear, anyway nothing terrible and probably much better than fairing in an acetate canopy of this size! I had to apply a bit of gentle force to make all really fit, keeping everything in place with sellotape bands.

 

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While waiting for the glue to set I added the mounting holes for the underwing pylons. Not a lot convinced by these parts, I'm trying to find some close-up views of the real ones to check.

 

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Thanks for looking!

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Thank you @modelling minion, actually I realized later a minor mistake I did: Sword moulded all the frames in relief to aid masking, even in areas where there are no transparent panels, at least for the japanese version. Now I should fill those areas to obtain a smooth surface, but everything will be visible from inside and anyway this job would have been much easier before mounting the canopies 😤

So, a note for myself (I have more Sword Avengers to build) and anybody so fussy:

1) paint at least approximately the canopies from inside with interior green

2) remove the framing details with filler BEFORE installing the canopies

3) proceed as usual: glue, fair in, mask, paint interior green, paint with final colors.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello!

 

very slow progress due to real life interfering a lot 😬

The wings are attached now. Fit is good, just remember to adjust the slots in the fuselage before adding the canopies otherwise there's a risk of much plastic powder floating around....

See also the wingtip lights are missing, so I sawed off a recess to add them later.

 

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Fit of the canopies is really good considering the short-run nature of the kit, just a bit of mr.surfacer to fill the joints. Some troubles in the rear because you need tube filler to really fair in the contours, this is one of those cases where a flex-i-file is highly recommended!

 

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Thanks for looking!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hello, finally some more progress to show.

 

Canopies masked with some difficulties: the frames are not so well defined especially on the windshield. Then interior color was sprayed.

 

2022-07-04_12-00-33

 

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U/C legs are lacking any positive location so I added copper wire pins.

 

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This helped positioning the legs and adding the second arm, so that I can spray white on the complete legs.

 

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I assembled and painted the searchlight, then joined the transparent dome with UV activated glue: first time I used this product and I'm very happy with its performance. 

 

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The next post will contain a rant about the instructions: I know they are not the best part of any Sword kit, but in this case they really made a total mess with the many different details related to the four boxings produced.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok, I warned you: this post may be boring but I just want to point out some inaccuracies in the kit instructions for those who actually read them 😉

 

This kit has been issued in four boxings to date ( I don't count the later issues in war colors) so there are some alternative parts in the plastic trees which must be choosen or discarded according to the version of choice. After checking and re-checking, I identified all I needed for the japanese Avenger (circled in red), but I'm left with more details I really can't find any use for, even checking the instructions of the other boxings. So these parts are apparently redundant, but Sword Models must have thought differently at some point....

 

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Then there are missing or wrong elements in the instructions.

For example, part 41 is accounted for in the sprue plan, though not used anywhere. Actually it is a kind of bulge going just below the bigger left window, I think specific to the JMSDF version.

 

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Most late war Avengers have a fixed external tailhook, so it needs a mounting post: it is depicted here but no trace of it in the plastic parts, you must carve a suitable part on your own.

 

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See this neat diagram for installing the underwing loads? Ok, forget it because it is completely wrong for the outer pilon: actually it should be more inboard otherwise it would cover the hinomaru.

Also, don't be fooled by the searchlight position: it must go under the PORT wing!

 

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See below the correct location I determined observing photographs.

Please note the kit offers two underwing pilons (quite simplified) and suggests using them for the searchlight and the APS radar. In reality both pilons should go simmetrically under the outer wings (one empty) and the searchlight use a totally different mounting you must scratchbuild.

You can see I also added the stub pilons for 5" rockets which are often seen in JMSDF service and add some interest.

 

20220711_081000

 

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Oh wow!!! I must apologise as I some how have nearly missed the build!!!

 

I had poped in a couple of times to look but then it got lost in the masses!

 

You have come a long way with her and she's looking lovely, some really nice work here.... not help by the model or the instructions by the looks of it.

 

Not too much to go by the looks of it, keep up the great work!!! :thumbsup:

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Thanks for the encouragement @trickyrich, I need to really hurry up otherwise I won't finish in time!

 

White is on after a few coats of Vallejo primer.

 

 

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A bit of masking was then need needed before spraying light gull grey.

 

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And finally a bit of black for the details. You may notice that I totally forgot to mask the antiglare panel so I needed to do another round of masking/spraying/unmasking.... 🙄

 

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Here is the current status: decals are of excellent quality and conforms very well to the surface without being too thin and fragile.

 

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Finished! A real first for me: a whole week before the deadline!

 

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@Jinxman @arfa1983 @Andwil @modelling minion Thank you for the positive comments!

Must get more images then in the gallery.

Thanks to @trickyrich  and @helios16v for hosting this GB and to all members participating with so diverse modelling subjects.

Edited by Whirly
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