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1:72 Valom Northrop BT-1 Dive Bomber


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Hi mates,

 

Northrop began work on the BT dive bomber in 1935 but in 1937 the Northrop Corporation was acquired by Douglas who then ran Northrop as a subsidiary. The BT project continued and the Northrop BT-1 entered service with the USN in 1938 aboard Enterprise and Yorktown. The USN acquired 54 production versions of their new dive bomber, but due to some unpredictable handling characteristics at slow speed it was not an entirely successful design. It was a modern aircraft for the time, being an all-metal monoplane with retracting landing gear (although the gear retracted backwards into a rather ungainly looking housing below the wing). Ed Heinemann and his talented designers then improved the BT-1 and the resulting BT-2 flew in 1938. The USN ordered 144 production aircraft, with the last 87 re-designated as the Douglas SBD-1 Dauntless. The rest, as they say, is history with nearly 6,000 SBD aircraft produced during WW2.

 

This is the first Valom kit I've ever built, and I have to say that I wasn't all that impressed with it. However, for a short-run kit it is more than adequate if you can ignore some of its inaccuracies. It is, to my knowledge, the only injected moulded kit in this scale. (See my WIP for the various issues.) At the end of the day, it is a nice addition to anyone's yellow-wing collection.    :)

 

Project: Northrop BT-1

 

Kit: Valom Kit No. 72016

Scale: 1:72

Decals: Pretty much all came from the spares box as the kit decals had some "disintegration" issues
Resin: From the kit, for the cockpit, engine and exhausts

Photoetch: Also from the kit, including the dive flaps, wing internal detail, and cockpit fiddlies.

Vacuform: From the kit, for the canopy. An injected canopy is also included.
Masks: Made by hand! With a pencil and a pair of scissors!
Paint: Alclad ALC106 White Aluminum, ALC107 Chrome, ALC104 Pale Burnt Metal; Gunze H11 Flat White, H12 Flat Black, H15 Bright Blue, H90 Clear Red, H94 Clear Green, H326 Insignia Blue, H327 Insignia Red, H329 Insignia Yellow; MRP 127 Super Clear Matt, 048 Super Clear Gloss; Tamiya XF-69 NATO Black

Weathering: None.

 

Improvements/Corrections Not much...

  • New forward machine gun and cover
  • Added roll-over structure in the cockpit using card stock
  • Photoetch details from the spares box added to main gear bays
  • Photoetch structural details added to dive flaps
  • Added antenna wires with EZ-Line (Fine) and 0.008" Nitinol wire
  • Added port wing pitot tube
  • Added photoetch port wing landing light
  • Stripes on propeller wingtips and arresting hook are painted, not decals

Some pics:

 

IMG_6587

 

IMG_6588

 

IMG_6589

 

IMG_6590

 

IMG_6591

 

IMG_6592

 

IMG_6593

 

IMG_6595

 

IMG_6594

 

IMG_6596

 

IMG_6598

 

Bright and colourful, she'll look nice in the display case.

 

Cheers,

Bill

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It’s a good feeling when you are able to accomplish a work of art from a low quality kit. Your efforts have paid handsome rewards. I would be proud to have this kit on my shelf. :like:
 

Mike

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Brilliant job as always, Bill! It looks rather jaunty on the ground, and not clunky as it does in the air. I suppose I should crack on with mine, but with the World Series starting (go Astros!)...

 

Best Regards,

 

Jason

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It is really a beauty, great work, specially knowing the kit you have started with.

 

The BT-1 is such an appealing plane and you made justice to that.

 

Pre-war US navy airplanes are just so interesting and with fantastic references available, as the Ginter books, to make our lives easy (or some times more difficult, accordingly with the kit), they are simply irresistible!

 

Well done!

 

 

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I've said it before and I'll say it again, that's a really fantastic result, Bill. It may have fought you, but you more than conquered it. See you in the Meteor GB :) 

 

James

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On 25/10/2022 at 14:21, Sky Keg said:

It’s a good feeling when you are able to accomplish a work of art from a low quality kit. Your efforts have paid handsome rewards.

 

Thanks Mike. Not sure I would call it a low quality kit as I've seen a lot worse short run jobs. Its moulding reminded me of Sword, who I suspect actually did the moulding.

 

On 25/10/2022 at 14:57, Learstang said:

I suppose I should crack on with mine, but with the World Series starting (go Astros!)...

 

George Jetson's dog has a baseball team? Who knew?     :drunk:

 

On 25/10/2022 at 15:26, Andrés S. said:

I have this kit, although I don't know when I will build it. In any case, now I know, seeing yours, that it can be a good model.

 

Thanks. The kit has some quirks, but goes together fairly well. Go for it!     :)

 

On 26/10/2022 at 08:17, TheBaron said:

Vibrant is the only word for this.

Poised and vibrant. Nice one Bill.

 

Vibrant is a good word. Gotta love those yellow wing birds. Poised is a good description too - poised for success in WWII as the Dauntless.

 

17 hours ago, ruudster said:

for an ugly plane, she looks beautiful!  Great build Bill!

 

Only the bits below and above the wing are ugly!     😬

 

17 hours ago, Fritag said:

Sturdy looking aircraft, striking scheme, beautifully executed.  Another first class build, Bill.

 

Thanks! I was concerned about half way through, but it has taken its proper place in my display case (back row). My grandson wants to play with it, but I think the dive flaps would come off if he breathed too heavily near them.    :doh:

 

7 hours ago, Oompa Loompa modelers said:

Pre-war US navy airplanes are just so interesting and with fantastic references available, as the Ginter books, to make our lives easy (or some times more difficult, accordingly with the kit), they are simply irresistible!

 

The Ginter volume was invaluable, as they always are. I only wish I had enough cash to acquire them all!     💷

 

5 hours ago, 81-er said:

See you in the Meteor GB :)

 

Deal. I just started the model, and my first post is up.

 

5 hours ago, giemme said:

Colorful and masterful! Another gem to add to your collection, top job!

 

Yeah, I've been doing a lot of fancy schemes lately. The display case used to be full of models that were either grey or grey and green (with an occasional brown and green). It looks much better now.    :)

 

3 hours ago, Pete in a shed said:

...you are supporting one of the firms that gives us the chance to model unusual subjects.

 

For sure! That is why I've always had a thing for short run and resin kits. Great subjects. I mean, how many F-16s can one man build anyway?     :)

 

*****

 

Thanks for all the nice compliments mates. I appreciate it.

 

Cheers,

Bill

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1 hour ago, Navy Bird said:

George Jetson's dog has a baseball team? Who knew?     :drunk:

 

I mean, how many F-16s can one man build anyway?     :)

 

I can remember watching the 'The Jetsons' when I was a kid (it was a new show then!). Regarding the number of F-16s one can build, the number is of course '42'.

 

Best Regards,

 

Jason

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I can't believe this kit is from Valom.  Where are the gaping holes from fit issues?  Where are the misaligned panel lines?  How did the trenches disappear from the few panel lines carved in by construction equipment?  What happened to the short shot parts?  Are you sure this kit started as Valom?  You have done a magnificent job on turning the proverbial sow's ear into a silk purse.  Who knew it could look so good.  The paint work is great.  So much yellow, so much heartache/headache awaiting the unsuspecting.  It is a striking representation of a semi-forgotten aircraft that didn't really make the grade.  But you have made it look desirable and that it could have worked out if . . . 

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7 hours ago, Learstang said:

I can remember watching the 'The Jetsons' when I was a kid (it was a new show then!). Regarding the number of F-16s one can build, the number is of course '42'.

 

Gotta love The Jetsons - Spacely's Sprockets, Cogswell's Cogs and, of course, r-r-r-r-rastro! I think that and The Flintstones were the first shows I ever saw in colour. By the way, are you a hitchhiker?

 

2 hours ago, georgeusa said:

I can't believe this kit is from Valom.  Where are the gaping holes from fit issues?  Where are the misaligned panel lines?  How did the trenches disappear from the few panel lines carved in by construction equipment?  What happened to the short shot parts?  Are you sure this kit started as Valom?  You have done a magnificent job on turning the proverbial sow's ear into a silk purse.  Who knew it could look so good.  The paint work is great.  So much yellow, so much heartache/headache awaiting the unsuspecting.  It is a striking representation of a semi-forgotten aircraft that didn't really make the grade.  But you have made it look desirable and that it could have worked out if . . . 

 

The kit was pretty good for a short run. It's the only Valom kit I've ever built, so I have nothing to compare it to. We'll see what happens if I build another - they do have some interesting subjects.

 

Cheers,

Bill

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31 minutes ago, Navy Bird said:

 

Gotta love The Jetsons - Spacely's Sprockets, Cogswell's Cogs and, of course, r-r-r-r-rastro! I think that and The Flintstones were the first shows I ever saw in colour. By the way, are you a hitchhiker?

 

I always have my towel at the ready. And my sub-space aether device. Just watch out for those Vogons, rather nasty lot (although I do quite like their poetry)!

 

Best Regards,

 

Jason (not actually from Guildford, but a small planet in the vicinity of Betelgeuse)

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