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1/18 SBD-5 Dauntless - update 18/11/16 - FINISHED!!


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Rich this looks amazing - I love your approach to detail and the metal skinning looks something else..


long ago I was building a 1/5 scale RC super scale SBD5 and had masses of research photo's from a restoration being done in the US - literally from the ground up - will see if I can find it all - this was back when it was real photo's rather than the fab stuff out there on the internet...


Its going to be one impressive model thats for sure



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  • 4 weeks later...

*update 01/02/15*

Hi guys - I thought it was high time that I updated this build!

As you know I have decided once more to skin as much f the model as possible with pewter sheet, as I feel nothing replicates metal better than real metal. It's not cheap, but the results I think are worth it - especially when it comes to depicting stressed / torn metal as I intend to do.

I'm still skinning the cockpit, so to speak.  Lots of cutting and shaping metal, so I'll let the photos speak.  First up, the bulkhead behind the pilot - here it is skinned front and back.  Plenty more to do, but it's getting there.




The rear can't really be seen (plus I don't have definitive photos of what it looks like) so there is a little speculation involved. No matter! It will be hidden behind banks of radios.




This is the ‘shelf' behind the pilot and underneath the rollover cage. It provides a kind of ‘shroud' to protect all the radio equipment underneath, which is accessed from the gunner's cockpit.  The kit part looks like this:




whereas the real thing looks a bit like this:




In any case I re-worked it and this is the result - more details to be added later of course:




The rollover cage in the kit is a bit weedy, and missing lots of bolt heads.  I beefed it up and added several dozen resin bolt heads - plenty more to add!






This is the ‘trough' for stowing the gunner's twin 0.30 cals. 




The kit part is too simplistic, so here's what I came up with.  I needed to square off the opening, then I skinned with pewter as usual.  I also added the large armour plate sheet.




Here are (left to right) the centre, front and rear cockpit bulkheads, skinned up - again there is much more to add, but I had to get the basic pieces done ready to install. It will be much easier if I glue in major components now and worry about detail later.



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This rather pitiful looking piece is what Merit / Trumpeter would have you believe is the ammo box rack in the gunner's cockpit.  It sits against the rear cockpit bulkhead.




It should look like this:






I made a basic shape and then skinned it with metal as usual.  I still need to add the ammo bin lids, but have made a start on the first one in this photo:




Here's a test fit of the parts I've made so far. The cockpit interior is beginning to look nice and busy!






Here's the kit provided control column assembly.  The Dauntless could be flown from the rear cockpit - the gunner simply unclipped his removable control stick and stuck it into the mount.  Beneath that is my replacement. It is not 100% complete because some of it will be hidden beneath the pilot's seat, so it would be unnecessary to fully detail that particular bit - but the parts on display were done to the best of my ability.  There is still (always!) more to add, but you get the idea.




Here's the real thing:




The pilot's end:




And the rear cockpit end:



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In place:




Finally here's the pilot's seat with added detail.  Once again I was careful not to overdo it and add detail that will never be seen (well mostly LOL).  The reference photos for this came from the Detail & Scale book, so you'll just have to take my word that it looks (something) like this..







So there we have it, a couple of months down the line and so far not a great deal done - see you next time!

Edited by richdlc
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Hey Rich


I've been a bit sporadic on this forum lately, so I've only just now picked up on this terrific build. I'm sure that it'll be just as awesome as the B-17.


But one thing - a 120mm skeleton would be from a man 2.16m in 1/18 - so unless he'll be used in a more... incomplete... form I think he'll look very odd


A 120mm figure is actually 1/15 and even though the differene sounds like a little then it is actually 18/15 = 1,2 =20%

Edited by Thomas Lund
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thanks Thomas


yes I had considered this carefully... the range of figures available in 120mm / 1/16 varies widely, so I don't think it'll be too much of a problem. A case of 'forced perspective' and careful modelling should fix the issue :-)

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