Jump to content

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


Recommended Posts

*update 20/02/15*


Time for an update!


Been busy in the front cockpit.  There's lots to add, but it's very satisfactory doing so.  As with many aircraft of this era, the area is quite spartan (compared to modern aircraft). It's important to try and get period details correct, so I've referred to as many images as possible. As with other builds, I've built up something of a composite of many different machines, but I'm hoping that it will be accurate once finished.

For no apparent reason, I decided to skin everything I could with sheet pewter.  It certainly looks cool, and I'm tempted to leave the build as a stand-alone model, unpainted. However, I only flirted with that idea briefly!

The following images show various parts at various stages of construction.  The I.P. is nearly done - a few more details to add.  The kit would have you fit decals over a flat surface - very 1980s.  I drilled out the holes for each instrument, and added some round tube to the rear of each, leaving a small recess.  The idea is to drop in some Waldron or Airscale instruments faces, then either punch out some clear acetate ‘glass' or cover the surface of each with Klear. In either case, I must plan ahead and remember that the whole airframe will be heavily weathered. I'm guessing that metal parts like the I.P. will be rusted, the instrument glass fogged over etc.  I'm taking inspiration from images of the Dauntless recovered from Lake Michigan a few years back, which shows all the metal parts all nicely rusted.  I can only assume that a plane abandoned in the jungles of Vietnam for 20 years would show the same level of decay - but that's something to think about for another day!


Some of the detail isn't bad (and is actually quite accurate) so I left it…the rest was sanded off




skinned with pewter. The switches on the fuse panel are scale threaded nuts glued into recesses in the panel's surface.




A lot of stuff in the kit is basically accurate, but warrants further modification, especially in the large scale…like this hand hydraulic pump:






these photos should give you an overall impression of how busy the cockpit is becoming.  There is a whole lot more to add!














More updates soon, thanks for checking in!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Peterpools


Brilliant, just brilliant detail work on the front offcie and IP. Sure wish your Dauntless wouod change directions and move to a restored and active line aircraft

Keep 'em ciming


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Beautifull work dude !!



thanks a lot Loic!



Brilliant, just brilliant detail work on the front offcie and IP. Sure wish your Dauntless wouod change directions and move to a restored and active line aircraft

Keep 'em ciming



cheers Peter....ah, but that's probably what some people (me included) thought about the Fortress ;-)


I always planned to limit the size of this thing by chopping off the wings and basically just having a mangled fuselage.  It's way too big to store otherwise. The wingspan alone is over 2 feet...


A few months down the line and you'll begin to see the big picture

Edited by richdlc
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Amazing job !!

I ´m working on the Dauntless, but my detailing skill is far, far away from yours...I hate doing pits!

Anyway, most of your fantastic detailing will be invisible, so....don´t go too far





Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

*update 11th March 2015*

Hi guys


here's my latest build update…


I have had a revelation - namely that there is no way this thing can pass for 1/16 scale….all my 1/16 (or 120mm scale) figures look like giants next to it.  There are unfortunately very few (still in production) 1/18 (or 90mm scale) Vietnam era figures…I may therefore have to re-think this one. I still want to do an abandoned French machine in the jungles of Vietnam… maybe same setting but different era? That would mean a wider range of commercially available 1/18 figures.  We will have to wait and see!  Building the kit from the box and displaying it ‘as is' is still not really an option due to the massive wingspan.  So…wings off, crashed airframe, diorama - I feel sure this is the solution.




I'm still working away on the cockpit of this giant bird.  I am around 80% done on the front office and have just made a start on the rear / gunner's cockpit.


The first thing I want to show you in the completed ammo bins - these go behind the gunner's position right at the rear of the gunner's cockpit.  Plastic core, skinned with pewter. The hinges for the lids are brass, from Aber.






Here's how they will look when installed:




The next thing I tackled was the throttle in the front cockpit.  The real thing first:




I made mine from layers of pewter and plastic. The throttle levers themselves are plastic rod, flattened at appropriate places and then slipped into the gaps between the different layers. The round knobs are miniscule dressmaker's beads, rounded off with blobs of superglue.  I took my inspiration from Peter's (Airscale) fantastic 1/24 Tigercat scratchbuild. Although my throttle isn't as delicate as his, I think it does the job. Unfortunately I think I may have mounted it a bit too close to the fuselage wall and I may have to address that issue later…


Here's the throttle being constructed:






Next up - oxygen regulators.  There are one each in the front and rear cockpits. I made the front one first.  Here's the real thing:




Note that it is nice and tight up against the fuselage wall.  I made mine too big, therefor had to chop a section out of the fuse wall to make sure the regulator was tucked in tight.  Please note that close up photos make it look like there are gigantic holes, nicks and scratches everywhere - this is not the case!







Edited by richdlc
Link to comment
Share on other sites







I then started making the ribs and stringers for the rear cockpit. Here's what I need to replicate:




work in progress:




The inside sills of the rear cockpit sides have a distinctive shape, which I have started to build up with plastic card.




And some final shots of the front cockpit, which is getting very nice and busy:








comments / questions welcomed as always!


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
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...