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1/32 TRUMPETER SBD-3 Guadalcanal

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Moving on to the preparing the wings for riveting. Nothing very exciting here, but just to let y’all know I’m still plugging away.



First step is to fill the kit rivets. I use Perfect Plastic Putty thinned to a toothpaste consistency and apply it with a piece of rubber squeegee about an inch wide. No need to be fussy, just get the putty into the recesses.



Next, using a damp paper towel wipe off any excess. Then I used a cocktail stick and cut off synthetic brush to get into recesses to get to this stage. NOTE: The large area by where the aileron goes is Tamiya White Putty which I used to fill the huge sink mark. I did this first before anything else. This kit, as good as it has some serious sink marks throughout the fuselage and wings. The cockpit is a joy, but the fuselage and wings not so much.



Then I used a sharpened cocktail stick and dental pick to scrape the putty out of the panel lines and other places where it shouldn’t be. Any stubborn areas are cleaned up with the cut down brush and water. Also shown is is Trumpeter’s lame attempt to represent where the wing lights are supposed to be. This has to be a last minute add-on because the fasteners are grossly out of scale, not evenly spaced, not equidistant from the center and the hole where the light is supposed to fit has flash around it. There’s no way to just clean this up and move on.



So I sanded that mess off.



Then I drilled out the kit recess and glued in a piece of .060 styrene rod.



After everything was filled and sanded smooth I drilled a hole to accept the domed light from Elf Model Accessories. These are really nice and I use them on all my models. There is no seam on light, there are a couple extra sizes and they come in red, blue and clear. Not cheap at $20 a set (12 of each color) but a good investment. The only place I know in the US that sells these is M and Models in Chicago. Good people - I’ve known Mary for many years and she travels the globe looking for oddball stuff like this. 


Right now I’m waiting for the clear coat to dry so I can start riveting the wings. Hope to have pictures of that ready in a week or two.

Thanks for tuning in.

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16 hours ago, dodgem37 said:

Good show.  Do you have a link to those lights?


Thank you.




I may need to order some, too!


Nice work, Woody and thanks for the tip about the wing lights. I’ll fix mine now lol

Edited by Brett M
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14 minutes ago, TwoHands said:

GAWD that's a lot of rivets. How many sheet do you think this plane will take?



My conservative estimate is 18,000 rivets just on the wings.

If you go back to page 3 I talk about this.


It's a special prototype I've developed, but reluctant to release it at the price it has to be, which is crazy.

Currently I'm rethinking it so y'all don't show up at my door with pitchforks and flaming torches, demanding to tar and feather me.

Edited by Archer Fine Transfers
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Got the bottom of the wings riveted and it took about 10 tedious hours.




Can the rivets come off?

No, but your paint just might.



My long suffering mule. There is a very good reason why you should take great care in preparing your model for paint. Water based paints are excellent but their adhesion is completely dependent on surface prep. As you can see here, the rivet decal has stuck to the lacquer paint but the water based clear has pulled away from the plastic. Planning on painting your insignias? Be careful.




The lacquer based clear I use is Mr. Color #46 Gloss, but I thin it with generic lacquer thinner (60 thinner/40 paint) because it is “hotter” and, unlike lacquer thinners designed for models, it bites into styrene creating a molecular bond. No, it doesn’t dissolve fine kit details, at this dilution rate it isn’t strong enough. In fact I’ve sprayed it wet into styrene and it hardly left visible hazing. Since I plan to paint my insignias I want a strong bond down to the plastic.



This is the difference between Mr. Color Leveling Thinner (right) and generic lacquer thinner (left), or the difference between adhesion and molecular bonding. Mr. Color thinner is perfect for your normal build, but using a “hot” thinner will very slightly etch into styrene and create a molecular bond. The picture on the left is my “hot mix” of Mr. Color. Gloss clear thinned with generic lacquer thinner and sanded with MicroMesh 1500 grit - note how it feathered. On the right, you can see where the same clear thinned with leveling thinner chipped away at the edge where the sanding got down to the plastic. Perhaps I can be accused of over-thinking things like this, but I over-think everything and that’s why everything I do takes forever.





The rivet decals are applied with a lot of plain water. The decals must float on a thin layer of water for positioning and since positioning is critical they must be free to move for a minute or two. Once in position, the excess water must be gradually worked out from under them. For this I use a #3 round natural sable brush because the bristles are extremely soft and absorbent. Soft because it doesn't tend to move the decal and absorbent for removing excess water. You can see here where the clear film has bridged the landing light and wing slots.




I use a soft brush and Mr. Color leveling thinner to dissolve any film bridging recessed details. Then I carefully inspect for any silvering in panel lines and recessed rivets. I use this little tool (below) made from a pin and cocktail stick to puncture any silvering over recessed rivets, and to make several punctures along panel line silvering. It also comes in handy for making tiny position adjustments.





Finally I spray a wet coat of Mr. Color leveling thinner over everything. Clear decal film is lacquer based so the thinner partially dissolves the film which in turn bonds to the lacquer under it. I apply one wet coat, wait a minute and follow up with a second wet coat. 


That’s all for now


I’ve decided to build my SBD with the dive flaps closed for two reasons, there is a lot of detail in the operating mechanism that isn’t included in the kit and, when parked the flaps are always closed unless undergoing maintenance. It shouldn’t be too hard to do except for keeping the finish paint from getting inside the flaps which I still intend to paint red.


Might as well throw this little tutorial in at this point since most of this post is about application. 


Thanks for looking.

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I got the tops of the outboard wings riveted and then had to deal with the infamous uneven wing to fillet gap. Filling this seam, sanding and re-scribing isn't something I'm very comfortable doing, especially the scribing part. I suck at scribing.



A lot is made of this gap flaw and if you’re going for good basic construction, it has to be fixed.

Please note that this is my mule and the rivets that are missing have had to be sanded off.



Quite by accident I discovered that Tamiya white putty won’t stick to clear Scotch tape - the glossy stuff, not the frosted which I haven’t tried. So I put the tape on the fuselage and filled the gap with the Tamiya putty.



I let this set overnight and the next day I flexed the wings down very slightly and the putty popped right off the tape leaving this.



Here’s what I got after sanding the excess putty off the top of the wing. Not much penetration, but enough. After several test fits the putty did not chip. It’s a lot stronger than I thought.



Moving from the mule to my model now, you can see the gap is closed now, and to my eye looks just fine. The gap at the trailing edge closes up when I suspend the model from the wingtips and put a LITTLE weight on the fuselage. Some super-thin and Perfect Plastic putty should finish this off nicely.


Next step will be to glue the wings to the fuselage. Also been trying to figure out how best to mount the dive flaps in the closed position, but pretty sure it shouldn’t be too much of a problem to solve.


Thanks for looking.




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1 hour ago, Brett M said:

Nice work on the seam, that's a lot cleaner than what I ended up doing! :)


I had the idea for a while, but I couldn't think of a suitable parting agent.

When I saw it didn't stick to my rubber squeegee, I put some on tape to test it. It works.

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