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Infinity SB2C Helldiver (26 Nov: Finis)

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2 hours ago, easixpedro said:

The area just behind the aft cockpit collapses like an accordion to give the  guns a clear field of fire (if that was possible with the big honkin’ tail right there).


Ah yes.  Gotta protect that 6.  I do believe the Avenger had alot more rearward firepower though.  Hopefully they had interrupters - without it I would not trust that young man to let up with the tail in the way!  Not when an EA is on your 6 trying to shoot you down.

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5 hours ago, JayW said:


Ah yes.  Gotta protect that 6.  I do believe the Avenger had alot more rearward firepower though.  Hopefully they had interrupters - without it I would not trust that young man to let up with the tail in the way!  Not when an EA is on your 6 trying to shoot you down.

Reminds me of Sean Connery in 'Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade'!



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2 hours ago, Oldbaldguy said:

Hey, on that one photo, where is the hook on 305?


I know that on the -5, the hook was outside the fuselage. Might have been that way on the -4E too? I’d have to dig to be certain. I believe it was a problem with getting the hook to extend that resulted in the change. Having a hook is rather important when you want to stop on the floating party barge.


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I really enjoy what you're doing here!!! Just stumbled upon this!! I was thinking the same route, well sort of, for this kit!


I took will backdate my -4 Helldiver into a -3 as it's the route to go without having to add the PE flaps!! All the other slight changes are as You've done, a bit of Modeling!! Me likes, Me Likes A bunch!!


Go, and Go, and Go!!!



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How assuring it must have been to have those bad boy F4U's covering you.  From a guy who has familiarized himself greatly with the F4U.  Earlier in the conflict those would have been Dauntless's and Wildcats.  I tell you Peter - I am liking the Helldiver more and more as I follow your build thread.  Great shot.



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Plodding along in the build, but not much worth sharing at the moment. Trying to sort the bottom wings and wonky gear doors so they’re ready to go on once the bomb bay is done. I’ll share pics of that once I get everything sorted.


In the interim, I keep waffling about markings. If you don’t have the USN’s History and Heritage Command website bookmarked, you’re missing a tremendous resource. I did a quick search for “SB2C” the other day and got roughly 300+ pictures to scroll through!

https://www.history.navy.mil/content/history/nhhc/search.html?q=Sb2c (even better is you can download massive digital scans of the original pics—super handy!)


Anyway, this pic jumped out at me:


It’s a formation of Bunker Hill Helldivers and Avengers heading for Tokyo on 16 February 1945. There’s a discussion a few pages back about the significance. By 1945 the USN was bigger than every other Navy in the world combined. So they could literally park themselves off the coast and launch strikes. Look at the Yellow cowls that were painted just for these raids. But what floored me about the pic, is that they flying over Chiba, enroute to Tokyo. Chiba is the prefecture that is across Tokyo Bay from Yokosuka. Spent many a weekend touring through there when I lived in Yoko…about a 20 minute ferry ride and you’re in a different world than the bustling Kanto Plain. Also flew over it quite a bit, so crazy seeing it in black and white! Found the pic here (if you want to download the 30MB pic to see greater detail)



So maybe a Bunker Hill Beast?! Their arrow G-symbol and yellow cowling do make a distinctive a/c. 


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Hola Amigos.


Update time. Have the wings together!  Before I did that, I needed to sort the misshapen gear doors. @RadBaron's SB2C build showed how they're off. Not as visible with the gear up, but still needs a fixin' 

Here's how it looked when I first attempted to put the doors in place. I'll admit, it made me chuckle. 



Here's both doors



The black areas are what I needed to remove to get them to fit. Oddly enough, that makes the overall outline more correct to the actual shape. I would've extended the actual wheel opening a bit more into the leading edge, but then the tires would be noticeably small within



Once the doors were in place, I flooded the backside with super glue, then filled the seams with liquid sprue I mixed with bits from this kit.  Haven't done that in a while, and it worked well, helping blend everything together.  I assembled the wheels and gave them a quick coat of paint before gluing them to the backside of the doors.  Also took a moment to drill out the ejection cutes for the 20mms.  Biggest issue with the gear doors is that the dog-leg on the leading-edge should have a rounded edge. The kit's is square. Easy enough to rescribe and get the correct shape...  The wings also fit surprisingly well - there's a bit of filler I'll have to use where it meets the fuselage, and also on the leading edge, but all in all, pretty pleased with it.



And an overall view of things together.



Now a bit about the slats.  On the Beast, they retract with air loads. So in flight, above a certain speed, they're retracted. Of course, because I'm putting them up, that means that the slats are the nicest molded slats I've ever seen. They're crisp and delicate - would look great deployed... Check out the cross section (at about 10x magnification):



Of course the fit in the up position is abysmal.  Here's the top of the wing-the slat extends about 2mm beyond the recess.



The bottom is kind of like every slat I've put in the 'up' position. A massive gap along the edge...



Here's a great pic of the real deal. A -4E (noted by the lack of Yagi antennas and extended tailhook). See how clean the bottom of the wing is? You can also see the non-glossy sea blue in front of the windscreen.  Great pic!



On to the bomb bay. Tough to photograph with paint as most of the detail is hiding in the shadows. (also need to redo the rivets as the look like crap).  There's still some work to do here, but not much. Most will be hidden by a 1,000 lb bomb.



And here's what I mean by that. Here's a bomb from the Trumpeter P-47 kit. Once I put the doors in place, most of this effort will be hidden.  Am toying with depicting it with the yoke extended at the moment the bomb is dropped. But I need to do some more research there. I think there's 2 spring loaded doors that pop open, as I think (dangerous, I know), that the arms extend all the way to the fire wall. Still looking for pics on that, so if anyone has some, I'll take 'em! (and a fact that most kits get wrong in the depiction of the bomb bay).



So that's it for now.  Need to go back and clean up the seams on the wings and fill the gaps etc.  Once that's done, I'll likely move on to the engine and get the cowl attached.  Need to be strategic about the build steps as I know at some point the dive brakes will go on, and then this will get really difficult to handle!


Thanks for following along and I appreciate all the comments. Never knew there were so many interested in the Helldiver! :P




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  • easixpedro changed the title to Infinity SB2C Helldiver (29 Aug: wings and gear doors)
13 hours ago, easixpedro said:

 Thanks for following along and I appreciate all the comments. Never knew there were so many interested in the Helldiver! :P



You're doing some fantastic work, Peter!

I've enjoyed following your progress, you're doing a great job wrestling the kit into submission. It's been motivating me to have a look at mine again :D



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8 hours ago, RadBaron said:

You're doing some fantastic work, Peter!

I've enjoyed following your progress, you're doing a great job wrestling the kit into submission. It's been motivating me to have a look at mine again :D



You totally should! It was your build that sent me over the edge, and I don't regret it a bit!

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12 minutes ago, JayW said:

What a mess!!  Sooo, the Helldiver had slats???  I don't know of any other American aircraft of that era to have slats.

Yup, the Helldiver hat automatic slats. I’m guessing the only thing that made it remotely possible to get aboard, based off the horror stories of barely trained pilots going to sea with it.


Off the top of my head, both the Dauntless and Avenger had fixed slats. Both carrier aircraft, and likely had them for the same reason…better slow speed handling characteristics behind the ship. Kind of like the stall strip on your F4U!

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With an empty nest, have been able to get some work done over the long holiday weekend.


First up, the wing where the dive brakes attach.  I finagled these as best I could, but there were still some serious gaps. Also anywhere from 1-2mm of overhang on the edges. Infinity gives you a piece to fill the gap, but it's tough to get it situated. Easy solution is to put some sheet styrene there to cover everything up. Also gives you a nice mounting point for the PE dive brakes. (and apologies for the sweet view of the floor - too busy building and didn't want to stop to take pics with a background!)





Next up it was tackling the little fairing that is part of the walkway. The kit part, and the PE bits that are based off the kit are a tad wonky. As in not wide enough and also too long. Here's the kit (after cutting off 2mm in length) part next to my bit of styrene sheet. I figured I could make it that way and save time trying to fiddle with the PE.



And up close from underneath. The PE bits would build out the same, but the length would be off as they're based off the kit part...



And a (poor) pic to show the overall wing. Those fairings immediately bring the planform of the wing to light.  Getting excited to see her like this!



Here's the real deal (courtesy of the National Museum of WW2 Aviation, posted under fair use for illustrative purposes). Also a great shot of what the dive brakes look like on the -1C and -3!



Next up was the oil cooler flaps. The kit gives you nothing. Way back when I started cutting up the fuselage, I opened this area up.  Easy enough to make with the same styrene I was using to make the above parts. You'll note the pencil marks - that's the approximate area where the spring loaded doors are for the arms to clear when dropping the bomb.



And how much of the oil cooler will be visible (held in direct sunlight by the window).  Glad I didn't go to a lot of effort to make the oil cooler!



And views of the rescribed slats. You'll also note that I took a razor saw and cut out the area between the aileron and the wing. Tried to keep it restrained. Also the overspray everywhere is me giving the wings a shot with an available rattlecan to check my seam work.




Up next was some work on the power plant.  Infinity's engine is good enough for my plans. Some of the detail is soft, but it still builds up nicely. Virtually none of it will be seen the way I'm displaying the model. You'd have to pick up the model to be able to see any of this.  Oddly enough (not really, seems to be a running theme in this build) the engine halves don't exactly match up, one side being smaller than the other. Here's a view of the second row cylinders. I didn't bother trimming anything as it won't be seen.



Here's the first row of cylinders. I did clean these up.  Looks good under some Tamiya AS-12 from the spray can. Went back and cleaned it up a bit more after taking this picture...



Here's the motor with the major components added. Still need to add the governor and some other bits like the wiring. But not bad!  Cleans up pretty well, and will work just fine. Paint's actually still wet on the crankcase in this picture, I was just excited to see how it would look!



And the backside. You'll note I didn't even bother painting these bits. It won't be visible with the cowl flaps closed. But I need the parts on so that I can check the fit from the firewall to the cowling.



Pictures of the real deal, again courtesy of the National Museum of WW2 Aviation's SB2C restoration.







And approximately how much will be visible with that massive spinner on there!  Even less in my display of course...



So that's it for now.  This week I hope to get the cowling situated, as well as finish up the bits for the engine.  Then I'll shift back to the empennage and work on the tail wheel and tailhook.  I see lots of wartime pictures of -1Cs and -3s without the fairing on the tailwheel. Not many -4s though, so I wonder if there was an issue that was solved with the -4?  Also need to research about the hook being in or out of the fuselage as OBG asked about earlier.  Being an old tail hooker, I'm leaning towards having it out, vice hidden in the fuselage.  More soon!


Thanks for following along and the comments!




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  • easixpedro changed the title to Infinity SB2C Helldiver (26 Nov: Finis)

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