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Midway 80th anniversary build - Dauntless and Wildcat


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Hi everyone. It's been ages since I've created an in-progress thread at ARC, but I haven't done much modelling or it was something totally else than A in ARC so let me try to remedy this by this dual build. Since this year marks 80th anniversary of the important naval battle of Midway which was one of the turning points of the WW2, I've decided to jump into rather unknown territory for me, a jetboy - WW2 era props.

 

Anyhow, the kits I'll be using are the excellent 1:72 ArmaHobby F4F-4 Wildcat and Flyhawk's first foray into aircraft kits, the SBD-3 Dauntless. After having built Flyhawk's HMS Aurora and seeing the awesome detail a ship in 1:700 can have, I went and preordered their Dauntless, first time in about 40 years I am building models. And boy oh boy, I don't regret decision at all. Surface details are top notch, a mix of engraved panel lines and positive rivets and interior, which will probably not be seen anymore when closing the fuselage, better than in larger scales. I'll be building these two kits in a modular fashion - first one cockpit then another, then the engines, then the prep for painting, joint common colours painting, etc.

 

Enough of chit chat, let me show you the result of the first day of work. Interior green airbrushed over black primer to get some tonal variation and the black boxes painted. Hopefully I'll start adding detail bits of paint and weathering in the next few days. I have also finished the rear gunner machine guns and boy-oh-boy how great they look. Unfortunately my camera isn't able to catch such a tiny detail, but I'll try to play with different lenses to see if I can get a worthy shot of it.

 

sbd-1-XL.jpg

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sbd-3-XL.jpg

There are some pin marks in the cockpit area but they are cleverly placed and will either get covered by interior equipment or will be hidden when the fuselage is closed.

 

sbd-4-XL.jpg

Cockpit floor also looks great and all I did was a bit of brown weathering and some scratch marks around the seats, foot rests and gunners seat/position. Unfortunately the kit doesn't come with any PE, so the seatbelts were used from a Brengun set in my stash.

 

sbd-5-XL.jpg

Very nicely detailed machine guns (just drilled the hole in the muzzles), instrument panel and rear gunners radio equipment. Glass faces were made with UV glue.

 

sbd-6-XL.jpg

And everything glued together... well most of the things... I was thinking of adding a wash to the sidewall details as well, but since they won't be seen at all once the fuselage is closed, I decided to skip this step.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Flyhawk's Dauntless has got to be one of the best engineered kits I have ever built. The fit is exceptional, as are the details. Sprue attachment points are relatively narrow and located on the mating surfaces making this build fast and hassle free. Nose cowling is just dryfitted to the fuselage and the engine will be installed at the end of the build.

 

sbd-7-XL.jpg

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I am working on a figure as a birthday present to my good friend so the progress on my Midway builds has slowed a bit.

 

Nevertheless I managed to finish the cockpit. And how tiny it is - 12mm from instrument panel to back wall. I have an expert set version of the kit but I decided not to use the main instrument cluster PE part as I haven't seen I'd gain anything of it. So I used unmodified IP slightly drybrushed and used supplied instrument decals which fit beautifully and instrument glass created with UV resin.

I am also aware that maybe bronze green would be a better choice but since most of the cockpit will disappear in the dark depths of closed cockpit, I just used interior green instead.

 

F4F4-1-XL.jpg

 

F4F4-2-XL.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

While I just finished a figure build or better said painting, I now continue with the Midway build.

 

F4F4-3-XL.jpg

Rear end of the engine mount with oil tank and filters

F4F4-4-XL.jpg

Engine mount and really nicely detailed firewall with all the chains and sprockets.

 

F4F4-5-XL.jpg

A busy front end of the Wildcat full of support struts and rods... and not to mention an entire landing gear assembly is still missing in the photo.

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 Very nice!  Any particular plane marking you will pick?
 

I like the subject as I’m working on Midway builds too

 

minor detail, if it matters or not, the .30 dual guns on the SBD did not have shields on them at the time, and had the magazine boxes on the side of the guns.

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On 4/30/2022 at 10:14 AM, Benner said:

 Very nice!  Any particular plane marking you will pick?
 

I like the subject as I’m working on Midway builds too

 

minor detail, if it matters or not, the .30 dual guns on the SBD did not have shields on them at the time, and had the magazine boxes on the side of the guns.

 

Thanks, Ben!

Do you have any photo you could share of the setup? I guess I could easily remove the shield but would really like to see how the magazine boxes looked like.
As for the markings, I guess I'm just gonna be bland and choose Best's and Thach's mounts.

 

Anyhow, I've made some good progress on the Wildcat and here she is in its current state. I've also invested a couple of hours into riveting the whole model which I think will immensely improve the overall looks later in the build.

 

F4F4-6-XL.jpg

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Posted (edited)
On 5/3/2022 at 3:42 AM, Sebastijan said:

 

Thanks, Ben!

Do you have any photo you could share of the setup? I guess I could easily remove the shield but would really like to see how the magazine boxes looked like.
As for the markings, I guess I'm just gonna be bland and choose Best's and Thach's mounts.

 

Anyhow, I've made some good progress on the Wildcat and here she is in its current state. I've also invested a couple of hours into riveting the whole model which I think will immensely improve the overall looks later in the build.

 

 

 

Decent reference pictures from that time are few, but scroll down this link and you'll find a pic of a damaged Hornet SBD.  Condemned Men - Rear-Seat Gunners at Midway | SpaceBattles You can make out the ammo box on the side.  Unfortunately, no one makes a gun arrangement like this in 1:72 or 1:48

 

I also read recently that the SBDs in Enterprise's air group painted their landing struts to identify the plane while landing.  Apparently Best's plane had both struts in red.d

Edited by Benner
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19 hours ago, Sebastijan said:

Oh that's interesting and would make a nice difference on a finished model... would love to find a photo proof of that

 

The Midway Roundtable is a great resource which I've used Battle of Midway RoundTable (midway42.org)

In the Jan 2022 post, scroll down to you see the article on Best's plane.

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On 5/5/2022 at 9:56 AM, Sebastijan said:

Ben, that is Golden!!! Thank you very much!

I found that site fascinating with all the information available, especially the after action reports.  The people that made the most recent Midway movie used a contact at Midway Roundtable as a resource, yet they still put bombs under the wings of the TBD Devastator's on the film ...

 

BTW, maybe a useless fact in terms of modeling.  Thach flew two planes, "23" on the escort mission, and "1" on the sortie to defend the USS Yorktown.  I built my F4F-4 as Tom Cheek's plane on the escort mission, his story was pretty captivating to read.

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9 hours ago, Benner said:

I found that site fascinating with all the information available, especially the after action reports.  The people that made the most recent Midway movie used a contact at Midway Roundtable as a resource, yet they still put bombs under the wings of the TBD Devastator's on the film ...

 

BTW, maybe a useless fact in terms of modeling.  Thach flew two planes, "23" on the escort mission, and "1" on the sortie to defend the USS Yorktown.  I built my F4F-4 as Tom Cheek's plane on the escort mission, his story was pretty captivating to read.

Yeah I am aware of two planes - actually Arma hobby provides both numbers in their Wildcat kit. Re-Dauntless - did they use underwing bombs or just the central one?

 

Before watching the Midway movie, I read the book called The Silver Waterfall by Kevin Miller. Albeit being historical fiction it puts you right into the thick of the action - so much better than the movie itself. In fact, it made the movie experience very bleak to me just for that reason. Enjoyed the book tenfold more.

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2 hours ago, Sebastijan said:

Yeah I am aware of two planes - actually Arma hobby provides both numbers in their Wildcat kit. Re-Dauntless - did they use underwing bombs or just the central one?

 

Before watching the Midway movie, I read the book called The Silver Waterfall by Kevin Miller. Albeit being historical fiction it puts you right into the thick of the action - so much better than the movie itself. In fact, it made the movie experience very bleak to me just for that reason. Enjoyed the book tenfold more.

VB-6 only carried the 1000 lb bomb

 

McClusky and VS-6 carried a 500lb bomb and two underwing bombs

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  • 1 month later...

It's been a while so it's about bloody time for an update, ain't it? 😄

Since it's a double build and since both carry the same camo colours, this step was finished rather quickly.

 

Wildcat

F4F4-7-XL.jpg

F4F4-8-XL.jpg

 

Dauntless

sbd-8-XL.jpg

sbd-9-XL.jpg

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On 6/12/2022 at 8:53 PM, BuNo02100 said:

Have the Arma Wildcat and this making me seriously consider getting the Flyhawk Dauntless.  What paint are you using for the upper Blue Gray.

 

BW

Thank you, BW! If you get one, you certainly won't be dissapointed. I am using MrPaint lacquers - so for the top MRP-133 BLUE GREY M-485

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