Florida's OLDEST IPMS Chapter (est. 1970)
IPMS Region 11

Click here for Pelikan Home Page

SBD-4 Dauntless "Operation Torch"

Polish PZL-11c
PZL P-11c
Spitfire Mk. I - 19 Squadron
Curtiss Hawk 75 A-1
Gloster Gladiator - Finnish
Gloster Gladiator Mk. II
Fairey Battle
Hawker Hurricane Mk I
Hurricane Mk. I
Finnish Buffalo
Brewster B-239
Brewster B-239 Buffalo
Bristol Blenheim Mk IF
Hurricane Mk I "Fabric Wings"
Boulton Paul Defiant Mk. I
Bf 109
Me-109 E3 - 1/24
Ju-87B Stuka - 1/24
Hurricane Mk I - 1/24
Hurricane I (1/144)
Hurricane Mk. I
Hispano HA-112 M-I-L
Spitfire Mk. I - 1/24
Achtung! Spitfire!
Spitfire Mk-1A
Me 110 Zerstrorer
Lockheed Hudson Mk. I
Dornier Do 17Z
Spitfire Mk I
Heinkel He-111
Heinkel He-111 1/144
Bf-109 E
Dewoitine D.520
MIG-3 "in progress"
Polikarpov I-16 "Little Donkey"
I-16 Type 24 "Little Donkey"
Fairey Swordfish Mk II
Macchi C.200 Saetta
Macchi MC-202 Folgore
SBD-4 Dauntless "Operation Torch"
Ju87B Stuka "Desert Snake"
Ju 87R Stuka
Me-109 F-4 Trop
Hawker Hurricane Mk II
P-40C Tomahawk
Spitfire Mk V
XF5F-1 Skyrocket
RP-63 Kingcobra 1/144
XB-26 Invader
Me108 Taifun
Desert Hurricane 1/144th
MC 202
Bf 109F Trop
Kittyhawk Mk IA
Spitfire Mk. Vb Trop.
Hurricane Mk. IID
Westland Whirlwind
Bf110 E "Wespen"
Douglas A-20G Havoc
A-20G Havoc
A-26B Invader
Vickers Wellington Mk X
Douglas A-26 Invader
B-25J "Panchito"
Martlet Mk. II
Martlett III
B-26 "Yankee Guerilla"
B-26 "Big Hairy Bird"
ME-110G Nightfighter
Bf-110 Instrument panel
Fw190 D-9 "Dora"
Hungarian Bf-109G
Spitfire floatplane
Spitfire Mk IX & PR XIX
Bristol Beaufighter
IL-2 Stormovik
IL2M-3 Stormovic
Finnish BF-109 F
FW-190 A-3 Wurger
Ju 87 D Stuka
Spitfire Mk IX
A-36 Apache
Me-410 B "Hornisse"
FW 190 A5
Mustang III
Mustang Mk. III
Mosquito B. Mk IV
P-47D Thunderbolt
P-51B "Ding Hao!"
P-51B "Bald Eagle"
P-51B Mustang
P-51B Shangri-La
P-51B D-Day
P-51B Mustang
P-51D Mustang
P-51D 1/144
P51 / P47
P-38E Texas Rangers
P-38 Lightning
B-17G Flying Fortress
Bf 109
AT-6 Texan
Bell XP-77
P-47D Razorback "Penrod and Sam"
P-47D Thunderbolt - 1
P-47D Thunderbolt - 2
P-47D "Ay Chuhuahua"
P-47D "Bubbletop"
P-47D Thunderbolt
Mk IX Spitfire
Nordone UC-64A
B-26 Marauder 1/144
P-47 Thunderbolt
P-47D Razorback 1/144th
P-47D Thunderbolt 1/144
Northrup P-61 Black Widow
Lockheed P-38J Lightning
P-38 Lightning "Yippee"
P-63A Kingcobra
Hawker Tempest V
Fairey Firefly
Me-109G 10
Bf109 G-14
Focke Wulf Ta-152H
FW-190 A8
FW 190 D-12
Me-163 Komet
Me 163 B-1a Komet
He-219 Uhu
Me-163 Komet and Me-262
Hawker Typhoon Mk. 1B
Spitfire XVI
P-39Q Airacobra "Jump Ship"
Captured Mosquito
Martin B-26 Marauder
Bristol Beaufighter
P-51D Big Beautiful Doll
P-51D Mustang
P-51D 361st Fighter Group
P-38J Lightning
P-38 Lightning 1/144
Fw 190D-9
Dornier Do-335 A-12
Bf 109G-6 "Rotte 13"
Bf 109 G
Me 163
Me-262 Schwalbe
Me 262
Me 262
Me. 1099 B.  & Ki 84
Me 262 1/144
Ta 152
Ta 183
Spitfire XIVe
Dewoitine 520
German V-1
Mosquito Pr Mk I
Gloster Meteor Mk. I
Collings P-51, B-17, B-24
Collings P-51, B-17, B-24

A trip down Memory Lane

The date, late October 1959. The place, Council Bluffs, Iowa. The ten year old boy arrives home from school to find a note from his mom saying she will be late and to do his homework. Aha, the perfect chance! He jumps on his bike and rides the 10 or so blocks to Tom's Shoe Repair & Hobby as fast as the two wheels will take him. He darts in the door and quickly hands the old guy working on someone's sole $1.49. Back on his bike and home as fast as his legs will take him. Never know just what "I will be late" means.

He bounds up the stairs to his room and removes the box from its brown paper bag. What a beauty! A Monogram 1/48th scale SBD Dauntless. The picture on the box shows an SBD just rolling into its dive and a small scrap shot of the included ground crewman working on the centerline bomb. It is almost like you are there at the Battle of Midway!

The young boy pours over the instruction steps with as much patience as he can muster, but in just a few moments is twisting the fuselage pieces from their trees and doing a test fit. All the features! Retracting landing gear. Interconnected dive brakes. Spinning prop. Best of all a small trigger under the fuselage that releases the center bomb, which swings on its yoke to free the propeller before plunging into the deck of the Japanese aircraft carrier that is sitting helplessly below!

In about 2 hours the plane is together and the boy is testing the flaps and the bomb action. He has been as careful following the directions as his youth will allow and there are not too many glue fingerprints marring the blue plastic. After a few bomb runs he opens his small bottle of Pactra 'namel and begins to brush on the light gray underside of his latest masterpiece. He also does the very best he can hand painting the canopy frames with blue paint. It will take about 4 hours to dry, which should bring him nicely through homework and then dinner.

After dinner, while the rest of the family watches a sitcom downstairs in the living room, he carefully soaks and then slides the decals into position according to the kit directions. While these are drying he takes some time to paint the pilot, gunner, ground crewman and LSO officer. By bedtime that evening he has gingerly rearranged the models already on display on top of his chest of drawers to give the little dive bomber pride of place near the front. Then he tucks the empty box into his secret place behind his dresser and files away the instructions. That night just before he drops off to sleep he reads and then re-reads the small folding brochure included with his kit and makes plans for his next purchase. Should it be the Avenger or the small P-40?

Since that day in 1959 I have probably built at least a squadron of these Monogram SBD's. When the Accurate Miniatures kit came out I really went crazy. An SBD-3 for my Battle of Midway diorama with my TBD and F4F. Another SBD-1 in golden wings markings. When the original AM announced that they were closing they offered a "Double Dauntless" kit which I snapped up. Recently I have completed one as an SBD-5 and the other as a Midway SBD-3 poised in its dive.

While on a trip to my local hobby shop, I saw this kit in the original "4-Star" boxing on the shelf. The owner has purchased a huge pile of kits from an estate and this was one of them. Most of the pieces were off the trees but there wasn't too much damage. The kneeling deck crew figure was the only part missing. As soon as I saw that kit all the memories of building them as a young boy came rushing back. Since it was a "4-star" issue, I probably should have had my wife sell it on e-bay with her account, but some things just do not have a monetary value.

This time I did the best job I could on the seams and I must say that the kit fits very well. I did a few things to make it a little more accurate, but I really didn't want to change it too much. For example, I just could not bring myself to melt the axles with a heated screwdriver to make them spin. I also drilled out all the tiny holes in the dive flaps. This is tedious but makes a real difference in the look of these aircraft. The kit decals were pretty much toast so I used the Operation Torch markings provided with the AM Double Dauntless kit. As I understand it the Mono SBD comes closest to being an SBD-4 because of the prop hub and air intake on the cowl.

The part of modeling I enjoy most is airbrushing so I took my time with this part. I pre-shaded and faded the paint on the control surfaces, etc. to make it a bit more realistic. I think it turned out pretty good.

This old veteran will take its place with the rest of my kits on display in the living room and, if plastic models have feelings, it will be very happy to look around and enjoy the view after it's 45 year wait.

SBD-4 Dauntless "Operation Torch"
Modeler: Michael Stanley
Scale: 1/48
Manufacturer: Monogram 

Back ] Next ]


Hit Counter