About time to get away from the Western front and all of those Luftwaffe baddies, as much as i want to knock out a D9 and some others. I went to the model shop with my heart set on one of the ugliest aircraft i have seen but unfortunately it was a couple of weeks away from coming into stock and i missed the last one on the shelf by a few days. Seems ugly is popular! So, after much perusing at Wildcats, Bearcats, Corsairs and some Japanese craft i walked out with this...
The venerable SBD (slow but deadly) Douglas Dauntless, the machine that famously sent the four Japanese carriers at Midway to the bottom, helped in the earlier sinking of the Shoho and damaging of Shokaku at the Battle of the Coral Sea, scored three1000 pound bomb hits on the Ryujo in the Battle of the Eastern Solomon, which added with a torp hit by an Avenger sent her down. On top of that, 14 cruisers sunk, six Destroyers sent down, transport and other ships as well as plenty more damaged over it's 5 year life span in the Pacific. Despite it's many battles and slow speed it had the lowest attrition rate of any of the US carrier based aircraft, solid old beast and i thought she should be my first cab off the rank when it came to pacific planes. I've had this book kicking around for nearly twenty years and it has all of the planes inside that are included as paint schemes which is cool, it also has the shot that the box art appears to be modeled from as well. 'Thirty-Six Sniper'
I'm already a decent way into this build so this is a catch up thread, grab a drink because it's a bit long winded
I 've been holding off on posting this one so i don't pollute the model forum with my builds, but if i wait to much longer it will be finished.
First up, not a promising sign, a broken wing section right at the wheel wells thinnest piece when i checked the parts off. No biggie, just something extra to do.
Before i dived into the build i decided i was going to get serious about attempting some chipping effects on this one and looked at the options, a chipping fluid, the hairspray option or salt chipping, i went with the salt chipping. It was something i wanted to learn plus i have salt here at home, no outlay needed, and if it fails maybe i can eat the Dauntless. So, it seems simple enough, lay your base coat, wet it with water, place some rock salt down, let it dry and adhere, spray the top coat, brush off the salt...easy peasy! As usual it's going to be one of those easy to do hard to master type of things but you got to give it a shot huh. So out came the trusty Warspite base for some practice. First up some yellow base, wet, salt down (exciting times!)
Blue over the top after the water has evaporated at about 8-10 psi so i don't blow away all of the salt.
And brush the salt away when it's dry
And that's the basics. Delivery/placement and size of the salt is going to be the determining factor i realised after this, and the next experiment, where i did silver first followed by yellow then blue and finally a black stripe, so three salted sections in all.
I will have to do three layers with the model itself but will be concentrating on the inboard sections of the wings and the fuselage under the cockpit and behind the gunner. I have also decided i will more than likely overdo the effect so it stands out a bit more. Basically, everything i have done so far fits as rough as guts required trimming, putty and brute force. This is the the lower wing and the wing top halves to the fuselage, which even under some pressure in this pic are still terrible.
The inside is meant to be zinc chromate which was a yellow mixed with black at the factory so i whacked up a mix which may have been too dark but i'll live with it. These two were a rough fit without any of the many extras even added.
I started out by gluing the broken section to the top half so i could brace it and then putty it up and not worry about possibly snapping the piece off and creating more work for myself.
The cockpit is quite the build in itself and the major part of the kit, a pity as it is rather nice but once the fuselage is joined it will mostly disappear.
Onto the joining. I mated the fuselage full of interiors bits to the one already glued top and lower wing section and then held it under pressure until it set lining up the top wing as square as i could get it. Once i was happy with that the other top half went on and it felt like something was going to bust as it was under some brute force whilst drying to get the second wing to stay true. Once set everything got some additional goop to be cleaned up later as i wasn't confident it would all hold. The lower rear wing gap was horrendous but at least the top wing to fuselage gaps which were my main concern were tight. You'll notice i sanded off the landing lights when doing the lower wing section, i will drill those out and fill them will clear paint so it shouldn't be too much of an issue.
Look at these lovely leading edges. I would rather the putty and sanding work there than down the complete fuselage join though. That's with the wingtips square and neat, maybe the mould guy was drunk.
Putty for the cowl, really obvious and sunken join lines.
The fit of the gun mount to the rear cowl section was also tragic. I ended up cutting a section out of the cowl and bracing it and trimming the inside of the gun mount panel to get a better fit. Since i have tightened the cowl up i will need to trim the front of the plane where this whole piece mounts so it will actually fit.
The hole under the gun mount panel will not matter as the front cowl completely covers it. I knocked out the engine, basic little piece of gear but looks decent when in place. The side of the gun panel will still need some extra work to lessen the gap but it's starting to look much better than out of the box.
Just to get away from all of that and do something painless, i dry brushed the rear .30s which look the part at this stage. The side armour plate is to be painted in the green and another piece of armour plate to be added as well as the mount and then pick out the hand grips.
After puttying and sanding the wing leading edges she got a coat of black and then silver and then the silver was rubbed down with a cloth to smooth it off. You can see the right wing (as you look at the top on silver pic) has been rubbed down compared to the left. Disregard the seam lines and still dodgy looking inboard wing section where the break was, i redid the whole d amn lot again with putty after laying the silver and seeing how terrible it still was
And now, the salt! This first layer may look hectic but not all of this silver will show through the final coat. I thought i'd rather more at this stage than less, easier to have too much and cover it than too less and be stuck. I find i am letting the salt sit for about 30 minutes then spraying then letting the painted salt sit for about two hours before i brush it off with a cut down stiff brush.
Then onto the side, this whole process for the first complete layer took about a day and half with drying times, doing one side at a time and then tilting it to do the fuselage sides separate to the wings
And if you ever wondered what a Dauntless looks like after they fish it out off the ocean a couple of decades later...
Hectic or what
I actually really like it but it is overdone and needs some smoothing down as well before i do the next (blue) coat. I'm hoping to keep about half of the silver in these shots exposed depending on how good i can get my next salt placement. I gave the bombs the salt treatment as well, not as hard core though, just enough to try and show that they have been stored and rubbing around a bit. Once decalled and detailed a bit more they should look the part i think.
So, all caught up to where it stands atm. I was thinking of leaving the wheels up, dive flaps deployed and sitting her above a small circular water base via a piece of clear tubing in a dive position at about 45 degrees or so. We'll see what comes of that though, it just seems a wasted opportunity to have the flaps all popped and then sitting her parked.