Helldiver Title

Model Details

Kit:Airfix Curtis Helldiver SB2C, 1/72nd scale

Detailing Items:
Out of the box.

Mr Hobby and Tamiya.


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Curtis SB2C-4 Helldiver
Airfix first released this kit back in the late 1960's and the tooling is showing its age now. one I opened up the box, I knew what was originally going to be a quick build had changed to one where I will be spending a bit of time with my tubes of filler and sanding sticks.
The cockpit interior was very basic, no raised detail on the dashes to represent any dials, etc. So this was built up in a matter of minutes and then glued into one half of the fuselage. Once the two fuselage halves were glued together, the difference between the two side became clear on the joints. This was going to need plenty of filler to sort out this variation in the two halves at the joint, but first I will continue with more building. I assembled the main wings and Airfix give you the choice of having the wings in the down position or folded. I originally was planning to have them folded, but after seeing how they looked and the way they were hinged, I decided to build them in the down position. The tail planes were also glued in place on the rear of the fuselage and a full assessment of the required filling was done.
I first ran some correction fluid around the gaps in all of the wing joints and then cleaned off any excess using a cotton bud dipped in some IsoAlc, then repeated the process on the areas requiring it. The upper joint along the fuselage behind the cockpit to the tail was the worst of the joints on the model. I built up the height difference using some "Green Stuff" filler and then went around the rest of the fuselage joints with some correct fluid and filler. Once all of the joints were sorted out, the bomb bay doors were added and everything received a couple of coats of primer. The engine cowling was then held in place on the fuselage with some blutac and the lower surfaces was given a couple of coats of Mr Hobby's H316 White. Once this was dry, this was masked off and the next colour Mr Hobby's H56 Intermediate Blue was sprayed over the underside of the folding wing sections,the whole tail section and the lower sides of the nose section from the wings. Some more masking was done and then the final colour of Mr Hobby's H54 Navy Blue was used to finish up the upper surfaces of the wings and fuselage.
The bomb bay, undercarriage bays, inside of the engine cowling and cockpit areas were painted with interior green by hand. The bombs, missiles, undercarriage gear, engine and propeller were all hand painted to with the required colours as to the instructions. The model was given a coat of gloss clear before adding the decals and then seal them with some matt clear afterwards.The cockpit canopies were all hand painted and once dried, glued into place on the fuselage using Micro Krystal Klear to hold them in position. Before moving onto the final assembly, I carried out some post-shading along the panel lines and some general weathering over the fuselage. Once I was happy with the look, final assembly commenced and the undercarriage, bombs and missiles were added to the model to complete the build.
For the age of the tooling, the amount of filler used and the cleaning up of the flash on it, once painted the model has turned out okay. Fair enough, there may be a couple of better versions of this aircraft from other manufacturers out there, but for the money that this one costs, it is okay. I suppose if I were to but another one of these kits, I would get some of the aftermarket detailing sets and even do some scratch-building to improve this kit. But that would be another story for a later date!

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