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Grumman TBM-3R

Sword, 1/72 scale

S u m m a r y

Description and Catalogue Number: Sword Kit No. SW72132 – Grumman TBM-3R
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media:

87 parts in grey plastic (incl. one not for use), 15 parts in clear (four not for use); decals for three marking options.

Price:

Available online from these stockists:

Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: High quality moulding; good level of detail; fine recessed surface textures; thin, crystal clear injection moulded canopy.
Disadvantages:

No harness straps; flimsy end-opeming box; canopy masks might have been nice!

Conclusion:

Sword's kits are limited run but the quality of moulding, the level of detail and the finesse of surface textures would challenge some mainstream injection moulding model companies.

Sword's 1/72 scale TBM-3R is a fairly simple and well detailed limited run kit of a subject that has not appeared in plastic before. Take your time with parts cleanup and alignment and you will have an impressive result.

 

Reviewed by Brett Green

 

Introduction

 

The Grumman TBF Avenger (designated TBM for aircraft manufactured by General Motors) is an American torpedo bomber developed initially for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, and eventually used by several air and naval aviation services around the world.

 

 

The Avenger entered U.S. service in 1942, and first saw action during the Battle of Midway. Despite the loss of five of the six Avengers on its combat debut, it survived in service to become the most effective and widely-used torpedo bomber of World War II, sharing credit for sinking the super-battleships Yamato and Musashi (the only ships of that type sunk exclusively by American aircraft while under way) and being credited for sinking 30 submarines.

Greatly modified after the war, it remained in use until the 1960s.

 

 

The TBM-3R was a post-WWII conversion of the TBM-3 to a seven-passenger, Carrier Onboard Delivery (COD) transport.

 

 

FirstLook

 

Sword's latest release is a 1/72 scale Grumman TBM-3R. As far as I am aware, there has never been an injection moulded kit of this Avenger COD variant available before.

The end-opening box features Jerry Boucher's gorgeous artwork,

The kit comprises 87 parts in grey plastic (incl. one not for use), 15 parts in clear (four not for use) and decals for three marking options. These are all packed in a large sungle ziplock clear plastic bag.

 

  • Sword Kit No. SW72132  Grumman TBM-3R Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Sword Kit No. SW72132  Grumman TBM-3R Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Sword Kit No. SW72132  Grumman TBM-3R Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Sword Kit No. SW72132  Grumman TBM-3R Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Sword Kit No. SW72132  Grumman TBM-3R Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Sword Kit No. SW72132  Grumman TBM-3R Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Sword Kit No. SW72132  Grumman TBM-3R Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Sword Kit No. SW72132  Grumman TBM-3R Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Sword Kit No. SW72132  Grumman TBM-3R Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Sword Kit No. SW72132  Grumman TBM-3R Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Sword Kit No. SW72132  Grumman TBM-3R Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Sword Kit No. SW72132  Grumman TBM-3R Review by Brett Green: Image
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The grey plastic parts are moulded onto two sprues with fine attachment points.

Being a limited run kit, there are none of the little luxuries such as locating pins and tabs, so take time when aligning and gluing the plastic parts. The quality of the plastic is very good.

Surface textures, including fine consistrnt recessed panel lines and rib tapes on fabric control surfaces, are really well done.

 

 

The cockpit is simply broken down with sidewall detail moulded onto the interior of the fuselage halves. Moulding is crisp and detail is good here. It should pop out with careful painting and weathering.

 

 

The instrument panel is a single plastic part with recessed circles. It would have been nice to have the option of an overlay decal with instrument dial detail but you're on your own there.

You'll need to supply your own harness straps too.

In the rear, there are two rows of two passenger seats with separte headrests.

The engine cyliders, crankcase, magneto and pushrods are moulded as a single part but should look good when painted carefully and detailed to taste.

 

 

The clear parts are thin and crystal clear.

 

 

Alternative rear sections are supplied for different variants so make sure you use the correct one (Part C5). The windscreen is a separate part so the canopy may be posed open if you wish.

 

 

Radar and searhlight pods are supplied and mentioned in the instructions but I am not sure that they apply to this variant. I'd be leaving these off.

Markings are provided for three options, one Japanese and two US Navy, all in overall Gloss Sea Blue.

 

 

Decals are printed by Techmod. They are glossy and in good register.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Sword's kits are limited run but the quality of moulding, the level of detail and the finesse of surface textures would challenge some mainstream injection moulded model companies.

Sword's 1/72 scale TBM-3R is a fairly simple and well detailed limited run kit of a variant that has not appeared in plastic before. Take your time with parts cleanup and alignment and you will have an impressive result.

Thanks to Sword Models for the review samples.


Text and Images Copyright © 2020 by Brett Green
Page Created 12 October, 2020
Last updated 13 October, 2020

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