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Curtiss SB2C-4 Helldiver

by Patrick Chung


Curtiss SB2C-4 Helldiver


ProModeler's Helldiver is available online from Squadron.com



The Diving Beast.
Building ProModeler's 1/48 Scale Curtiss SB2C-4 "Helldiver"

Inspired by Mister Bernhard Schrock's brilliant conversion of the Helldiver elsewhere on HyperScale, I decided to build mine in the same way.

My kit is the Hasegawa release of ProModeler's kit which features Japanese instruction sheet (which far worse than the original English version by ProModeler - many areas are somewhat unclear); and different painting scheme (an late war all blue a/c of VB-16 aboard USS Randolph), which I did not like very much.



To enhance the interior detail, Eduard's PE set 48-226 was used.(the gun-metal coloured PE fret got to be thoroughly washed in the dish washing detergent and rinsed to get rid of the grease, otherwise they won't stick to the kit parts properly).





Construction started with cutting plastic interior parts for PE replacement per Eduard's instruction and then independently painted and weathered. All interior was painted bronze green using Gunze Sangyo's Mr.Colour lacquer paint No.27 custom tuned down to a darker and more greenish shade to match that, followed by a second coat of highlighting and a third coat of shading.

Tiny details then brought out using black, red, yellow and tan colours - all GS lacquer paints. Each every sub-assembly and all interior surfaces then oil washed and dry brushed to further give a 3D visual effect.



Next I started cutting all flying surfaces off with a fine razor saw, and plasticard sheet was used to block the openings of stablizers. The leading edge of the elevators and rudder were sanded to a smooth, rounded finish.

The internal portion of the dive-brake (upper and lower, both wings) were also cut off from the wing trailing edge and all tiny holes of the perforated area drilled through. After dry fitting with the kit photoetched parts (which seemingly also made by Eduard, but without the gun metal coating, and much thicker and harder, easier to bond with) they were superglued together with only minor modifications.



The hydraulic operated dive-brake actuators, hinges, bearings, horns and pushrods were scratch built using copper wires, plastic rods and cards.

A few mismatches occurred during the final assembly and after a lot of sanding I carefully re-established all the raised rivets lost using heat stretched runner sprues.



Painting and Finishing


For painting scheme I opted the tri-coloured camouflage dipcting an aircraft of VB-83 on board USS Essex, circa April,1945.



I was not able to use the AeroMaster decal set for this specific ship so I decided to mask-and-paint all the markings: The result turned out okay.



Additional Images


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Review and Images Copyright 2002 by Patrick Chung
Page Created 12 April, 2002
Last updated 04 June, 2007

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