**** DONE: GB-48 1/48 SBD-1 Dauntless - Carrier & Maritime Patrol A/C of WWII

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Nov 16, 2008
Username: Crimea River
First name: Andy
Category: Judge – Non competing
Scale: 1/48
Manufacturer: Accurate Miniatures
Model Type: SBD-1 Dauntless
Aftermarket Add-ons: Eduard cockpit detail set for SBD-3

The subject of this build will be an SBD-1 Bu.No. 1597 flying with (Marine Bombing Squadron) VMB-2 as depicted below (artwork from Wings Pallette).


A little leeway will be taken on the time frame as the subject aircraft carried this scheme for a short time between its delivery in late 1940 and some time in 1941 when the scheme was changed to an overall neutral grey. References have VMB-2 flying with this scheme in Quantico, VA and out of NAS North Island, San Diego. Another reference has the squadron shipping out to Hawaii in January, 1941, which is only a month after the SBD-1s began to be received by the unit. Regardless, this particular aircraft is well documented in photos that can be found around the net (example here) so I've been able to confirm a couple of mistakes in the kit instructions regarding the paint scheme. The kit also provides decals for the rather boring all grey scheme but I'd like to give this attractive scheme a go.

I've started to shake out the parts a will take some sprue shots for the next post.


Nov 16, 2008
The kit is one that I picked up cheap second hand at a model show some years ago. All the parts are still bagged and in good shape and what a ncie looking kit it is. Let's take a look.

The box is large and sturdy but the box art is, well, not much to write home about. What's more is that the "Optional" scheme that I'm doing, the bottom profile, is incorrectly called out. "VNB-1" should read "VMB-2". Oh well....


Flash is minimal and the moulding is impeccable. The only knock I can give is that the Dauntless featured raised rivets but no such details are visible on the surfaces, just nice, clean, recessed panel lines.


A close-up of the center section underside shows some nice detailing through visible openings along with the bomb shackle.


There are plenty of clear parts for an open and closed canopy. Also, Accurate Miniatures have continued their odd habit of providing a clear IP which I have yet to be convinced looks realistic. This will be replaced with an Eduard PE one.


Engine ignition wires are provided as a separate part. Some cleanup will be needed but I've seen much, much worse.


There are some really nice mouldings for the cockpit side walls and the rudder pedals are very delicate. The perforated dive flaps are a nice touch and, with a bit of thinning, should look the part.


I had removed the fuselage halves already but put them back for this picture. The nose area consists of several parts to allow all version of the SBD to be built. This kit includes the correct parts for the SBD-1.


The part with the 3420 tab below is the large carburettor cowl intake unique to the SBD-1 and, because alternates are not provided, I'm stuck with this option only.


This sprue was still bagged but each of the horizontal stab parts were loos in the bag. That's because just one attachment point is provided and this is at the glue tab which leaves all the visible surfaces clean. These parts are nice and thin.


A tight shot of the same sprue shows a really nice 1000lb bomb with thin fins and a nicely detailed fuse vane. At the top of the pic are the flap actuators - very cool.


The wing bomb racks are very nicely detailed:


Still on the same sprue a delicate trim wheel and a nice little flare pistol.


The last sprue features the wheels with separate hubs, the front-firing machine guns, cockpit floor which correctly follows the top contour of the wing, and of course the engine cylinders.


The decals are nicely printed but incomplete in that AM seem to have ignored the fact that there was a red chevron on the upper wing surface and an aircraft number, in this case number 1. I'll need to paint both.


That's it for the box content.
Last edited:


Nov 16, 2008
Post number 2 has been updated with sprue shots. The first major decision to make now is what colour to paint the cockpit interior. My bird, BuNo 1597 was only the second SBD-1 off the production line and most references seem to favour a bare metal cockpit. However, some have said that it should be yellow Zinc Chromate and the SBD-1, BuNo 1612 pulled out of Lake Michigan a few years back apparently already had Interior Green inside (SBD-1 Dauntless). That's only 15 numbers away from mine.

I'm favouring bare metal but maybe someone like D Dana Bell has a better opinion?

Dana Bell

Senior Airman
Sep 17, 2016
Hi Andy,

The drawings and manuals that I've seen are not specific to the SBD-1, but they're early enough that I suspect the first airframe was Yellow-Green in the cockpit. It would look a lot like the 1943 color Interior Green, but it would be lighter due to the addition of aluminum paste. See this article for more:

Archival Show and Tell #1 Yellow Green by Dana Bell

One other note, since you mentioned the missing chevrons. These should wrap around the leading edge of the wing with the Orange Yellow upper color, ending at about 5% of the chord. The actual chevrons were 13 inches wide.

The black number "1" above the wing should be 20 inches long and 3 inches wide.

Enjoy the build - those early Dauntlesses were beautiful!




Nov 16, 2008
Much appreciated Dana. Thanks for the prompt response and for the extra info on the chevron and aircraft number. I did see both in period photos but your dimensions will save me having to ask in the future.

T Bolt

Mar 24, 2010
Chicago, Illinois
Nice choice Andy.
I have a AM Dauntless in my stash and it has now moved up near the top of my pick list for this group build


Nov 16, 2008
Thanks Glenn and I look forward to seeing your build. I'm very impressed with this kit so far. Wonderful detail and clean mouldings.

While doing the old file/sand/prime dance on my Typhoon, I launched into this kit by assembling as much of the cockpit as possible to make a useful paint session with my version of the mixed Yellow-Green. Here are the major assemblies and some of the cockpit wall parts have been cut up to be replaced with Eduard PE detail parts.


The cockpit floor has the clear instrument panel installed with some of the raised detail scrubbed off to receive the Eduard IP.


For the interior colour, I started with Tamiya XF-4 Yellow Green and added a drop or two of Aluminum and a few drops of black. After spraying the surfaces entirely in black, I sprayed the yellow-green mix on a downward angle to create some shadow effects. The camera and lighting don't pick up this effect very well.


Next up will be the addition of PE details. Thanks for looking.

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