Hasegawa Douglas SBD-3 Dauntless of LT Dick Best in 1/72 Scale

This aircraft is B-1 of VB-6 from the USS Enterprise (CV-6) during the Battle of Midway, 4 June 1942.  The crew was LT Richard H. Best and Chief Radioman James F. Murray.  This was one of only three SBDs which attacked Akagi, and Best scored the only hit which led to her eventual loss.  Best was also credited with a hit on Hiryu later in the day and was awarded the Navy Cross for his actions.

This is the Hasegawa SBD-3 kit, dive flaps were replaced with Quickboost resin, there’s really no way to get a decent appearance using the kit flaps.  The cockpit was also replaced with resin, canopy sections are from Falcon.  The bomb is from True Details.  The small window forward of the bomb is molded closed, it was opened up and given glass with Micro Krystal Klear.  The landing light is a small section punched from the inside of a candy bar wrapper, these are very reflective.  Decals are from Starfighter’s Midway sheet and performed quite well, as expected. The spinner is True Blue.  This a throwback to the Yellow Wing days, when Enterprise’s air group tail color was Blue.  Enterprise’s call sign was “Blue Base”.

Hasegawa Brewster Model B-239 Buffalo of 1Lt Hans Wind in 1/72 Scale

Hans Wind was Finland’s second highest scoring ace with 75 victories.  39 of his victories were scored during the Continuation War flying the Brewster Buffalo.  While the Buffalo is generally considered to be an inferior type, the Finns used it with great effect against the Soviets, Wind’s victories included several lend-lease Hurricanes and Spitfires.  He was awarded the Mannerheim Cross twice.

The model depicts the B-239 of 1Lt Hans Wind of 1/LeLv 24 operating from Suulajarvi during the spring of 1943.

Construction posts here: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2022/03/04/hasegawa-brewster-model-b-239-buffalo-build-part-i/

Hasegawa Brewster Model B-239 Buffalo of SSgt Nils Katajainen in 1/72 Scale

Nils Katajainen was a Finnish fighter pilot who was credited with a total of 35 victories, including 17 on the Brewster Buffalo.  He was wounded in action in July 1944, which ended his flying career.  He was awarded the Mannerheim Cross.

The model represents the Brewster Model B-239 of SSgt Nils Katajainen of 3/LeLv at Kontupohja during the Winter of 1942.

More completed photographs here: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2022/04/14/hasegawa-brewster-model-b-239-buffalo-of-1lt-hans-wind-in-1-72-scale/

Hasegawa Curtiss SOC Seagull Build in 1/72 Scale Part III

This is the underside of the float version after checking seams with a coat of Mr. Surfacer 1500. The lower wing part is thick near the fuselage. This one had some sink marks, but the other one didn’t.
Here is the float resting on the cart. I have added several circular inspection covers which were missing from the mold. The kit parts include a flat raised portion along the upper surface of the float which actually had a corrugated appearance. I filed off the flat surface and replaced if with lengths of 0.030” Evergreen rod to better represent the actual appearance.
This is what “negative modeling” looks like. I attempted to paint the section markings on the upper wing, but the red paint infiltrated under my masking. Either the masking was not burnished down well enough or the thinner reacted with the adhesive, or maybe a little of both. In any case, I sanded off the offending red, repainted the Orange Yellow, and used decals instead.
The floatplane will be in the Blue Gray over Light Gray scheme, seen here under a layer of Glosscoat ready for decals.
Decals are from Starfighter sheet 72-135 USN at Midway and went on without any problems. These are the major components ready for assembly. The paint is still glossy at this point, I will apply the final flat finish after the rigging is done.
These are the major components for the wheeled version. Decals are from Yellow Wing Decals with the green tail stripes painted on. The red on the cowling was darkened a bit to match the red on the decals.
Rigging was done with 0.005” Nitinol wire, measured with dividers and secured in place with Micro Liquitape. The Liquitape never totally dries out but remains tacky which allows any wires which come loose to be simply re-applied. The radio antenna wires are 0.004” Nitinol.
The finished models. They need some extra added details but build up reasonably well for 53-year-old kits. They will have to do as they are the only 1/72 scale SOCs in town and are likely to remain so for the foreseeable future.

List of improvements:

Landing light drilled out.

Elevator hinges replaced.

Molded-on streamed antenna on port side replaced.

Aileron linkages replaced with Evergreen rod.

Gun trough drilled out, gun from tubing.

Float access ports added, top surfaces replaced.

Hand grabs added on wingtip floats.

Cockpits replaced with Starfighter resin.

Engines replaced with RE&W resin, engine wired.

Pilot’s grab holes cut into upper wing.

Rigged with Nitinol wire.

Cart built for floatplane.

Mass balances added for ailerons.

Exhausts drilled out.

Propeller shaft is off center, replaced with rod. Steps added on float struts.

More finished photographs here: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2022/04/05/hasegawa-curtiss-soc-seagull-aboard-uss-honolulu-in-1-72-scale/

Hasegawa Curtiss SOC Seagull Build in 1/72 Scale Part II

Hasegawa molds the struts with a “cap” on each end which is designed to fit into slots in the wings. Unfortunately this leaves seams between the struts which are difficult to fill, because the seams are between the struts. Duh. One imperfect solution is to cut out the “cap” portion and eliminate the seams, which is what I chose to do in this case.
These are the Starfighter resin interior bits painted and ready to go. The engine has been given ignition wires. Seatbelts are masking tape, which looks good through the canopy.
Here are the major components together, joined with MEK from the hardware store. Seams were visible around the tail planes and wing to fuselage joint. These were filled with Perfect Plastic Putty.
Joints on the underside fit somewhat better. This one will be the wheeled version, so attachment points for the floats have been filled with Evergreen stock and Mr. Surfacer.
No masking set for this kit, so masking was done the old-fashioned way. The canopy needed a little PPP to fill in the gaps. Sharp-eyed readers will notice the gun trough added to the forward fuselage.
Here the center struts have been added after the seams in the wings are sanded smooth. The wing was missing the pilot’s hand-holds, so these were drilled out. Also the attachment points for the rigging have been drilled.
Hasegawa provides a display stand for the floatplane but it is not intended to represent anything prototypical. I whipped this stand up from Evergreen stock based upon one of the photographs of a cart used on a Cruiser in the Ginter SOC book.

Part III here: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2022/04/01/hasegawa-curtiss-soc-seagull-build-in-1-72-scale-part-iii/

Hasegawa Curtiss SOC Seagull Build in 1/72 Scale Part I

Hasegawa first released their SOC-3 Seagull kit all the way back in 1969. It has been periodically re-released since then with new decals, most recently again this year. Both of my boxings are from the early 1970’s, so I have no idea how the tool is holding up. While many modelers will only build newer kits (and for good reasons in many cases), the Hasegawa kit is the only game in town for 1/72 scale modelers and looks to remain so for the immediate future.
U.S. Navy observation aircraft of the era could be fitted with either floats or wheels as needed. In the case of the SOC, they could also be fitted with arresting gear and flown from aircraft carriers. Hasegawa has kits with either wheels or floats. For this project I will be building one of each.
Parts breakdown is what you would expect for the time. There is some molded-on detail which should be replaced to be more accurate, and several small details which have been omitted. Lots of areas which will need improvement but nothing fatal.
You get one sprue of “feet” for your SOC which determines the configuration of the build, but unfortunately not both. My floatplane kit was molded in white which doesn’t show up as well in the photographs.
Fortunately for modelers the aftermarket has not neglected these kits. Radial Engines & Wheels makes a beautiful Pratt & Whitney R-1340 which goes a long way towards dressing up the front. Mark comes through yet again with a cockpit set and several decal sheets. While I will be modeling the canopies closed using the kit parts, the interior is still quite visible and needs improvement.
What difference does half a century make? The kit supplied engine is on the left, the RE&W resin engine is on the right.
Here is the Starfighter interior built up and ready for paint. Installation was drama free, you just need to sand the instrument panel piece a little to get a tight fit.

Part II here: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2022/03/25/hasegawa-curtiss-soc-seagull-build-in-1-72-scale-part-ii/

Hasegawa Brewster Model B-239 Buffalo Build Part II

The fit of the canopy left a visible seam, which was addressed with more Perfect Plastic Putty. Eduard makes a mask set for this kit and it was issued before they hiked their prices. It doesn’t quite fit though, the masks for the rear panels are a little short. I cut off strips from the mask sheet to fill in the gaps.
Priming with Mr. Surfacer 1000 revealed only minor seam issues which were quickly addressed. I insert a rod to use as a handle during painting whenever possible.
Masking the camouflage with poster putty prevents paint build up and results in a soft edge between colors. You can adjust this effect by varying the thickness of the putty if you are careful with the spray angles, thicker putty results in a softer edge.
Basic colors are Mr. Color 511 4BO, 137 Tire Black, and Alclad Aluminum undersurfaces. The Finns marked their aircraft with Luftwaffe identification panels which are 58 Orange Yellow. The blue rudder color was mixed to match the blue in the Finnish roundels.
Decals are from SBS Model’s sheet D72012 to replace the poor Hasegawa decals included in the kit. I did use the kit decal for the black lynx marking, the SBS sheet only included them in white outlines. This is a good kit which goes together without drama. The Buffalo carried several interesting schemes, so I’ll be on the lookout for additional kits at the shows!

More completed photographs here: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2022/04/12/hasegawa-brewster-model-b-239-buffalo-of-ssgt-nils-katajainen-in-1-72-scale/

Hasegawa Brewster Model B-239 Buffalo Build Part I

Hasegawa’s business plan is to engineer their kits to allow for multiple sub-types, and then to re-release them in different markings. All well and good so long as they can keep the kits available, but Hasegawa has kitted several subjects which are best in scale and have not been available for years, in some cases decades. Their excellent Buffalo is hard to find, but has been released by Hobby 2000. The Buffalo was on my list and I was lucky enough to win this one in the raffle at the Louisville IPMS show a few years back.
The molding is crisp with fine recessed panel lines and is what you would expect from Hasegawa. The fuselage halves are clipped at the nose and tail to allow for variations, the Buffalo was fitted with a different engine for export. The small fret in the upper right corner provides for the cowling changes needed for the Model 239 exported to Finland.
The small parts frets include parts for standard and cuffed prop blades as introduced on the F2A-2. I was hoping all the parts needed for a Marine F2A-3 at Midway would be included, but I’ll need another boxing to add a VMF-221 machine to my collection.
Like most Hasegawa kits the cockpit is a little under-detailed. I added side consoles, ribbing, and basic surface detail from Evergreen. This only takes a few minutes, but can be hard to see with the canopy closed so I didn’t go nuts with the detail.
Here is everything painted and ready to close up. Seatbelts are from masking tape strips. The engine is wired with copper winding from broken earphones. The engine face is visible on the finished model so extra effort spent here is worth it.
Fit is excellent, as is typical for modern Hasegawa offerings. There were only slight gaps at the leading edge of the wing/fuselage joint, which were easily filled with a swipe of Perfect Plastic Putty.

Part II here: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2022/03/11/hasegawa-brewster-model-b-239-buffalo-build-part-ii/