Company: Aires Hobby Models
Base Kit: Hasegawa SBD series
For many people the Douglas SBD symbolizes American carrier aviation in World War II as it played an instrumental role in most of the early major battles in the Pacific, especially the victory at Midway where the SBD’s of the Yorktown, Enterprise and Hornet sank four of Japan’s best carriers on June 4, 1942.
One of the key features of the SBD was its perforated dive flaps which were used to slow and stabilize the Dauntless in its near vertical diving attack. Unfortunately, the perforated dive flaps are extremely difficult to make with injection molds due to the number of holes in each flap. On its 1/72 scale Dauntless kits, Hasegawa has molded the dive flaps as solid pieces with small raised circular outlines depicting the perforations. In addition, on the wings, the upper and lower flaps are molded as part of the upper wing leaving just the lower central flap as a separate piece. As a result, any modeler wanting to make his Dauntless more authentic is faced with cutting out the wing dive flaps, scratchbuilding replacements and then drilling out each of the perforations, taking care to make sure they line up in rows and columns.