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Curtiss SB2C-4 Helldiver (Accurate Miniatures/Monogram)

built by Alexander Wlachos (1:48)

Curtiss SB2C-4 Helldiver
The Curtiss SB2C Helldiver was a carrier based, two crew dive bomber and was to replace the SBD Dauntless. Although the prototype flew during November of 1940, the first operational combat missions were not flown until November 11th 1943 because of many teething problems.

The appellation "the Beast" was coined by their crews because of difficult flying characteristics during landing and take-off. This was due to being underpowered. Diving bombing characteristics were also not optimal. There were also production problems and early models were not popular with their crews. With the introduction of the SB2C-4 most of these problems had been solved and the superior performance as compared to the Dauntless became evident. The last variant was the SB2C-5. A total of 7000 of all variants were built.

The model

The SB2C-4 originated with Monogram and was reissued by Accurate Miniatures. A three bladed propeller was added to this kit but there were a lot more differences between the SB2C-1 and the SB2C-4. As a result a lot more conversion work will have to be done. The model has very good engraved surface detail, including appropriate rivets.

The cockpit detail and landing gear wheel wells are poor. Fortunately Eduard has issued a Super Set that fills the needs in this area. The cockpit photo etch includes instrument panels done in color and allow for the possibility of completely new interior cockpit parts. The area between pilot and the radio compartment was detailed with scratch parts that were built for this purpose. The landing gear wheel well was detailed with the appropriate photo etch parts and the appropriate cables and wires.

The photo-etched air brakes and landing flaps are beautifully detailed and are very solid since they only consist of a few parts. The bomb bay was also well detailed with photo etch and a few cables and wires were added. The engine came from Vector and connected to a scratch built exhaust collector (however this is difficult to see on the finished model). The white radar nacelle was built from scraps.

Curtiss SB2C-4 Helldiver (Accurate Miniatures/Monogram) 1:48

  Model built by & images taken by Alexander Wlachos  
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The model was painted with Gunze H-55, and the metal surfaces were highlighted with a lighter shade of the base color. Heavily weathered metal parts were picked out with a wash of black, brown and white oil color mixture. The service stencil markings came from Aeromaster, the national markings were from the kit, and the rest of the markings were applied with stencils and an airbrush. We can observe from wartime photographs that sea air flattened the finish of U.S. Navy aircraft. In many instances the paint itself has chipped off. The use of clear matt and micro painting with metal colors (Gunze Metalizer Aluminum) were used to render the model more realistic. The exhaust and the main wheels were treated with pigments.


This is a solid kit with excellent surface detail and can be made into a super model with the aid of Eduard Super Sets and a little scratch building. I spent more time on this model than I have on any other but it was worth it.
  meet the modeler      

Alexander Wlachos

  I was born 1970 in Graz and I am living in Vienna since 1975. I have a graduate in biochemistry and I am working as a scientific-technological employee in a pharmaceutical company.
My interest in modeling started when I was a kid. I started mainly with aircrafts, sailing boats and occasionally cars in different scales. During school I built military kits in 1/35. Towards the end of my academic studies I specialized in 1/48 aircraft of all eras. As my skills are constantly improving, and sometimes I am not so happy anymore with elder models of mine, I start to rework them, which consumes the rare time available on the one hand and also does not help to reduce my constantly growing heap of unbuilt kits (currently about 70) on the other hand. A vicious circle, as constantly raising standards are resulting in an even longer construction period
  Alexander Wlachos  
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This page:  GALLERY: Curtiss SB2C-4 Helldiver (1:48) - built by Alexander Wlachos
was last modified on: Jan 20, 2010
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Translation into English by Werner Stocker (Ft. Myers, FL USA).
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