Review: Hobby Master HA0172 USMC SBD-1 Dauntless, VMB-1, Quantico 1940 - DA.C

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Old 12-12-2015, 10:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Review: Hobby Master HA0172 USMC SBD-1 Dauntless, VMB-1, Quantico 1940

Hobby Master 1/72 Air Power Series
Douglas SBD-1 Dauntless
BuNo 1616, VMB-1, US Marine Corps, Quantico, 1940

September 2015 Release

Production Limited 450 Units

VMB-1 History

Marine Bombing Squadron 6 (VB-6M) was formed in San Diego,CA in 1932. They were deactivated shortly thereafter in 1933, only to reactivate again in January 1935 at MCAS Quantico,VA. The squadron was redesignated as Marine Bombing Squadron 1 (VMB-1) with Great Lakes BG-1 on July 1, 1937. The squadron was again redesignated as Marine Scout Bombing Squadron 132 (VMSB-132) on July 1, 1942. At the outbreak of World War II, the squadron and its 19 SBD-1 Dauntless dive bombers were stationed at MCAS Quantico,VA as part of Marine Aircraft Group 11.

VMSB-132 left the United States on October 13, 1942 from San Diego aboard the USS Mumu. At the time of their departure the squadron consisted of 27 officers, 245 enlisted men and a few attached Navy personnel. They landed landed in Noumea, New Caledonia on October 28. On October 30, 1942, VMSB-132, under the command of Major Ben Robertshaw, landed at Henderson Field, Guadalcanal. Upon arrival, they became part of the Cactus Air Force and fought during the Battle of Guadalcanal until December 1942 when they were relieved by VMSB-233. The squadron’s pilots and gunners left the island on December 24, 1942 and arrived in Sydney, Australia for leave on New Year’s Eve. After resting, reorganizing, and retraining, they then moved to Espiritu Santo where they were met by their ground echelon in January 1943. During this time, they became part of the Strike Command of the 13th Air Force, responsible for attacking nearby enemy bases and shipping and giving what was then considered close support to front-line units. The squadron returned to Guadalcanal in June 1943 and flew missions from there until there return to the States on October 26, 1943.

Early in the summer of 1944, the squadron was reorganized and in training at MCAS El Toro as part of Marine Base Defense Air Group 41. On October 14, 1944, the squadron was once again redesignated, this time as VMTB-132. They received their first TBF Avengers in November of that year. The squadron traing at MCAS Mojave, California from December 15, 1944 until January 16, 1945. They remained in training until they embarked as part of MCVG-4 on board the USS Cape Gloucester on May 21, 1945. They arrived in Leyte on June 29, 1945 and operated in the East China Sea during July and August 1945.

Following the war, the squadron moved to MCAS Ewa, Hawaii where they were deactivated on November 9, 1945.

Below: A SBD-1 Dauntless of VMB-1 circa 1940.

The Model

Hobby Master's SBD Dauntless tooling is one of their oldest, but is also one of their best.

The model represents a Pre War "Yellow Winged" SBD-1 of the U.S. Marine Corps VMB-1 Squadron based at Quantico, Virginia circa 1940.

There were no quality control issues and the paint quality was very good. Although the landing gear is old school "fit the peg into the hole" type - they work well.

Dive brakes are in the deployed open position, which while not typical while on the ground - would have been opened as part of the Pilot's pre flight checks (to check functionality) after the engine was started.

Open and closed canopies are included. Note on this release that the rear gunner figure comes with his legs "pre-amputated" so that he can fit easily into the back seat.

Overall a very nice colourful addition to the USN/USMC Collection.

Highly recommended.


Below: Seen with the previous release HA0102 Battle of Midway SBD (dive brakes retracted).

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