HM HA0173 SBD-3 Dauntless, Lt Richard Best, Midway - DA.C
 

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Old 05-24-2020, 12:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default HM HA0173 SBD-3 Dauntless, Lt Richard Best, Midway

Hope you are all enjoying a fine Sunday. Just picked this up recently and chose Best over McClusky's version. This mold has been round for ages now, but hasn't seen much love recently. HM have deliberately cut down on their 1/72 WW2 releases, so occasions like this where the film gives them the idea for a few releases are going to be few and far between.

For some reason, the whole box now comes in a sleeve, which is a bit tricky to remove.







Most of your probably know all about Richard Best and the facts about him in last year's movie were fairly accurate, even if Ed Skrein’s accent and permanent smirk were like nails on a chalkboard. McClusky’s decision to keep searching and follow the Arashi back to the Japanese fleet was a more important decision and was a key reason why the battle was won and the tide of war in the Pacific would change. But Best’s decision to go after the Akagi rather than following all the other Enterprise SBD’s ganging up on the Kaga probably still had quite an impact. It’s possible with two carriers the Japanese air groups could have found a window to take down more than just the Yorktown.




However, if you look at the actual combat actions Best undertook on that one fateful day, I can’t think of any combatant inflicting more damage on the enemy during the entire war than sinking not just one, but two carriers. It’s not like you could take out an entire airfield and its aircraft or a tank platoon with just one bomb at the time!



It’s a testament to Best’s skill he was able to place his bombs so accurately. The Japanese carriers had been under attack for several hours already when the SBD’s arrived, but everything had missed. While a carrier may look like a big fat target up close, from 15,000-20,000 ft up when you start the dive, it’s only a small speck in the ocean, and one that moves unpredictably to boot. Your bomb run needs to be really on the money and aim for where the ship will be as you pull out of the dive, not where it is when you start. The Kaga and Soryu were far more heavily damaged initially and as a result the losses of sailors, aircrew and aircraft were much worse. It took quite a bit longer for the Japanese to realize the Akagi was lost. When they did, they were able to get a lot more men off, but it was still a heavy blow. And certainly loosing their final operational carrier when the Hiryu was bombed made the blow hard enough the IJN would never quite recover from it.



While the SBD wasn’t exactly quick, it was at least closer in speed to the Japanese equivalents than the hapless TBD Devastators and crucially it had weapons that worked! It also had excellent dive breaks, could sustain plenty of G, was decently armed and ruggedly constructed.

Overall, the SBD mold is pretty good, but not sure how it stacks up against Corgi's. They certainly seem a bit too dark in comparison. HM did a Marine Corps Midway release way back, which I didn't really like as it was part of the land-based waves that missed their targets. And there was the Battle of the Coral Sea Yorktown one, which I figured was the best at the time. This one doesn’t have the panel washes of those earlier examples, but the colour is a bit lighter, even if it's still too dark. (my camera doesn't help) Parts don’t fit terribly well, but there are not many of them. The open canopy option also doesn’t really work as the parts are too thick. Dragon did this better. However, you can lower the bomb trapeze, which is pretty cool. Also, this one has open dive brakes only; a vertical stand would be awesome! Overall, pretty good and these are the ones to get as it’s unlikely there will be many more.



















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Old 05-24-2020, 06:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: HM HA0173 SBD-3 Dauntless, Lt Richard Best, Mi

Thank you for the pics.

Corgi's and HM's SBDs are exactly the same. Hobbymaster created them for corgi before there really was a hobbymaster. The colour on corgi's two "midway" ones is a bit too light while their "ace of spades" model was painted with a hard demarcation line that makes it look a bit off. Still, they are good models.

I am a huge dauntless fan. When these models cost $20 or less - a decade ago - they were cute. Even very recently (this year - in 2020) you could still get the (colour off, but still the same model) corgi equivalents for under GBP 8 - USD $10. Now, they are selling for $80 (and then perhaps with some discounts, but still). The idea that a 1/72 dauntless *without a tail gun* is worth $80 is absurd.

The color of the new HM midway ones is too rich in hue, but overall it's "ok" too. Neither corgi nor HM have gotten it completely right as far as the midway birds go, but in both cases its not too far off and some of it may be scale effect. The best 1/72 "blue" dauntlesses are probably HM's early own brand releases with the panel wash, including HA0102 which is the best 1/72 "midway" dauntless if you can find it.

Fortunately, the dauntless is popular enough that one can see a future not too far where HM will finally make a 1/48 dauntless, as that is sure to be a great seller. There are good plastic kits for them to steal the design from.
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Old 05-25-2020, 05:34 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: HM HA0173 SBD-3 Dauntless, Lt Richard Best, Mi

A wonderful Post, (isn't some of the aviation artwork out there just mouth watering).....
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Old 05-25-2020, 10:24 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: HM HA0173 SBD-3 Dauntless, Lt Richard Best, Mi

Quote:
Originally Posted by FortunateSon View Post
Thank you for the pics.

Corgi's and HM's SBDs are exactly the same. Hobbymaster created them for corgi before there really was a hobbymaster. The colour on corgi's two "midway" ones is a bit too light while their "ace of spades" model was painted with a hard demarcation line that makes it look a bit off. Still, they are good models.

I am a huge dauntless fan. When these models cost $20 or less - a decade ago - they were cute. Even very recently (this year - in 2020) you could still get the (colour off, but still the same model) corgi equivalents for under GBP 8 - USD $10. Now, they are selling for $80 (and then perhaps with some discounts, but still). The idea that a 1/72 dauntless *without a tail gun* is worth $80 is absurd.

The color of the new HM midway ones is too rich in hue, but overall it's "ok" too. Neither corgi nor HM have gotten it completely right as far as the midway birds go, but in both cases its not too far off and some of it may be scale effect. The best 1/72 "blue" dauntlesses are probably HM's early own brand releases with the panel wash, including HA0102 which is the best 1/72 "midway" dauntless if you can find it.

Fortunately, the dauntless is popular enough that one can see a future not too far where HM will finally make a 1/48 dauntless, as that is sure to be a great seller. There are good plastic kits for them to steal the design from.
That's the one I have, bought when first released.
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Old Yesterday, 04:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: HM HA0173 SBD-3 Dauntless, Lt Richard Best, Mi

I wish HM made more sbds with closed dive breaks
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Old Yesterday, 06:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: HM HA0173 SBD-3 Dauntless, Lt Richard Best, Mi

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I wish HM made more sbds with closed dive breaks
They made four excluding the Army version, plus a few they made under the Corgi Predator brand.
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Old Today, 12:49 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: HM HA0173 SBD-3 Dauntless, Lt Richard Best, Mi

Three corgi predator models were released. Two are 'midway' birds supposedly and one is the sbd-5 ace of spades.

A long time ago I saw a post that showed how the dive brakes could be closed using i guess pliers and care.

What I don't remember is this as my 1/72 hms are in boxes at the moment. The HMC website for the first releases actually shows a tail gunners position. It looks pretty poor, but it's arguably better than nothing, at least an an option. Does anybody remember if this was ever released in any way?

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Old Today, 02:32 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: HM HA0173 SBD-3 Dauntless, Lt Richard Best, Mi

I had similar packaging with a recently arrived Hobby Master Japan F-1 Fighter. Mine also had the plastic packaging wired shut around the wings.
This one got caught by the airline shut down and took 2 months to arrive from Hong Kong.
Attached Thumbnails
HM HA0173 SBD-3 Dauntless, Lt Richard Best, Midway-japan-f-1-01.jpg   HM HA0173 SBD-3 Dauntless, Lt Richard Best, Midway-japan-f-1-02.jpg   HM HA0173 SBD-3 Dauntless, Lt Richard Best, Midway-japan-f-1-03.jpg  
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Old Today, 03:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: HM HA0173 SBD-3 Dauntless, Lt Richard Best, Mi

Quote:
Originally Posted by FortunateSon View Post
Three corgi predator models were released. Two are 'midway' birds supposedly and one is the sbd-5 ace of spades.

A long time ago I saw a post that showed how the dive brakes could be closed using i guess pliers and care.

What I don't remember is this as my 1/72 hms are in boxes at the moment. The HMC website for the first releases actually shows a tail gunners position. It looks pretty poor, but it's arguably better than nothing, at least an an option. Does anybody remember if this was ever released in any way?

Yes, it was- my HA0102 Midway release has it, as does my Predator Richard Best. I think they all have it, as that's part of the mould- although I don't know if they removed the gun on the releases with crews included.
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Old Today, 06:56 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: HM HA0173 SBD-3 Dauntless, Lt Richard Best, Mi

I like your vertical stand. The only 1/72 SBD remaining in my collection is HA0163, the grey Pearl pre-war scheme. Having one of HM's 1/32 versions, the 1/72s just don't do it for me any more. When I picture SBDs in the Pacific, the canopies are open, and as you point out, it doesn't work well on these small models. It's not perfect on the 1/32s either, but definitely better.
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