A New Book — and New Fixes in the Model

Last week I found a new edition of Bert Kinzey’s “SBD Dauntless” book (Figure 59‑1). After ten years break, Bert started to continue his “Detail & Scale” series, this time in a different form: digital editions. This e-book is the “updated and revised” version of an earlier publication (from 1995). For me, the most important part of Kinzey’s books are the “walk around” photos. They differ from all other “walk arounds” by careful selection of the pictures and comprehensive comments that explain many technical details depicted on these images. Usually these comments are as important as the photos.

Figure 59-1 Bert Kinzey’s book and one of the photos from inside

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Final Adjustments of the Model Shape

While working on the cowling details, I discovered that the SBD-5 from the Commemorative Air Force (“white 5”) uses a non-original Hamilton Standard propeller. It has larger hub and a pair of bolts in the middle of the hub barrel edges. (As I wrote in this post, the original Hamilton Standard hubs used in the SBDs were smaller, thus they had a single bolt in the middle of each barrel edge). What’s more, I also noticed that the centerline of my model does not precisely pass through the tip of the propeller dome visible in this photo. When I corrected this mistake, I also noticed that the edges of certain cowling panels in my model are minimally below their counterparts on the photo. I examined this difference and decided that I should fix it by rotating the camera of this projection around the fuselage centerline. It was really a “cosmetic” adjustment — the rotation angle was about 0.7⁰. However, suddenly everything in this model matched better the reference photo — except the horizontal tailplane (Figure 58‑1):

Figure 58-1 Improved matching of my model to the largest reference photo

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Verification of the Model Geometry: the Wing

In this post I will continue verification of my model by matching it against the photos. This time I will check the wing geometry.

In the first photo from the Pacific Aviation Museum (in my model it is marked as PAM-1) I identified several differences (Figure 31‑1):

Figure 31-1 First differences that I found in the outer wing panel

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Modeling Wing Flaps (1)

Perforated split wing flaps were the hallmark of the SBD Dauntless. Their inner side was reinforced by the “grid” made of stringers and ribs. Because these flaps were often wide open — during landing or in dives — I have to recreate their internal structure. In this and the next post I will describe how I did it.

All the SBD flaps had fixed chord (they were made from perforated sheet metal of rhomboidal shape). After studying many photos I assume that all their ribs have the same size and shape — also the parts attached to the trapezoidal, outer wing section. It seems that Douglas factories built all five flaps of the SBD in the same way, using unified components. The flaps for the external wing panels had to be twisted a little during riveting — most probably on appropriate mounting pads. The trailing edge of the upper flap is the trailing edge of the whole wing. It was a thin wedge, profiled from a sheet metal and riveted to the flap skin (Figure 15‑1):

Figure 15-1 Dauntless wing flaps
Figure 15-1 Dauntless wing flaps

Continue reading Modeling Wing Flaps (1)