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SBD-3 vs. SBD-4, Visual Differences ...

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  • Member since
    May 2012
  • From: Milford, Ohio
SBD-3 vs. SBD-4, Visual Differences ...
Posted by Old Ordie on Thursday, July 5, 2012 2:25 PM

OK, I've got the Squadron SBD Walk Around book coming in the mail, and haven't searched the entire web for references yet, but am getting ready to make a kit buy in the next day or so, and really need to know ...

Aside from the electrical system, what are the main differences between the SBD-4 and the SBD-3?  I am especially interested in visual differences.  What I am wondering is, can I build the AM SBD-4 kit, paint and decal it to look like an SBD from a 1942 US Navy squadron, call it an SBD-3, and get away with it?  Aside from the Hasegawa and Revell kits, there seems to be no 1:48 SBD-3 kits out there (and I'd really like to build one from the AM kit, if I can).

Thanks!

Flight deck:  Hasegawa 1:48 P-40E; Tamiya 1:48 A6M2 N Type 2 ('Rufe')

Elevators:  Airfix 1:72 Grumman Duck; AM 1:72 F-4J

  • Member since
    May 2012
  • From: Milford, Ohio
Posted by Old Ordie on Thursday, July 5, 2012 8:12 PM

OK, online research thus far seems to indicate that the -3 had a spinner, the -4 did not.  And I know the guns on the -3 varied through time, and must be paid attention to ... It is starting to look to me like it imay be easily possible to dress one of those AM SBD-4 kits as a -3 ...  Anybody have any other differences to add, or any concerns that this is not as simple a variant conversion as it appears?

I'll be grateful for any and all info on this.  Thanks!

Flight deck:  Hasegawa 1:48 P-40E; Tamiya 1:48 A6M2 N Type 2 ('Rufe')

Elevators:  Airfix 1:72 Grumman Duck; AM 1:72 F-4J

GAF
  • Member since
    June 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Thursday, July 5, 2012 9:31 PM

Huh?  It had a 12 volt electrical system instead of a 6 volt?

I couldn't tell the difference if they were sitting side by side, unless someone told me.

You may have already found this, but this is a good reference site.

http://www.cybermodeler.com/aircraft/sbd/sbd_all.shtml

Good luck with this!

Gary

PS> I wonder if the Accurate Miniatures SBD-3 is still available?

PPS> Well, Doogs has pictures!  Hope the link works now.

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Thursday, July 5, 2012 9:50 PM
The SBD-4 had a different propellor and spinner than the earlier SBD variants.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    June 2010
  • From: Austin, TX
Posted by DoogsATX on Thursday, July 5, 2012 10:05 PM

Accurate Miniatures made a -3. I built it  ~ 2 years ago:

If you build one, I HIGHLY recommend tracking down the Eduard PE dive flaps. MASSIVE improvement over the kit parts.

Here's one on eBay going for decent...

On the Bench: 1/32 Trumpeter P-47 | 1/32 Hasegawa Bf 109G | 1/144 Eduard MiG-21MF x2

On Deck:  1/350 HMS Dreadnought

Blog/Completed Builds: doogsmodels.com

 

  • Member since
    May 2012
  • From: Milford, Ohio
Posted by Old Ordie on Friday, July 6, 2012 12:04 AM

I knew it was to be too good to be true.  If the prop is significantly different, that's a pretty in-your-face kind of detail, and would be beyond my capability to scratch, I think.

Doogs:  I may go for that kit on e-bay, though I've never bought anything there before.  The kit is OOP, I'm pretty sure.  The PE dive brake looks way better to me, too.  What blue-gray paint did you use?  Looks great.

Stik -  Salient point, that.  Thanks.  The spinner I could do from extra parts I have on hand, but I don't think I could scatch a prop, assuming it is way different from a -3.

GAF - I bookmarked cybermodeller.  Looks helpful.

Thanks to all who answered.  Appreciated.

Flight deck:  Hasegawa 1:48 P-40E; Tamiya 1:48 A6M2 N Type 2 ('Rufe')

Elevators:  Airfix 1:72 Grumman Duck; AM 1:72 F-4J

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Friday, July 6, 2012 3:05 PM

This is the prop and spinner used on the SBD-4 and SBD-5

This is the prop and spinnerless hub used on the SBD-1, -2, and -3

and with the spinner in place on the hub. in the background one SBD does not have the spinner mounted.

 

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    May 2012
  • From: Milford, Ohio
Posted by Old Ordie on Friday, July 6, 2012 3:22 PM

Stik,

The hub/counterweights would be covered by a spinner.  I keep looking, but I can't tell the difference between the actual propellers of the two marks.  What was the difference, variable pitch or something like that?

Thanks,

Ordie

Flight deck:  Hasegawa 1:48 P-40E; Tamiya 1:48 A6M2 N Type 2 ('Rufe')

Elevators:  Airfix 1:72 Grumman Duck; AM 1:72 F-4J

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Friday, July 6, 2012 3:38 PM

The profile of the blade is a bit wider at the end on the -4 and -5. At least to my eye it looks as if the earlier propeller blade has more taper on the trailing endge toward the tip. But the hub and spinner are the primary difference that I know of for a visual external.

OK, I went and dug out my Detail & Scal book on teh SBD by Bert Kinzey. (love those books!) According to the Detail & Scale book the Hamilton Standard propeller for the -4 had a wider chord and more rounded tips. The SBD-4 was also the first variant that could be equipped with radar, so underwing Yagi antennas are a possibility. The additional electronic equipment is why the electrical system went from a 12 to 24 volt system.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    May 2012
  • From: Milford, Ohio
Posted by Old Ordie on Friday, July 6, 2012 4:14 PM

I think the bit of difference in angle and in distance from the subject between the two photos may be hindering my seeing the diff between props.  I'm not sure if I could get away with calling a  -4 a -3, or not.  Maybe I should just wait for Academy to repop the AM -3 kit.

I searched the web for photos of the different variants, but kept getting stuff that even I could tell was mislabeled a to which dash it was.   I appreciate being able to see photos I can trust as to accuracy.  

Thanks, Stik.

Flight deck:  Hasegawa 1:48 P-40E; Tamiya 1:48 A6M2 N Type 2 ('Rufe')

Elevators:  Airfix 1:72 Grumman Duck; AM 1:72 F-4J

GAF
  • Member since
    June 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Friday, July 6, 2012 4:32 PM

The one thing I immediately notice in the pictures Stikpusher linked is the intake over the nose cowling.

There may be a couple of others, but that one "sticks" out.

PS>  I don't suppose you might use the old Monogram (Revell) kit to take the correct parts from?  Wonder if that would work?  Hmmmm....  Huh?  I saw one down at Hobby Lobby today.  Conversion?

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Friday, July 6, 2012 5:33 PM

The upper cowl carburator scoop was removed on the -5 and -6 SBDs. It was present on all of the older versions.

Ordie, I have one of the old Monogram SBD kits which is really a hybrid of the older versions and needs lots of TLC to bring up to speed. But, it comes with the -4 propeller and I wanted a -3. So I used the prop off an old junk TBD kit which to my eye looked correct in profile and had the proper hub. (I also used many of the cockpit componenets) And for the spinner I took one off of a P-35 which was the right size and profile.

As far as variants go:

SBD-1, -2, and -3 are nearly identical visually. The cowling scoop was more pronounced on the -1, and the cooling slot behind the cowl flaps slightly larger on the -3. The -1, and -2 only had a single mount flexible .30 Cal. for the radioman/gunner, while the twin mount .30 was introduced during the -3 production run appearing in combat after Coral Sea. All other differences between versions were internal- armor fuel tankage, etc. The -4 differences we have mentioned already, and the -5 did away with the cowl scoop and replaced the telescopic bomb sight with a refelctor type sight. The -6 was identical visually to the -5, save for having a more powerful version of the 1820 engine.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

GAF
  • Member since
    June 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Friday, July 6, 2012 6:14 PM

That's what I like about this forum.  If you want to know about the "contra-rotating windshield wipers on the -B model", there's someone here who can tell you they were only used in the production line at Framlingham until replaced by the "full-rotation" variety in March of '42!

(Of course, they were actually used on the -C model, and only on the recon versions.)  Wink

Gary

 

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Friday, July 6, 2012 6:22 PM

I am only as good as my library and websearch abilities!ComputerWink But the wealth of knowledge here is quite impressive.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    May 2012
  • From: Milford, Ohio
Posted by Old Ordie on Friday, July 6, 2012 6:46 PM

GAF

The one thing I immediately notice in the pictures Stikpusher linked is the intake over the nose cowling.

There may be a couple of others, but that one "sticks" out.

PS>  I don't suppose you might use the old Monogram (Revell) kit to take the correct parts from?  Wonder if that would work?  Hmmmm....  Huh?  I saw one down at Hobby Lobby today.  Conversion?

GAF - Yep, there's that.  If there was an emoticon for blind-as-blind-can-be, I'd fly it right here ... right now.  So, aside from a kit conversion, no dice.  Since I'm not ready to try a conversion that complicated ... sigh.  But, if you ever try it, I'd love some photos as it goes along.

Stik - I have the Monogram sbd kit on the bench right now.  That's what got me wondering about this whole sbd thing.  Seems like, between the air intake and the propleller, the Mono sbd is a -3 with a -4 prop.  The kit purports to be a -3 by its markings.  Disheartening.   Sad

All I want is a fairly accurate Midway or Coral Sea SBD-3 with some decent detail for my core WWII collection.  What to do?  For starters, I think I'll just build the AM -4 kit as a -4.  I'll try to snag an AM -3 somewhere.  As for the Monogram SBD, I'll do the best I can with it.

Thanks again, guys.  I think I've got it now.

Flight deck:  Hasegawa 1:48 P-40E; Tamiya 1:48 A6M2 N Type 2 ('Rufe')

Elevators:  Airfix 1:72 Grumman Duck; AM 1:72 F-4J

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Friday, July 6, 2012 7:01 PM

Yup, you have nailed it there Ordie. I have seen the Monogram SBD built into a show stopper of a Coral Sea -3, but it takes a lot of effort. It is most easily turned into a proper -4, but that was not the one that fought in the major battles. I have another prop from another derelict TBD kit that I stripped if you are interested, send me a PM and I will send it to you (hopefully it will survive the US Postal Service). I will not be doing another Monogram SBD project after the one that I am on is completed, so I have no need for the prop. I can't vouch for it being 100% accurate, but it looks right. All the other stuff for the cockpit and spinner cap are up to you. Although you can leave the spinner cap off as photos have shown. Hasegawa also makes a 1/48 SBD kit, but amazingly they did not hollow out the dive flaps. You will have to drill those out if you buy and build one. While not quite as nice as the Accurate Miniatures SBD kits, its is not bad.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    May 2012
  • From: Milford, Ohio
Posted by Old Ordie on Saturday, July 7, 2012 1:56 PM

stikpusher

Yup, you have nailed it there Ordie. I have seen the Monogram SBD built into a show stopper of a Coral Sea -3, but it takes a lot of effort. It is most easily turned into a proper -4, but that was not the one that fought in the major battles. I have another prop from another derelict TBD kit that I stripped if you are interested, send me a PM and I will send it to you (hopefully it will survive the US Postal Service). I will not be doing another Monogram SBD project after the one that I am on is completed, so I have no need for the prop. I can't vouch for it being 100% accurate, but it looks right. All the other stuff for the cockpit and spinner cap are up to you. Although you can leave the spinner cap off as photos have shown. Hasegawa also makes a 1/48 SBD kit, but amazingly they did not hollow out the dive flaps. You will have to drill those out if you buy and build one. While not quite as nice as the Accurate Miniatures SBD kits, its is not bad.

Sounds good about the prop.  I'll PM you in a bit -   I've got to spell grandma some, first.  I've got three of my grandkids here today, my youngest daughter's brood, a sub-branch of my family known as 'the wrecking crew', LOL.

I have obtained an AM -4 kit.  Notice that the air intake on the cowl looks similar to the -3 (the one in the photo above must be a 5 ... or something ... anyway, we were only talking about/looking at the prop).  With the prop, I should be able to make an easy -3 (or reasonable facsimile thereof), except for making sure the guns and markings match the ac I'm portraying.  Anyway, here are a couple of photos of the AM -4 kit:

I'm getting kind of jazzed about this again ...

Flight deck:  Hasegawa 1:48 P-40E; Tamiya 1:48 A6M2 N Type 2 ('Rufe')

Elevators:  Airfix 1:72 Grumman Duck; AM 1:72 F-4J

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Saturday, July 7, 2012 5:07 PM

OK, I'll be here on and off all weekend. I am gonna have to figure out how to ship it safely. And like I said above, the prop is hte only external visible difference.

SBD-4

SBD-3 (without spinner on hub)

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    May 2012
  • From: Milford, Ohio
Posted by Old Ordie on Saturday, July 7, 2012 5:44 PM

stikpusher

OK, I'll be here on and off all weekend. I am gonna have to figure out how to ship it safely. And like I said above, the prop is hte only external visible difference.

SBD-4

SBD-3 (without spinner on hub)

Stik,

Yes, you did say that before.  Mea culpa.

Just PMed you, right before checking the thread just now, so didn't see your post first.  I'll PM you again.  Have settled, finally, on using the prop to finish my Monogram SBD as a -3, and building my -4 as  -4.  I'd thrash it around in my head one more time, but it'd just come out the same in the end.

I hope I can get the paint to look as good as the -3 photo above, or as good as Doog's, either one.

Thanks again for your generous offer.

 

Flight deck:  Hasegawa 1:48 P-40E; Tamiya 1:48 A6M2 N Type 2 ('Rufe')

Elevators:  Airfix 1:72 Grumman Duck; AM 1:72 F-4J

GAF
  • Member since
    June 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Saturday, July 7, 2012 6:00 PM

Good luck with both builds, Ordie!

Sorry about the confusion earlier concerning the intakes.  I "assumed" too much from Stik's pictures. Embarrassed

Gary

  • Member since
    May 2012
  • From: Milford, Ohio
Posted by Old Ordie on Saturday, July 7, 2012 7:57 PM

GAF

Good luck with both builds, Ordie!

Sorry about the confusion earlier concerning the intakes.  I "assumed" too much from Stik's pictures. Embarrassed

Gary

Thanks, GAF.  No problem - I'm the one who goofed it.  Geeked

Flight deck:  Hasegawa 1:48 P-40E; Tamiya 1:48 A6M2 N Type 2 ('Rufe')

Elevators:  Airfix 1:72 Grumman Duck; AM 1:72 F-4J

dmk
  • Member since
    September 2008
  • From: North Carolina, USA
Posted by dmk on Sunday, July 8, 2012 10:02 AM
That's interesting, the top pic is labeled Torch-SBD4.jpg. I didn't think the SBD-4 took part in operation Torch.

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Sunday, July 8, 2012 11:56 AM

Yes, the SBD-4 reached the fleet in time for Operation Torch in November 1942. USS Ranger and USS Sangammon had -4s in their Air Groups.

This one is on board Ranger in the temporary Torch markings after a strike during the landings.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    May 2012
  • From: Milford, Ohio
Posted by Old Ordie on Sunday, July 8, 2012 3:43 PM

stikpusher

Yes, the SBD-4 reached the fleet in time for Operation Torch in November 1942. USS Ranger and USS Sangammon had -4s in their Air Groups. ...

Ahhh, haaa ...  That explains a lot.  I have been laboring under the false assumption that, because the Monogram kit portrays an SBD from the Wasp at Guadalcanal in the fall of 1942, that it is supposed to be a -3.  But the Wasp had come to Guadalcanal straight from the Med ... (hence the 'weird' decals with painted out yellow circles).  So, it doesn't purport to portray a -3 at all, but, rather, a -4, hence the propeller, etc.

Flight deck:  Hasegawa 1:48 P-40E; Tamiya 1:48 A6M2 N Type 2 ('Rufe')

Elevators:  Airfix 1:72 Grumman Duck; AM 1:72 F-4J

dmk
  • Member since
    September 2008
  • From: North Carolina, USA
Posted by dmk on Sunday, July 8, 2012 3:51 PM
The Guadalcanal SBD with the funny painted out Torch markings that the Revell kit depicts is actually shown as an SBD-3 in an illustration in Squadron Signal's SBD in action.
  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Sunday, July 8, 2012 5:30 PM

Yes, that SBD has the yellow surround, which was a theater ID marking in the Med, painted out. After Wasp made her second delivery of Spits to Malta, she headed to the Pacific and her ultimate fate off Guadalcanal.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    May 2012
  • From: Milford, Ohio
Posted by Old Ordie on Sunday, July 8, 2012 5:30 PM

dmk

The Guadalcanal SBD with the funny painted out Torch markings that the Revell kit depicts is actually shown as an SBD-3 in an illustration in Squadron Signal's SBD in action.

Dave,

Since there were a half-dozen or more CVs and CVEs operating in the Med during Torch, I can easily imagine a mix of SBD-3s and -4s, even in the same squadron/air wing, especially since we now know the -4s were just arriving on the scene in the ETO at that time.  (Stik's last photo post above is definitely a -4, and it has the Torch yellow circle as part of the roundel, which seems pretty hard to argue against without more specific source info on it.  Edit - OK, his second-to-last photo post - he beat me to the post with his last - end Edit)  My squadron went to 'Nam with 12 F-4Js, and one lonely F-4B that got caught in the shuffle as we switched to the J-birds, just before we boarded ship.

All of the SBDs moving from the Med to the Pacific in '42 would have had an expeditious paint job done to remove the yellow rings, regardless  of type.  Don't know for certain, of course, but I have to consider that the Squadron In Action book and the Revell kit could both be correct, just depicting different specific aircraft.

I will say that the slog through this one has been confusing as hell.

Ordie

Flight deck:  Hasegawa 1:48 P-40E; Tamiya 1:48 A6M2 N Type 2 ('Rufe')

Elevators:  Airfix 1:72 Grumman Duck; AM 1:72 F-4J

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Sunday, July 8, 2012 5:55 PM

Speaking of USS Wasp and carrier movements, I thought this photo would lighten the mood here and bring some memories up for you sailor types...

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    May 2012
  • From: Milford, Ohio
Posted by Old Ordie on Sunday, July 8, 2012 7:58 PM

stikpusher

Speaking of USS Wasp and carrier movements, I thought this photo would lighten the mood here and bring some memories up for you sailor types...

Did I get un-light?  Didn't mean to ... The King hisself.  Yes, yes.  Lookit the hands on that 'babe'.  'She's' wearing a man's watch, too ...

Flight deck:  Hasegawa 1:48 P-40E; Tamiya 1:48 A6M2 N Type 2 ('Rufe')

Elevators:  Airfix 1:72 Grumman Duck; AM 1:72 F-4J

  • Member since
    May 2012
  • From: Milford, Ohio
Posted by Old Ordie on Monday, July 9, 2012 2:27 PM

Dave,

I just want to let you know that, since I last posted in reply to you, I have found a number of specific references to VS-71 being equipped with SBD-3s at the time the Wasp was torpedoed.  That would make your Squadron In Action book 100% corrrect regarding those specific aircraft.  It seems, from the aggregate of evidence, that both types were present in Operation Torch, but the ones I'm interested in were -3s, as you pointed out.   Thanks for your post, it is appreciated.

Ordie

Flight deck:  Hasegawa 1:48 P-40E; Tamiya 1:48 A6M2 N Type 2 ('Rufe')

Elevators:  Airfix 1:72 Grumman Duck; AM 1:72 F-4J

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