Road to Top Gun: Douglas SBD Dauntless

Mar 07, 2013 15 Comments by

SBDflight

Paul “Limey” Rice is planning to compete in the Expert class at Top Gun with his beautifully detailed Douglas SBD Dauntless dive-bomber. Starting with Nick Ziroli 1/5-scale plans, Paul scratch built the model using basic balsa, lite-ply and A/C plywood construction. He plane has a 100 inch span, and weighs 39 pounds.

Paul Rice SBD

It has a Zenaoh GT-80 twin cylinder gas engine for power turning a Menz 24×8 propeller. It uses Robart retracts and Scale Sierra wheel.

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The total build time is only four months but the plan is fully detailed inside and out. The paint scheme is from a British squadron from Hendon, England.

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The interior cockpit details started out with a Dynamic Balsa kit, but Paul added many additional detailed parts and a pair of BBI scale pilot figures.

engine

The dummy radial engine is built using a resin cast engine from FTE.

 

 

Featured News, Gerry Yarrish, Road to Top Gun 2013

About the author

Senior Technical Editor About Me: I have a lifelong passion for all things scale, and I love to design, build and fly scale RC airplanes. With 20 plus years as part of the Air Age family of magazines, I love producing Model Airplane News and Electric Flight.

15 Responses to “Road to Top Gun: Douglas SBD Dauntless”

  1. Roger says:

    wow I love this, wonderful

  2. Joe Allen says:

    Very well done! Looking forward to seeing this at Top Gun in May. Always a great venue put on by Frank T.

  3. Bob Barth says:

    Great aircraft and a wonderful presentation. Am I wrong in assuming it is not a scratch-built aircraft? You characterized it as such, but mention that Ziroli plans were used. As long as I can remember scratch-built meant just that; building from scratch, including drawing your own plans.

    • Gerry Yarrish says:

      well yes, I should have said, plans built, as scratch has become to be classified as drawing your own plans as well. my bad.

  4. Frank Foti says:

    AWSOME! A tribute to all those wonderful pilots who flew this plane.

  5. charles weitlauf says:

    One beautiful aircraft

  6. jim Vinson says:

    fantastic job!

  7. Don Cloyd says:

    Great looking plane–nice workmanship!!

  8. paul dufek says:

    Yike’s absoutley Stunning,i thought the one i built for my Father in Law was a piece of work.Mine is sitting in Quintico Air Museum!! This one makes me look like a rank Amateur! Wow! Paul

  9. Greg says:

    IT IS SO SAD TO SEE SO MUCH EFFORT PUT INTO BUILDING AND DETAILING SUCH A SPECTACULAR DAUNTLESS MODEL, ONLY TO APPLY INCORRECT CAMOUFLAGE COLOURS. THE TWO-TONE GRAY IS THE CANADIAN NAVY SCHEME. THE CORRECT BRITISH COLOURS ARE THE SAME UPPER GRAY WITH THE LIGHTER GRAY REPLACED WITH THE GREEN SHADE SHOWN UNDER THE TAIL IN ONE OF THE PICTURES. A THREE-TONE COMBINATION WAS NEVER USED. WHO GETS TO TELL HIM…

    • Gerry Yarrish says:

      Knowing the caliber of modeler that Paul is, I would suspect that he does have the colors correct for his subject aircraft. There’s nothing saying that the original full-size plane, probably in a museum wasn’t painted correctly either. Since Paul has to demonstrate he copied the Color and Markings precisely in his documentation, I would think he got it right. Just my 2 cents!

  10. Ricky Robinson says:

    What a beautiful plane, great subject, just what a site to see thanks

  11. Greg says:

    Gerry. Hope you’re right that there’s a full-size example out there somewhere in this scheme.It is such a great piece of work. If so, I’d be curious to know more about it. I assume from what you say that the documentation has to relate to a full-size example whether it is historically correct or not. Interesting.

    • Gerry Yarrish says:

      Yes Greg. you can check the AMA website as well as the U.S. Scale Masters Assoc., and Top Gun and look at their rules. Scale modeling is all about building and painting an accurate scale model of a specific aircraft. Then you give the judges your documentation booklet to show the accuracy of your model. (For most classes. Fun Scale does not have a requirement for docs.) I built a scale model of a Piper L-4 Grasshopper, and it was painted Forest Green, not O.D. I got the information from the owner of the full-size plane I used as my subject aircraft. I have actually seen at fly ins, full-size airplanes with the national insignias applied or painted upside-down…

  12. Manny Ozorio says:

    LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT….IM IN LOVE WITH DAUNTLESS….!!
    So frikking beautiful work of art you did…!!
    mmm The pilot adds a great deal of realism…but I think, he is sitting a little too low in his seat….
    Most pictures show the pilot almost touching the upper canopy with their flying cap..a little cushion on his booty will boost the impression a degree more…I WOULD LOVE TO SEE THIS IN PERSON..
    !!! great work mate..!!!

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