Super-detailed Dauntless

Super-detailed Dauntless

At the AMA Expo last weekend, we were blown away by this SBD Dauntless in the static competition. Built by Frank Harris from Jerry Bates plans, the 85-inch-span model is powered by a Saito twin 57 gas engine and has Robart retracts, a handmade cockpit and numerous scale additions. The fantastic detail on this warbird earned it an overall first place and first in military scale, and we can’t wait to see it on the flightline at Top Gun this year, piloted by Kyle Goodwine. Thanks to Kyle’s dad Phil for sharing the photos in the slideshow.

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Updated: July 30, 2015 — 10:32 AM


  1. All that work, and he doesn’t go ahead and put a real radial engine in it?? It is a beautiful plane….

    1. It’s all about the detail when competing in model master competitions. A hobby radial engine just doesn’t have the same detail as the full size version. You can achieve a better representation of the real thing by doing just what he did and use a fake mock up instead.

  2. Very nice but as a realist, why wear mark the interior and not the exterior? looks like a model.

  3. I love the plane and effort. Being a funny car chassis builder, Zeigler, McCulloch, (retired), I noticed some funny car pictures on the wall of his workshop. So he or his Dad has an interest in drag racing.
    Beautiful work! Jack Slawik Northwest Race Cars

    1. Hi Jon, the race car photos you saw were of the cars I drove back in the day.
      The one photo is of the Hawk Eye funny car and the other is the fuel altered
      Rat Trap. Now I just build Rc war birds.
      Thanks for noticing.

  4. WOW!! A true artist and craftsman!! (With just a hint of insanity!) Just PLEASE tell me that it will have a pilot in it when it flies!

  5. How would even the most skilled R C pilot have the courage to fly this model, when you think of time and effort to build such a beautifully detailed model?

  6. Very nice, excellent job, but it really needs a pilot and gunner.

  7. I love a good scale build and love that plane. A good subject to build. I do not think wear and tear is necessary. looks like a fresh beautiful SBD. I have nothing against weathering, just don’t care to criticize somebody’s hard work over subjective items. that dummy radial looks fantastic. A fantastic job on a great plane!

  8. The SBD Dauntless is my favourite having built a 70″ scale model in the past. Blown away by the detail on your model. Such attention to detail. Printed off every photo. Should fly as good as it looks.

    Live in Australia. Getting back into scale after 20 years. Have the Jerry Bates 85″ plan. Problem is finding documentation after so long out of R/C. If its not too much to ask. Where did you obtain your colour documentation?? Is this aircraft in a museum somewhere?

  9. Excelent job done ! I always appreciate persons who know how to be perfect.
    Congratulations. W. Rady / Brasil

  10. very amazing!!! the detail is awesome!!! whats the wing span???
    and weight???

  11. The only thing missing was two scale humanoid figures walking up to it, climbing aboard and flying away. Superb modeling.

  12. Great work !! Send me your email add. and i’ll send you a photo of what that # 5 cockpit really looks like. The Dauntless is based at Peach tree city Ga. I have plenty of pics. of it . Full scale that is !!! R.B.

    1. Thanks R. B. All I had to work with is a few photos and nothing up close.
      My email is.

  13. One of the most exquisitely detailed models I have ever seen in my 60 or so years of building scale.. I have the Complete Tech Order on the SBD’s and this one is really on the money,,,,,,He definetely did his homework…. Superb Craftsmanship.

  14. Seeing this plane in person last year was a highlight of the show for many of us!

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