Trumpeter TBM-3S2 Avenger model kit in 1/32 scale (conversion) by Meindert de Vreeze.
Dutch Naval Air Arm (Marine Luchtvaart Dienst MLD)
The Trumpeter 1/32 kit #02234 of the Grumman Avenger TBM-3 is a very good kit and comes with an impressive number of parts in no less than 16 sprues including some photo etched parts.
The lower fuselage bay can be displayed open and stores are provided like a fuel tank, torpedo or 500 lb bombs. The wings can be folded and the visible details are all there. Moving surfaces are also provided including trailing edge flaps fine with metal hinges and shafts. Rubber tyres and a tiny photo negative instrument panel is also in the kit. The instructions are very large with 28 pages and 61 construction steps and comes with a colour profile for the scheme.
During assembly, you create various sub-assemblies such as an impressive engine, interiors and the gun turret. It all adds up to a very nice representation of the Avenger.
Thankfully, most parts
have a pretty
good fit and this should not stop any modeller on making this nice
in this large scale!
H1 blackLet’s look first briefly at the type’s history.
They had Warner AEW aircraft with a large radar dome (see here for a Warner 1/32 modelling Report).
was the TBM-3S2. Of the TBM-3S2
variant, 34 planes were delivered to the MLD under Military assistance
program from January 1954 to May 1955 and these were ex-planes from the
US Navy. Serialled 1-1 to 1-34 (later 020 to 042), they were used as
'killer'. Some were deployed from the Dutch navy aircraft carrier
[A] internally, there
is a provision
for an observer and a radar equipment operator as no gunner is
The modifications' major work on this -3S2 conversion is the large observer bubble window. This first required the cut-out of a part of the plastic walls at both fuselage halves. This would need to be followed by modeling the observer clear bubble window of exactly the right dimensions. All the other conversion work is relatively easy.
As I had experience with moulding clear parts, it looks feasible.
I began by marking the
with a marker in the fuselage, making a cut slightly lower than the
of the observer window. A TIGER razor saw was used here.
Next step was continueing with the model as usual with all models.
First was to do some “pre-painting” on the various parts. Some smaller sub-assemblies were made like the undercarriage legs. These were given the appropriate colours with an airbrush or paint brush and some other parts were pre-sprayed while still in their sprues.
Following the Trumpeter
in fact result in quite some sub-assemblies.
Steps 1 to
The engine was later on
with dark metallic cylinder heads.
Next step was to start working on the interior.
Steps 5 -
Step 10 ]
Steps 11 -
On the fuselage
sidewalls, some plastic
strip was added to suggest stringers. Please note that as most of the
is faired over/closed, there no detailing is needed. To the rear of the
boxes (such as on part #A8 ), some wiring was suggested with
Steps 23 -
The seats were painted
with dark brown cushions and with seat belts made from tape and the
25 - 27 ]
Step 28 ]
Step 29 ]
Step 30 ]
Steps 31 +
Step 33 ]
The bench (parts #H24,
26, 31) was
not used, instead some extra details added in the interior.
scope and some "boxes" to cope for the extra equipment in the TBM-3S2
the operator and the observer. An extra operator seat was made from
Before joining the fuselage halves, the various boxes were painted black. As noted, the turret is not fitted. It was decided to keep the rear door (part #B1) half open. This will enable a look inside, seeing the interior details.
After paint drying for 24 hours, squeeze all parts together and assemble the fuselage. Use tape and allow enough drying time. A little bit of filler and sanding may be needed at the centre edges. The spar can also be seen here, very good to fit the wing later on.
For the TBM-3S2:
a small fairing was added at the rear right fuselage side aft of the entry door.
at the left side, a small "round" fairing was added. Parts found in the spares biox were used.
Leave the bomb bay doors for later assembly. Part #H9 fit is not clear and was not fitted.
The cowling for this
variant has a
straight aft edge; add some thin card to the kit part.
[ Page 2 ] ...
Check out also:
Very nice book in Dutch ;
70 jaar Marineluchtvaartdienst, Nico Geldhof, Uitg Eisma, 1987; Very nice book in Dutch;
IPMS The Netherlands, Avenger info pages: NedMil website
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|Created this page September 2, 2007|