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Monogram Pro-Modeler 1:48 Scale Curtiss SB2C Helldiver

May 02, 2015

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Monogram Pro-Modeler 1:48 Scale Curtiss SB2C Helldiver

Revell-Monogram Pro-Modeler 1:48 Scale Curtiss SB2C Helldiver

Manufacturer Monogram Pro-Modeler
Scale 1/48
Building hours ~75

Airfield Models ( is something about the Curtiss SB2C Helldiver that I have always found attractive as a modeling subject.  I am not sure what it is, because normally I wouldn't give an aircraft like this a second thought.  The moments of aircraft seem almost comical with it is incredibly short tail and awkwardly large horizontal stabilizer.

I built two Monogram Helldivers when I was growing up.  That particular model had a couple of working features that made it fun to play with.  The bomb would swing from the bomb bay and the landing gear would retract.  It wasn't very close to scale, but it did look like a Helldiver.  I was very pleased with the outcome of both kits, especially my rendering of the 3-tone pacific paint scheme.  These were my first Pacific theater models and I have been a fan of WW II American carrier aircraft ever since.

This model shown here was a really enjoyable project.  Although it is made by the same company, it is not the same model.  It is much closer to scale and more detailed.  Depending on where you purchase it, it may be the Revell-Monogram kit or Monogram Pro-Modeler.  As far as I know they are the exact same kit.

The Helldiver was the second kit I built after an eight year hiatus.  This was my first attempt at weathering.  All the kits I built in the past were given a "factory fresh" finish.  I was experimenting all the way.  To avoid the risk of ruining the finish, the weathering was kept to a minimum.  I added a bit more after I had built a few other kits, but it still is a fairly clean airplane.  In fact, there is no weathering at all on the underside.

The kit comes with a fret of photo-etched brass parts which was also a first for me.  I had no difficulty working with these parts other than dropping the seat belt buckles on the floor repeatedly.

Revell-Monogram Pro-Modeler 1:48 Curtiss SB2C HelldiverIt did not take me long to learn that the best way to retrieve these was by scooping them up with a razor blade or wetting a finger.  The razor blade method is more reliable and I do not have to lick glue and paint covered fingers.

I built my kit straight from the box with no modifications.  The instructions were very clear making assembly more enjoyable.  The most difficult part of the kit was masking all the panels of the canopy.  I polished all the clear plastic parts and then dipped them in Future floor polish.  I let them dry until I had finished all the other assemblies (approximately a month).

I then masked the canopy pieces with a thin self-adhesive foil and painted them.  The foil wasn't too difficult to remove.  I sliced the end of a toothpick to a pointed edge and used it to lift the film around the edges and then peeled it off with a tweezer.

At some point I broke the antenna off.  I couldn't replace it because it was too badly damaged.  If the model arrives in good shape from the movers, I will make a replacement from scratch so my Helldiver will be "finished" again.



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Copyright 2002 Paul K. Johnson