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In-Box Review
Vought SB2U Vindicator

by: Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]

Vought SB2U-1/2 Vindicator
Sheets 7213 - 7.41 EUR1 & 48804 - 11.46 EUR

If you like colourful subjects, then the pre-war US Navy is just about as good as it gets! The first thing that strikes you when you pick up the Techmod packs is their weight - they're heavy! Too heavy to contain just decals. Opening them, the secret is revealed. In both 1/72 and 1/48 scales, the sets include precut vinyl masks for painting the tails with squadron flight colours and the wings where the Orange Yellow uppersurface wraps around the leading-edge. Also included in both scales is a neat little etched fret containing a pair of underwing panels with cartridge ejector chutes - just one of which is intended for the SB2U-1/2. Finally, the 1/72 scale sheet also includes a set of pre-cut canopy masks for the MPM kit (don't worry, the Accurate Miniatures kit already includes canopy masks, so new ones are unneccessary in 1/48 scale).

Both sheets feature the same five aircraft:
1. SB2U-2, 2-F-19, Fighting Squadron 2 (VF-2), Naval Station North Island, San Diego, July 1939
2. SB2U-1, 1-MF-19, Marine Fighting Squadron 1, Bourne Field, Virgin Islands, 1938
3. SB2U-1, 3-B-10, Bombing Squadron 3 (VB-3), USS Saratoga, 1938
4. SB2U-2, 3-B-1, Bombing Squadron 3 (VB-3), USS Saratoga, 1941
5. SB2U-1, 2-B-16, Bombing Squadron 2 (VB-2), USS Lexington

The set includes full-colour 4-view diagrams of every aircraft, along with references to photos in Squadron's "In Action" book and links to Accurate Miniatures' online references.

The decals themselves are absolutely superb quality. In both scales the registration is faultless and the tiniest lettering clearly legible. The items are thin and glossy, the colours look accurate and the carrier film is kep to a minimum. There's a limited amount of stencilling in each scale and the positions are clearly indicated on the painting diagrams. Just to round things off, there's a handy handy colour chart with original Navy names and the nearest FS equivallents.

Vought SB2U-2 Vindicator (V-156-F and V-156-B1 Chesapeake)
Sheets 72038 - 5.55 EUR & 48077 - 7.41 EUR

This time it's the export versions of the SB2U that are feaured. The sheets include an etched fret in both scales and it's larger this time, with a set of dive brakes as well as ejector chutes. Once again a set of canopy masks completes the 1/72 scale pack.

Three aircraft are featured:
1. Vought V-156F, No 7, AB1-6, Escadrille AB1, Alprecht airfield, winter 1939/40
2. Vought V-156F, No 13, AB1-12, Escadrille AB1, Alprecht airfield, winter 1939/40
3. Vought V-156B1 Chesapeake, AL924, 811 Squadron, Lee-on-Solent, 1941

The decals are again excellent. The registration is perfect and the colours look accurate for both the French and British subjects. As above, there are references to photos in Squadron's "In Action" and urls for Accurate Miniatures' on-line pages.

Vought SB2U-2/3 Vindicator
Sheets 72043 - 5.55 EUR & 48076 - 7.41 EUR

The final set includes markings for five camouflaged wartime US Vindicators. Once again etched ejector chute panels are included in both scales and, additionally, the 1/72 scale sheet includes canopy masks.

The aircraft featured are:
1. SB2U-2, 9-S-18, VS-9, USS Charger, October 1942
2. SB2U-2, 9-S-12, VS-9, USS Charger, October 1942
3. SB2U-2, 41-S-8, VS-41, USS Ranger,1941-42
4. SB2U-3, 2-S-6, VMS-2, MCAS Eva, Hawaii, March 1941
5. SB2U-2, 42-S-13, VS-9, Scouting Squadron 42, USS Ranger, November 1941

As with the previous sheets, full-colour 4-view diagrams are included for each scheme, along with a set of references. I was confused initially by the inclusion of a set of references for the export versions in the 1/72 scale pack, but this sheet can safely be disregarded, as the correct references are included on the main sheet along with the colour diagrams. As usual, Techmod include FS references for all the colours.

At the risk of soundng monotonous - the decals are first-rate yet again! Thin and glossy, their printing and registration is perfect in both scales.

These are excellent sheets. The pre-war colour schemes are obviously the most eye-catching and will more than make up for the limited option which Accurate Miniatures offered with their SB2U-1. The inclusion of etched correction parts to accompany the decals is an inspired move and Techmod are guaranteed to make modellers of 1/72 scale Vindicators happy by providing masks for the extensive canopy framing! Thoroughly recommended.

contact details.
The samples were very kindly supplied by Adalbertus, Techmod's sole export representative.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on ARMORAMA
The release of the MPM and Accurate Miniatures SB2U Vindicators has really brought this neglected aircraft into the limelight and opened the possibility of some very attractive colour schemes. Techmod have released a selection of decal sheets aimed at both kits with some very striking subjects.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  PUBLISHED: Sep 06, 2006
  NATIONALITY: United States

Our Thanks to Adalbertus Miniatures!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Rowan Baylis (Merlin)

I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...

Copyright 2021 text by Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


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