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Torpedo Runner : 1/48th Monogram TBD-1 Devastator

This is a very old kit from Monogram dating back to 1974. Surprisingly the kit is still decent for its age and can be built up into a good looking model. Don't get me wrong, this TBD-1 will require quite a bit of effort, along with some detailing to bring it up to speed with newer kits, but it can be done.


Notable Kit Features:

  • Nicely detailed cockpit with raised details

  • Raised surface detail

  • Positionable flaps

  • Folding wings

  • Choice of bomb or torpedo armament

  • Bomb bay doors may be posed open or closed

  • Optional open forward fuselage panels

  • Relatively thin three-piece (closed-option) or multi-piece open canopies


Build Inspiration:


I had originally planned to build this kit in the yellow wing variety as it is a really eye catching scheme in my opinion. Due to the build giving me problems along the way I grew tired of the project and wanted to shorten the investment in time on this one, so I opted for the simpler Intermediate Blue over Gray scheme in the end. Maybe next time around with this bright yellow wing scheme.


Heads-Up Report:

  • Injection / ejector pin marks throughout kit

  • Watch the fuselage parts alignment (I believe I cut off some of the locator pins to adjust the fit. The front cowl area is particularly troublesome.)

  • Thick wing trailing edge (recommend sanding the gluing edge down flat, for better fit as well)

  • Care must be taken gluing the upper & lower wing together in order to maintain corrugation joins at leading edge

  • Bulky wing-fold upper wing hinges (should be removed /reworked)

  • Challenging fuselage to wing fit, especially along upper wing mating (Styrene plastic card was used to fill gap, plus plenty of sanding and filler)

  • Poor bomb bay door fit (again with the styrene, filler and sanding)

  • You will note the canopy has quite a few panes to be masked (So Felipe, don't even consider this build ;)


Kit Additions / Modifications:


  • I built this it out of the box. This was an early build and I didn't get into adding anything. I even went with the kit decals which worked surprisingly well over the wing corrugations.

  • Eduard does make masks for the 1/48 TBD-1 Devastator # EX354 (although they are designed for the GWH kit)


End Result:


As I said, I ended up opting for the camouflaged scheme on this aircraft of Intermediate Blue (FS 35164) over Gray (FS 36270). I was building museum examples at this point so no weathering was done to the aircraft finish. Considering I built this model over 20 years ago, it is holding up alright.


The After-Build Report:


With a list of notables the length that this one has, I will stop short of recommending this kit. Although I have not built the Great Wall 1/48 TBD-1 Devastator, from what I have seen, this much more recent release (2012) brings with it details, refinements and fit improvements over the Monogram version. Having said that if you have one of these Monogram kits in the stash or come across a very inexpensive one, you can still put some effort in and get it done.


Completed build #55 - December 1998 using the 1/48th scale Monogram TBD-1 #7575 kit.


Feel free to comment or ask any questions - Keep on building, gain experience, challenge yourself if you like, but try not to stress yourself out over the build - it is suppose to be an enjoyable hobby after all - Cheers


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