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SBD-3 Dauntless
cockpit set

for Hasegawa


1/48 scale




S u m m a r y
Catalogue Number and Description Aires Hobby Models 4214 - SBD-3 Dauntless Cockpit Set for Hasegawa kit
Price: USD$35.96 online from Squadron
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: See text below
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Superb detail and casting; comprehensive photo-etched parts supplied; clearly illustrated instructions
Disadvantages: No painting guide
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by Rodger Kelly

Aires 1/48 scale SBD-3 cockpit set is available online from Squadron.com




Newly released from Aires Hobby Models is 4214, a 1/48 scale mixed-media kit cockpit set for the 1/48 scale Hasegawa kit of the Douglas SBD-3 Dauntless.

As with all of Aires cockpit sets of late, the kit is very complete and comprises sixty resin pieces, a photo-etched fret containing a further forty pieces and a small piece of acetate that contains printed instruments. Whilst the majority of the resin parts are cast in the light cream coloured resin that we a used to seeing from Aires, there are two sprues that have been cast in a light grey coloured resin.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

The photo-etch fret is very comprehensive and the metal is soft and easy to work with. A good point about this soft metal is that it allows you to manipulate and drape the belts and harnesses onto the seats to make them appear more realistic.

The casting of the resin parts is superb. All details are crisp and sharp including the bundles of cabling secured to the insides of the fuselage walls and the corrugations on the cockpit floor. I could not find any miscasts or pinholes in my sample at all. Flash is at a minimum, and will easily be removed by some deft carving with a sharp blade and a little attention with fine grade wet and dry sandpaper (make sure that you use it wet to keep the dust down!) Thankfully, Aires have supplied duplicates of the smaller and more delicate pieces like the gun barrels in case of accidents or loss.

A small instruction sheet is included. It is the standard Aires fare and shows clear black and white exploded-view illustrations to assist you in assembly of the parts as well the modifications needed on the kit parts. The instruction sheet also has a 'parts map' to assist you in identifying the tiny resin parts. What is missing though are painting instructions. Absolutely none are included. I don't see this as a real problem though as I would suspect that anyone who purchases this set will have armed themselves with either the Squadron-Signal Walkaround or the Detail and Scale book on the Dauntless.

The resin parts are packed in a zip-loc bag whilst the photo-etch fret and acetate sheet are placed into a plastic bag containing a piece of thick cardboard to keep them flat. Both of these are then placed in a relatively fragile cardboard box. Why is this a consideration? Well, should you be ordering this kit via mail there is a chance that it will arrive damaged so you will need to impress upon whoever you order it from that it needs to be properly packed to ensure that it is not squashed flat in transit! I am mystified as to why Aires packs their more complex resin sets in this manner when they go to inordinate lengths to pack lesser kits in purpose made packaging!

Make no mistake, this is an excellent kit from Aires but you have to wonder why they have produced it when the cockpits of the Accurate Miniatures series of SBDs build up so well without any additions. Having said this though; I suspect that as well the owners of the Hasegawa kit, hard-core detailers will purchase this set to add to their Accurate Miniatures kits.


Thanks to Aires for the review sample

Text and Images Copyright 2005 by Rodger Kelly
Page Created 26 April, 2005
Last updated 26 April, 2005

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