75 years after the Battle of Midway - post 1

Having the opportunity to spend some time on my hobby this summer I wanted a project or challenge to work with. My ongoing project to build the Hawker Typhoon Mk.IB (see other posts) felt too single purpose and I wanted to do more. The Typhoon can wait a bit. So I sat thinking about this when I saw a documentary of The Battle Of Midway and noted that it was the 75 years anniversary this June. As the battle was to the largest extent an aerial battle fought with planes I decided that this was the project I was looking for.

So how does one go about this project. Well primarily look at the sources available.  As I don't want to lose a year reading books before I started I settled with various Wikipedia articles and other on-line articles on the subject. What was the key points and which were the participating plane types? Obviously I can't build all the planes but I wanted to build one of each main types.

The planes

These are the ones I've decided on so far:

  • The Nakajima B5N2 (Kate)
  • The Aichi D3A1 (Val)
  • The Mitsubishi A6M2 (Zero)
  • The Douglas TBD-1 Devastator
  • The Grumman F4F-3A Wildcat
  • The Douglas SBD-2 Dauntless
  • The Douglas SBD-3 Dauntless
  • The Brewster F2A-3 Buffalo
  • The PBY-5A Catalina

Now there is a few missing on this list that made contributions during the battle such as on the Japanese side the Kawanishi H8K (Emily) and the Aichi E13A (Jake) and on the U.S. side the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, the Martin B-26 Marauder, Grumman TBF Avenger and the Vought SB2U Vindicator. The reasons for this are two. The first is that the Japanese planes simply don't exist in scale 1/48. At least I have not found any. The second is that I have to draw the line somewhere (I'm not that rich) and for the rest of the U.S. planes it's hard to find corresponding decals and some of them are a bit large. Who knows, I might add some along the way.

I'm also aware that I'm forced to pull a few artistic licenses too. For example the Buffalo kit is not the right version, I've been told, which might go for a few others too. I was also made aware that the SBD-2 I had was based on Midway and not the version that sunk the Japanese carriers. That is why I added the SBD-3 to the stack.

A touchdown on base

I usually just photograph my planes on a clean surface, but as I'm doing such a project out of this I though I might for once have bases to display them on. At least the carrier based planes. So I bought one Japanese and one U.S. made by Eduards. These I've already painted (see below) which required a whole lot of masking but it was quite fun an I'm OK with the result.

Getting the models and decals wasn't always simple. Many of them I found at Hannants, one (the Catalina) I found at my local supplier Hobbyland and the rest I found on Ebay. This meant that I got a few things from so far away as China and Australia. Unfortunately the TBD-1 was not delivered properly but was sent back to China so I'm still trying to get hold of that.

After a short opinion from some Facebook groups I'll start with the Zero. Check back for a review and update.

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