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TBD-1

Revell 1/48 TBD-1 Devastator Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review April 2005 (Updated Jan 2010) Manufacturer Revell
Subject TBD-1 Devastator Scale 1/48
Kit Number 6875 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Still a nice kit, now with new decal sheet and Bert Kinzey book Cons Molds are getting old - signs of flash on parts trees
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) Out of Production

First Look

TBD-1
TBD-1
TBD-1
TBD-1
TBD-1
TBD-1

When Douglas introduced the Devastator into the US Navy's carrier air groups in 1937, they had created the blueprint for future naval aviation. The aircraft was the first monoplane to go to sea. With the exception of the flight control surfaces, the aircraft was all-metal in construction. Most importantly, the wings could be folded to facilitate dense parking on the limited real estate of the flight deck or in the hangar deck.

By the time war erupted a few years later, the TBD-1 was on the other end of the technology spectrum - virtually obsolete. As Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld once said: "You don't go to war with the forces you want, you go with the forces you have." Such was the case with the TBD-1, and its crews fought hard. In the Battle of Coral Sea, TBD-1s helped to sink the carrier Shoho, but in the Battle of Midway, the Devastators experienced devastating losses and were soon replaced with the TBF Avenger.

This re-release of the Monogram TBD-1 is definitely nice to see. Despite the age of the molds, the kit is still very nicely detailed and builds up into a nice scale example of this interesting aircraft.

Molded in light gray styrene, the kit captures the look of the corrugated wing panels nicely. Construction is simple and the details are still accurate. The raised details are a common feature on most earlier Revell and Monogram aircraft kits, but a contemporary release of the kit would have a hard time providing enough additional detail to justify the much higher asking price that would be required.

TBD-1 For the younger modeler wanting to learn about military aviation at an affordable price, Revell has been pushing up the stakes in the education department. In this release (hence the higher retail price), we have a special edition of a Detail and Scale publication by author Bert Kinzey that walks through Naval Aviation's WW2 dive and torpedo bombers. This 48 page book takes a brief look and the history, colors and details of the SBC Helldiver, TBD-1 Devastator, SB2U Vindicator, XSBA-1, SBN-1, SBD Dauntless, SB2A Buccaneer, TBF/TBM Avenger, XTBU-1, TBY-2 Sea Wolf, XSB2D-1, BTD-1 Destroyer, and the XBTK-1.

Markings are provided for two aircraft:

  • TBD-1, 6-T-2, Buno 0323, VT-6, USS Enterprise, 1939
  • TBD-1, 6-T-2, Buno 1512, VT-6, USS Enterprise, 1942

I am happy to see this kit back on store shelves. Even with the extra book, the kit still provides an inexpensive project that still builds up into a nice model.

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