New Merit 1/18 DAUNTLESS DISCUSSION

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Re: New Merit 1/18 DAUNTLESS DISCUSSION

Post by rohirrimknight » Sat Jun 23, 2012 5:13 am

My Dauntless also do not have radio box. I am not sure this will be the same in all of them or just only some of us. I still not remove it from the box but it still look a great model for me. Excellent work from Merit and can't wait for the next Midway version. I think it will be sold out soon again.
If the missing part happen in all of this production lots and Merit can send them to the distributor, it should be great after sales services from my view. Otherwise, make sure the next version are all 100% perfect.
Thanks Ara for link to the assembly review.

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Re: New Merit 1/18 DAUNTLESS DISCUSSION

Post by Ara » Sat Jun 23, 2012 5:21 am

Hi guys,

Here's the passage; the full Leppla/Liska account is at the DHP if you want to read it.

Image
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Re: New Merit 1/18 DAUNTLESS DISCUSSION

Post by [email protected] » Sat Jun 23, 2012 4:43 pm

Ara wrote:Hi guys,

Here's the passage; the full Leppla/Liska account is at the DHP if you want to read it.

Image
Hi Ara

Great Review on the SBD-3 and the "How to" article should be very helpful to fellow collectors.
Thank you very much for doing that.
Very interesting finds on Liska's machine gun, we also spot the same during our research. Same time we saw the book, we also received help from John of Accurate Miniatures, we were provided reference with their model kit of the SBD-3. In their kit instruction sheet, there is a picture of Liska with a single .30 cal machine gun and a copy of the after action report, which provided support that the SDB-3 had twin .50 (in front) and single .30 cal. free MG (in back). At the time, we have decided to go with the documentation and provide the single .30 cal for the Battle of Coral Sea version. If interested, any member who knows how to post picture can send me a P.M. with email address, I can send the picture and copy of the report for posting on the board. Our research indicates the twin .30 was added to all new SBD-3 delivered after the Battle of Coral Sea and most existing SBD-3 were re-fitted with twin .30 cal machine guns before the Battle of Midway. We hope we did not make any misinterpretation and we apologize if we did in advance.
Jim

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Re: New Merit 1/18 DAUNTLESS DISCUSSION

Post by Ara » Sat Jun 23, 2012 6:05 pm

Hi Jim,

Let me say upfront I love my Merit SBD and as a longtime (1976) WWII buff and modeler, it is clear that your team did your homework on this model.

The twin machine gun / single machine gun question is simply a point of curiousity and discussion. I don't think the model is wrong or needs the twin guns. I think either twin or single guns is viable, as the transition in SBD armament was not neatly effected or documented, from what I can see.

I know that Devastators from VT-8 were hastily converted from single to twin mounts at LtCmr Waldron's order for Midway. I am guessing we know this because Hornet survived and that information was preserved. Lexington didn't, and we lost tons of precious documentation as a result, including over 80 minutes of high quality after action reports recorded on four record disks on May 7 by Stanley Johnston.

The 1942 book I have cited is a piece of history but it is only one source. I, and other modelers in discussions, have agreed that either twin or single mounts are just as viable as the other.

The Merit Dauntless stands just fine as is. Thank you for replying... and I'd love for you to produce a 1/18 Val dive bomber!
Last edited by Ara on Sun Jun 24, 2012 7:50 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: New Merit 1/18 DAUNTLESS DISCUSSION

Post by gliderdwm » Sat Jun 23, 2012 7:02 pm

Great in formation and as Ara stated I am totally happy with a single gun on my Dauntless. I was able to put a pilot without modification in the pilots seat. I used an avenger navy figure and just move his left leg to the far left and he will fit no problem. The tail gunner that is a different issue. Thanks Jim from merit for your input and I would love a F4F wildcat later to go along with this. I can see a Butch O'Hare wildcat calling :D

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Re: New Merit 1/18 DAUNTLESS DISCUSSION

Post by dragon53 » Sun Jun 24, 2012 12:03 pm

The gunner's seat/C-ring assembly came loose on my Dauntless. I use tweezers to reattach the seat/C-ring to the machine gun/O-ring.
Is the gunner's seat/C-ring supposed to be permanently glued to the machine gun/O-ring.....or is it supposed to fit loosely onto the machine gun/O-ring?

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Re: New Merit 1/18 DAUNTLESS DISCUSSION

Post by [email protected] » Sun Jun 24, 2012 2:32 pm

dragon53 wrote:The gunner's seat/C-ring assembly came loose on my Dauntless. I use tweezers to reattach the seat/C-ring to the machine gun/O-ring.
Is the gunner's seat/C-ring supposed to be permanently glued to the machine gun/O-ring.....or is it supposed to fit loosely onto the machine gun/O-ring?
Hi Dragon53

Good job, you have discovered the second secret on the SBD-3.

1. Radios are not installed.
2. The Gunner's seat is removable ... in this way, you can have more room for your gunner figure and no need to "chop off" their legs.

The chair can easily be removed by pushing the half ring forward and then lifting it up and out from the turret ring. It can be re-installed should you decide not to display with the figure.

Your gunner will not fall off even without the chair installed, the arms of the gunner are sufficient to keep him in proper pose.

Jim

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Re: New Merit 1/18 DAUNTLESS DISCUSSION

Post by dragon53 » Sun Jun 24, 2012 4:25 pm

JIM:

Thanks for the reply. I was worried my Dauntless came with a broken gunner's seat. I used the Corsair pilot with legs removed and was able to fit him into the seat/C-ring assembly without removing it. I hope when Merit releases a new model, a pilot is included and fits properly.

I look forward to your updates on future releases from Merit and BBI including aircraft and warships.
Last edited by dragon53 on Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: New Merit 1/18 DAUNTLESS DISCUSSION

Post by Ara » Mon Jun 25, 2012 4:50 am

The folks at Merit kindly sent me their reference documents on the single gun rationale. I am posting the images here, cropped for the relevant content.

See VS-2's after Action Report for May 8th, 1942; Liska posed with his single .30 cal.

After spending a day going over all the Dauntless and Coral Sea references in my collection, I've come up with a lengthy rationale as to Liska's single gun/double gun/single gun use. Will be posting that shortly.

Thank you Merit for sending the documents.

Image

Image

Image
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Re: New Merit 1/18 DAUNTLESS DISCUSSION

Post by Ara » Mon Jun 25, 2012 4:59 am

Here are some additional photos I found while digging through references. These are the only photos I've been able to find of White 12, and Leppla and Liska in their SBD. The notations are mine.

Image

Image

SOURCE: Douglas SBD Dauntless Monograph 34, Krzysztof Janowicz and Andre R. Zbiegniewski, Kagero Publications, 2007.
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Re: New Merit 1/18 DAUNTLESS DISCUSSION

Post by tmanthegreat » Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:29 am

Very glad to see some actual historical research being done between Ara and Merit... Using primary sources as well. Nice job, Merit for really doing your homework professionally on the Dauntless :D

I devoted about 6 years of my life to become a trained historian and have two degrees and published works in the field. While academic historians rarely debated the color of the propeller tips on USN aircraft in 1942, its the process I'm seeing above that counts. Especially around here, its always nice to see some actual historical research taking place that doesn't involve what someone read at Barnes & Nobel, saw on the Military Channel, or found on Google

Oh, yes, and the gunner's seat is a neat feature. I knew it rotated, but hadn't thought of taking it out :wink:
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Re: New Merit 1/18 DAUNTLESS DISCUSSION

Post by Folkwulfe » Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:11 pm

No to add fuel....but I've been doing a little checking myself through numerous references I have access to....here's what I found. Serial number 4547 IS S-12 that Merit chose to model. She was part of the very first batch of SBD-3's built for the US Navy beginning in 1940. As a matter of fact the line started with Sn# 4518 and ended (first batch) with 4691. Second batch was Sn# 3185-3384, and the third was 6492-6701. A total of 581 SBD-3's built. That makes S-12 (4547) the 29th SBD-3 off the El Segundo assembly line headed for the US Navy. Now comes the rub....some references state that the initial batch (4518-4691) came off the lines with single .30cal.....doubling to two .30 cal AFTER the first run> Now whether or not S-12 was converted is another question. Time and supplies may not have been available at the time....the markings changes and the availability of paint should tell you what state they were in at the time. I'll leave that one for someone more learned than me. For my money, I think Merit got it right...straight down the line.
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Re: New Merit 1/18 DAUNTLESS DISCUSSION

Post by Mitch » Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:53 pm

For me....even if it wasn't 100% accurate, I am way impressed with mine
and will be ordering another. Bang for the Buck, it is the Best plane in the lot !

Keep it up Merit !

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Re: New Merit 1/18 DAUNTLESS DISCUSSION

Post by tko211 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:11 pm

Just opened and assembled my Dauntless. The wings were a huge pain to get seated correctly... Otherwise- this really is an impressive model. I was cautious about the idea of a more accurate model that had potential to be so incredibly fragile! But this plane is actually quite sturdy and I feel as though I can move the working features with a degree of confidence! I also appreciate and love that they did movable gears and resisted the temptation to go plug and play. I applaud that extra effort to keep the gear with the plane and to do so with a sturdy feel. The paint also is quite impressive. I really have nothing bad to say about the execution of this plane. Ready for S2 now!

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Re: New Merit 1/18 DAUNTLESS DISCUSSION

Post by Yoxford » Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:21 am

I just wanted to send my thanks and gratitude to Merit for producing this panicle of 1/18 aircraft models.

In all the years of 1/18 collecting, I had always hoped, but never experienced, an aircraft or tank that did not need some sort of work to fix glaring missing details, re-painting , re-gluing or just plain repairing poor craftsmanship…until now…this SBD Coral Sea Dauntless is a dream come true.

Other than adding the antenna wire/spring/isolators…there is nothing else I can think of doing to this model. Pre-ordered the Midway version today.

Thank you Merit International, Thank you, very much!
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Re: New Merit 1/18 DAUNTLESS DISCUSSION

Post by Sabrefan » Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:28 pm

UPS brought my SBD to me today, and all I can say is WOW! What a beautiful model. As TKO said getting the wings on is a pain as they require quite a bit of pressure to get them on, but this is one beautiful model. I have not been this excited about a model in some time.......WOW!
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Re: New Merit 1/18 DAUNTLESS DISCUSSION

Post by King O' Fools » Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:44 pm

I just found out that a European etailer (warbirdmodelle.de) has this model on pre-order for EUR 199 (that's approx. USD 250). :shock: I don't think I'm willing to pay that much for a toy (and, yes, the exhaust weathering is extremely toyish and doesn't resemble the promo pics at all).

Besides, at that price, I would expect a 1/18 scale crew to man my Dauntless... Guess I'll have to pass on this one as well, unless I can find a European etailer that's not in the business of price gouging. :lol:

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Re: New Merit 1/18 DAUNTLESS DISCUSSION

Post by Ara » Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:00 pm

I think the standard retail price of $169.00 USD (or thereabouts) is quite reasonable for a model of this caliber. It is the best 1/18 model I've seen, and honestly, the exhaust stains are pretty darn good. In fact, Merit's paint work really gives it an authentic feel.

I love this model and the feeling of history it brings when I examine it (or show it off!).

Take a look at that gorgeous floodlight under the starboard wing. That is something else!
Last edited by Ara on Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New Merit 1/18 DAUNTLESS DISCUSSION

Post by Sabrefan » Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:02 pm

I did notice the floodlight, it is awesome!
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Re: New Merit 1/18 DAUNTLESS DISCUSSION

Post by tmanthegreat » Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:51 pm

Ara wrote:I think the standard retail price of $169.00 USD (or thereabouts) is quite reasonable for a model of this caliber. It is the best 1/18 model I've seen, and honestly, the exhaust stains are pretty darn good. In fact, Merit's paint work really gives it an authentic feel.
There are - and have been - a TON of things to gripe about in the history of 1:18 collecting, but the Merit Dauntless is not really one of them 8)

-- Merit delivered the plane within a reasonable amount of time (no 2-3 year wait for something that didn't have screw covers)
-- Very few reported QC issues (mine had none and the boxed one's I've seen in person also had nothing outstanding)
-- The plane is nicely and accurately painted (i.e. no misaligned markings and no spots!).

Lack of figures is a bummer, but most collectors seem to have easily rectified that with existing carded 21c figures and the like. Yes, the price for the Dauntless is high compared to the $40 Wal Mart days, but those discount prices were unrealistic and the items had QC defects more often than not. Look at what a fantastic and quality model we got from Merit!
Last edited by tmanthegreat on Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New Merit 1/18 DAUNTLESS DISCUSSION

Post by Coreyeagle48 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:52 pm

Greetings:

I have to agree with Ara about the exhaust stains. They are accurate for an SBD. I have been up close and personal with the Commemorative Air Force's SBD-5 at many airshows and the exhaust stains are very prevalent on the aircraft. This is an aircraft that is cleaned regularly but is flown from airshow to airshow and gives rides to paying passengers as well via the rear gunner seat. So I can only imagine a wartime SBD with combat use and no cleaning would have even worse stains. I think the stains are fairly accurate and the correct place on the model.

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Re: New Merit 1/18 DAUNTLESS DISCUSSION

Post by CW4USARMY » Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:04 pm

tmanthegreat wrote:
Ara wrote:I think the standard retail price of $169.00 USD (or thereabouts) is quite reasonable for a model of this caliber. It is the best 1/18 model I've seen, and honestly, the exhaust stains are pretty darn good. In fact, Merit's paint work really gives it an authentic feel.
There are - and have been - a TON of things to gripe about in the history of 1:18 collecting, but the Merit Dauntless is not really one of them 8)

-- Merit delivered the plane within a reasonable amount of time (no 2-3 year wait for something that didn't have screw covers)
-- Very few reported QC issues (mine had none and the boxed one's I've seen in person also had nothing outstanding)
-- The plane is nicely and accurately painted (i.e. no misaligned markings and no spots!).

Lack of figures is a bummer, but most collectors seem to have easily rectified that with existing carded 21c figures and the like. Yes, the price for the Dauntless is high compared to the $40 Wal Mart days, but those discount prices were unrealistic and the items had QC defects more often than not. Look at what a fantastic and quality model we got from Merit!
AMEN!!!!!!!

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Re: New Merit 1/18 DAUNTLESS DISCUSSION

Post by dragon53 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:02 am

For those who have ordered the Coral Sea Dauntless yet, Flyingmule is offering a free Corgi B-52 (#US33508--the much-maligned Carswell AFB all-grey version) with orders of $200+ with promotion code. So add $30+ to your Dauntless order for the free B-52.

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Re: New Merit 1/18 DAUNTLESS DISCUSSION

Post by tmanthegreat » Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:49 am

Good deal with the B-52, but if I ever break down for a Corgi B-52, I'm getting the one from the group stationed at Castle AFB, as it was sort of local.
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Re: New Merit 1/18 DAUNTLESS DISCUSSION

Post by qwik150 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:50 am

I just recieved my SBD-3 "coral sea" dauntless. First of all I have not collected 1/18 scale planes since 2002 back when I picked up the P51 Lou IV , Stuka and Me109. Back than I remember picking them up for 49.99 from TRU along with the tanks and the Huey with teeth. So when I recently gotback into the scale 1/18 hobby I noticed the prices were more than I remembered.

I took a chance and bought this Dauntless because it is one of my favorite planes from WW2. Well, let me tell you it is well worth the 169.99 I paid for it. It is by far the best 1/18 scale in my collection and I will also be looking foward to the Midway version from Merit..... GOOD JOB MERIT!

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