Grumman TBM-3S2 
Avenger MLD
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Avenger TBM-3W Warner AEW  model kit in 1/32 scale, (Marine Luchtvaart Dienst MLD) 
modelling report
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The MLD TBM-3S2 planes had either a dark sea blue (first scheme) or a dark sea grey upper surfaces and sky lower surfaces (later scheme). The BSC Sky and Extra Dark Sea Grey scheme was picted.
There were also two types of schemes regarding the numbering and insignia roundels, these being either small or large. The scheme with the small roundels in six positions was opted for and with the small numbers and a small KON.MARINE text at the fuselage tail end.

The planes also had a medium blue propeller hub with light grey blades and yellow bladetips. 

The colours were applied with the Badger airbrush.

For the Sky HUMBROL 90 enamel was airbrushed 
For the Extra Dark Sea Grey XTRACOLOR  X5 

First apply the lighter Sky, mask with Tamiya tape and then the darker Sea grey.

After putting on these colours, several "stripes" of mat black were again free hand applied at some areas, especially at the panel lines. Again, the Sly and grey colours were applied and you get a fading effect. 

Also, some panels were separately sprayed by added in some white in the colour and spraying it with some dedicated masking at the panel.

The wheelbays and wing fold ribs were sprayed white, but the bomb bay and some internal bays were kept interior green. 

This variant is often seen with a search light pod. This was made from a spare fuel tank from the spares box. The transparant cover was "heat plugged" with clear plastic. I used an old ballpoint shape for the shaped curve. The pylon was made from a spare kit part. 

Note the closed gaps (using white glue)  for the kit armament not fitted


The decals came from a variety of sources, such as Dutch Decal, the spares box and the Dutch IPMS. The roundels are quite big. Note that particular Dutch Avengers had different sized and schemes depending on the time period. You can see Avengers with large KON.MARINE texts, but also small texts as on the model below the stabilizer.

The Dutch roundels on this scheme should be 1/32 about 30 mm at the upper and lower wing tips (4 positions) and 15 mm at the two fuselage positions. 

The MLD squadron VSQ 2  has the squadron marking on the left side in front of the wind screen (not sure if it is fitted on both fuselage sides...). This emblem was scanned from a book, and reduced in size to 1/32 scale with the computer graphics program. It was printed on a clear and a white Bare Metal foil decals sheet. Varnished with MicroScale Decal coat, cutt in two and applied. 


Before application of the decals, put on a gloss varnish (Johnson Future) to avoid "silvering". 

After the decals were applied, the overall model was finished. The gear, stabilizers and other details already prepared were added.

Final touches are:
- the antenna wires (made from thin fishing line); note that they run differently on the TBM-32S from the leading edge of the vertical tail to the antenna mast; check always pictures on the Avenger you are building; (use superglue to fix the wires). 
- the lower wire antenna's on the bay doors; 
- the blade antenna's on the wing tip, made from thin card. I was not sure as there exact location, so some estimation was needed looking at vague pictures...;
- adding the search light pod;
- add a venturi tube in front of the wind screen made from some plastic rod;
- add an extra vertical tri-angular antenna on top of the canopy framing;

The wing ends were kept movable on this model to save cabinet space while in house on dispaly. I used two metal wires to tight the wing halves to the stabilizer tips when folded.  The wing can thus also be shown on horizontal position !

And finally....
Aft of the engine exhaust pipes, some black mat paint to suggest smoke was dry-brushed onto the model.
There are also black walkways at the fuselage-wing joint area and also at the upper bay doors you have a triangled "black" walkway. I used decals for the walkways and made them "mat" with dull varnish.
Add some "no steps" and white markings here on the walkways. 

When dry, clean up all residue from the decal solvents and remove any dust. Spray the overall model with a coat of Johnson Future mixed with about 15% Tamiya matting agent  to get a very nice overall semi-gloss sheen on the model. It will also protect the model decals.

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Created this page June 29, 2009