Grumman TBM-3W
Warner of MLD
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Avenger TBM-3W Warner AEW  model kit in 1/32 scale 
Dutch Naval Air Arm (Marine Luchtvaart Dienst MLD) 
modelling report
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On Dutch Warner planes were 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. 

As noted, the blue scheme was picked and the colour applied with the airbrush.

The landing gear wheels were simply added as per kit instructions; some hydraulic lines were added made from thin metal wire.
The stabilizers and other details already prepared were also now added. The model was ready for decalling. 


The decals came from a variety of sources, such as Flevo decals set 32-004, a general set for Dutch Avengers ( and T-33's) , the spares box and the Dutch IPMS. The Dutch roundels are quite big. Note that particular Dutch Avengers and Warners had different sized and schemes depending on the time period. You can see planes 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". 

I found the Flevo Decals very very thin and they are quickly damaged. Apply directly on the right spot on the model as much as possible. I also found that the lettering and numering decals are a bit oversized, not a lot can done about it and only an expert will tell. 

The lettering and numbering for the Dutch naval air service (MLD) Warner serial/code 16-112 picked was constructed by combining several decals from the Flevo Avenger set. Some decals came from the Trumpeter kit as well as from the spares box.

After the decals were applied, the overall model was finished: 

The final details were added 
- inside the cockpit, the seatbelts (made from masking tape and etched metail clippings and buckles from the spares box).
- MLD Warner propeller colour is probably light grey with yellow tips and blue spinner cap. 
- the arrestor hook (external in this Warner plane) was added after being painted white with black stripes
- Some steps were added aft of the wing below the fuselage made from wire.
- 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, these came from decals from the spares box. 
- the antenna wires (made from thin fishing line); note that they run differently on the TBM-3W Warner; check always pictures on the Avenger you are building; (use superglue to fix the wires).

Also, the details on Warners vary, some have extra antennas depending on the modification and period they were used. 
- the slide window panels were made from thin acrylic sheet as the farming on some Warners make the kit parts not directly usable. The silding windows were set in an open position
- the smaller tip navigation/ anti-collision lights were added and painted transparant using Tamiya clear paint. 

When dry, clean up all residue from the decal solvents and remove any dust. Spray the overall model with a coat of Johnson Future/Pledge  to get a very nice overall gloss sheen on the model. It will also protect the model decals.

The end result is a nice special Warner model in the 1/32 collection. 


The home printed VSQ-2 squadron marking and nose of the Warner. The cockpit seat is bare as the pilot would bring in the survival pack himself. 

A small view of the fins, the radar operator compartment and pilot cockpit
the hump and the special antenna on the fin

scoops and intakes vary on Warners, so study pictures of the plane you want to model

Upper view, with hardly visible the black walkways

the radar operator compartment door was set partially open


a good view of the Warner radar dome

. Main gear with few break lines from wire

The MLD Warner on the tarmac....

A lot of work but a special 1/32 model

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Created this page August 1,