Best sbd dauntless kit?

I am looking at getting an SBD dauntless to build as my first aircraft in a while, mostly build armor. I was wondering what the best kit to get would be? I am looking at the Hasegawa midway kit, but don’t know enough about these to know what to look for. Mainly focused on 1/48 scale but would also consider 1/32

For 1/32 I believe it is the Trumpeter kit series. At least I believe it enough that I bought one.

1 Like

I’m no expert on the SBD but in 1/48 I think the old Accurate Miniatures kit looks good to me. Some years ago Italeri had reboxed it.

1 Like

Would agree with Torsten for the best Dauntless in 1:48 scale. Academy has also released the Accurate Minitures kit and Eduard released 5-6 years ago a limited Edition of the AM kit too,


Cheers, I didn’t know the academy kits were accurate miniatures reboxes. Gonna get one of those, now just to decide on the Pearl Harbor version or the battle of the Philippines sea one

+1 on the Accurate Miniatures kit or any of the subsequent re boxing’s.

1 Like

Hi Mead

Yep - Accurate Miniatures and the later re-boxings for 1:48. It’s a great kit. I don’t know about 1:32.

All the best

Rowan :beer:

Thanks for the help, very tempted to order the 1/48 academy rebox of the Pearl Harbor SBD-1 and the Hasegawa Pearl Harbor D3A Val

Just jumping in here, has anyone got any opinions on a 1/72 scale SBD kit worth delving into? AFIK there’s no modern tooled renditions?

Did the SBD-1 have a rear facing MG? Sorry didn’t want to make a new thread. I found out my local hobby store has both kits I want and I might go there then tomorrow, was just curious to know if the 1 had the MG, the ad says yes, but from pictures I can’t tell.

Yes, a single barrel .30 cal.

1 Like

Hasegawa is your best bet Russel. A bit dated but still a good shape. Look out for Hobby 2000 kits as they use Hasegawa moulds and are much cheaper.


1 Like

Yes, a single .30 cal.


Just my thoughts on the subject:

Academy now has the molds for the Accurate Miniatures, the best SBD kit in 1/48, in my opinion. Take your time and follow the Accurate Miniatures instructions and you can’t go wrong. I have the Academy B-25 kit which uses the AA molds, and they seem to do a pretty good boxing including masks for the canopy’s. Not sure what Academy has in the box for the SBD. The interior is fabulous, but most will not be seen once the fuselage is closed. The flap assembly is like a scaled down version of the originals! The glass fits.

The Hasegawa SBD is very accurate in shape. I found two areas that add to the difficulty. Everyone will complain about the flaps being solid vs. having the holes open. This can be remedied with patient use of drills and a pin vise. When opening them up, there was a an issue on mine with two holes where the plastic is a bit thin and messing it up happens. I sort of fixed it with some putty and paint, plus where it gives way is pretty hard to notice. The glass is designed to be done in the closed position. While not difficult to pose open, I did a bit of sanding to get it to fit, and had to not include the rear glass portions that should be stowed. Still a very nice out the box example can be made from this kit. Plus it used to more reasonably priced that the AA kit. Haven’t priced them in about 4 years though. Here’s what it can look like out of the box.

The Val from Hasegawa is the best 1/48 kit out there. It makes a fabulous example straight out of the box and no aftermarket is needed, unless you wish for different markings. The decals are on the thick side, but will snuggle down using Mr. Mark Softener (what HSW intended them to be used with). I recall doing the Akagi markings, and the fuselage stripes were fiddly, but looked great when done.

Hope this helps!


Thanks for the detailed response. I am leaning towards the SBD-1 and Val. I was thinking of displaying them next to each other in a small vingnette type scenario, showing what the crew of each might have been doing on the morning of December 7th

1 Like

Good luck with it! Sounds fun!

Here is my build of Hasegawa’s Val done a few years back - indeed a great kit . Done OOB with aftermarket decals from a Pearl Harbor Kaga set.


Tim, do you know if the panel lines are recessed on the 1/72 Hasegawa kit, or are they raised? :thinking:

I built the Hasegawa 1:72 SBD-4 and it had very good recessed panel lines. Its a fine kit with some oddities such as the bomb racks are moulded onto the lower wing. The canopies are moulded in the closed position and a bit stepped in appearance. Replaced it with Rob Taurus windscreen/canopy set. The control surfaces have a unrealistic canvas look easy enough to sand out. Next to no cockpit detail. There are no alternatives and really for such an important type, much overlooked. Certainly would buy again, but Id go for the Hobby 2000 boxing as they have Cartograf decals.
Link for a video review:
Hope this helps Russell

1 Like

Given the importance of the dauntless I’m surprised someone like Tamiya hasn’t made one. Seems to very limited options of this plane

1 Like