KIT: Pegasus 1/72 SB2U Vindicator
KIT #: 3004
PRICE: $ Long out of production
DECALS: One options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Short run with metal parts

HISTORY

The Vought SB2U Vindicator (known as the Chesapeake in Royal Navy service) was a carrier-based dive bomber developed for the US Navy in the 1930s, the first monoplane in this role. Obsolescent at the outbreak of World War II, Vindicators still remained in service at the time of the Battle of Midway, where flown by Marine pilots, it was a sitting duck for Japanese A6M fighters. If nothing else, these aircraft were used to develop tactics and train crews who went on to fly the SBD and use them with much effectiveness. By 1943 all Vindicators had been withdrawn to training units. Around 170 of all variants were produced, and a single example is preserved at the National Museum of Naval Aviation at NAS Pensacola.

THE KIT

Pegasus was one of the first short run folks whose kits didn't look like vaguely shaped blobs of plastic. Those who have struggled with a VeeDay or Merlin kit know what I mean. Sure, these kits were and are low pressure moldings, and that means relatively thick plastic and flash, but once cleaned up, they make into really fine models.

This particular kit has a 10th anniversary logo, though the date on the inside of one of the wings is June of 1993. Regardless, the kit comes with a basic cockpit of seats, bulkheads, control stick, DF loop antenna (two sizes)  and a rear gun. As my kit is either missing or never had an exploded view, I'm not sure just what all should be there and exactly where it fits. The engine is an OK shape but if you want real detail, then perhaps a resin replacement would be in order. A bomb crutch and fuel tank is provided for under the plane. You also get both sets of tailplanes in case you wish to do a version other than the -1 variant.

Metal bits are provided for the prop, bomb crutch and attachment point, gear legs, retraction struts, rear gun, tail hook and radio mast. An injected plastic greenhouse is given and while a bit distorted, is nicely thin.

As I mentioned, there is no exploded view for this kit, only a written construction sequence and color list by Methuen, FS 595 and Xtracolor. A four view is provided on the back of the box. The decals are for a single aircraft, and SB2U-1 from, I believe, VB-2 or VS-2 with a lemon yellow tail section.  Decals are well printed and if you have used Modeldecal transfers, then these are quite similar.

CONCLUSIONS

Over the years, the quality of Pegasus kits has improved, but they are still short run and provide most interesting subjects for the modeler who tires of the 'usual stuff'.

November 2006

Review kit courtesy of me and my wallet. No lawyers were harmed in the writing of this article.

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