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Douglas BTD-1 Destroyer

 

Planet Models, 1/72 scale

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Planet Models PLT135 - BTD-1 Destroyer
Scale: 1/72
Contents and Media: 34 parts in yellow resin, 2 vacform parts; decals for two aircraft.
Price: USD$44.96 from Squadron.com
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Interesting and esoteric subject; beautifully cast; crisp and fine surface detail; very simple parts breakdown.
Disadvantages: Might be hard to squeeze in enough nose weight
Recommendation: Recommended.


Reviewed by Brett Green


 Planet Models' 1/72 scale BTD-1 Destroyer is available online from Squadron.com
 

FirstLook

 

So, what does a limited run model company do when they want to produce an even more esoteric subject than usual? In the case of MPM, they deliver these extra esoteric subjects as all-resin kits under the label of Planet Models.

One of the most recent releases from Planet Models is a 1/72 scale BTD-1 Destroyer. This aircraft was intended to be a replacement  for the Douglas Dauntless. During its development, however, the BTD's role changed from that of a dive bomber with two crew members to a single seat torpedo bomber. The Destroyer featured a tricylce undercarriage and an internal weapons bay. It was powered by a Wright Cyclone R-3350-14 Cyclone 18 engine. Only 28 Destroyers were delivered to the US Navy by the end of hostilities in the Pacific.

Planet Models' BTD-1 comprises 34 parts in yellow resin and two vacform parts.

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


The resin parts are flawlessly cast, with crisply recessed panel lines and additional raised surface features as appropriate (for example, dive brakes on the wings). Each wing is cast as a single part, and features thin trailing edges. The fuselage halves are similarly comprehensive with sidewall detail moulded onto the inside.

The smaller resin parts are well done too.

Casting blocks are not terribly frightening, but special care will be required when removing the front row of the Cyclone 18 engine.

There are no locating pins or tabs of any kind throughout the kit, so I would strongly suggest reinforcing the major joins (e.g. wings to fuselage) with metal pins.

The big canopy is supplied as a vacform part, with a spare included in case of mishaps during construction.

The only potential problem I can see is fitting enough weight in the nose of this model to permit it to sit on its tricycle undercarriage. There is an awful lot of heavy-looking resin behind those main wheels!

Markings are provided for two Destroyers - one in US Navy three colour scheme, and the second in overall Glossy Sea Blue.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Thanks to companies like MPM and Valom, we now have the option of building a good selection of US WWII prototypes and stillborn warplanes delivered too late to see service. Before long there will be a scale "US Air Armada 1946" to match the Luft '46 Geschwader that has emerged in the last few years.

Planet Models 1/72 scale BTD-1 Destroyer is a welcome addition to this growing list. It is well detailed and, after careful preparation and some reinforcement, should be simple to build too.

Recommended.

Thanks to MPM/Planet Models for the review sample.


Review Text and Images Copyright 2005 by Brett Green
Page Created 02 June, 2005
Last updated 02 June, 2005

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