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TBD-1A Seaplane


Valom 1/72

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Valom Kit No. 72017 TBD-1A Devastator Seaplane
Scale: 1/72
Contents and Media: 49 grey short-run plastic parts on three sprues, 2 clear plastic parts on one sprue, 17 resin parts, 24 PE parts on one fret, decals for two aircraft plus an eight page A5 sized fold-out instruction booklet with history, parts plan, 16 build diagrams and 4 pages of paint/decal illustrations.
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Rare and unusual subject, highly detailed, good resin, PE and decals.
Disadvantages: Short-run multi-media kit means not for beginners.
Recommendation: Highly Recommended for experienced US Navy, Seaplane or Prototype Enthusiasts

Reviewed by Glen Porter

Valom's 1/72 scale TBD-1A will be available online from Squadron.com



Although the TBD was taken out of front-line service in August 1942 after its disappointing performance at Midway and elsewhere, one aircraft had earlier been fitted with floats and tested with a torpedo for coastal work. The Netherlands Government had shown some interest but the testing was stopped when the Netherlands were over-run by Germany in 1940.

This is the third 1/72 scale TBD that Valom have released. I find this one a little bit more interesting than the others because it can be built as either the seaplane prototype or as one of the aircraft that took part in the Battle of Midway.

The main mid-grey sprue, (31parts), is straight from the earlier kits and has all the parts that came with those kits. There are then, two light-grey sprues, (9 parts each) which are for this kit alone and cover the two floats, their struts and the undercarriage inserts. In common with the earlier kits, this one features a high level of detail, plus excellent surface detail and moulding.



The resin and PE are as in the pre-war kit and therefore include the torpedo and no bombs.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

The decals, not surprisingly, only cover two aircraft. The first is the Seaplane Prototype in over-all Aluminium with Orange/Yellow wing top surfaces, both main and tailplane and the code 2X-1 and US Navy on the fuselage sides. This aircraft carries a torpedo with a Red and White striped war-head. The other, a torpedo carrying aircraft from USS Hornet at Midway, 4th of June 1942 and flown by ENS George Gay, is in Blue/Grey and Light Grey with the code 8-T-14. The decals themselves have a logo on them but no name so I can't tell you who has printed them but they look to be well done with good register, colour density and minimum carrier film. There are two sets of national markings, with and without red spots plus all the other relevant markings for both aircraft.


As a seaplane nut, I persohally prefer this kit over the other two, but I would expect that everyone will have their favorite version. Regardless, all of Valom's Devastators are all quite good kits although perhaps not for the beginner due to their multi-media nature.

Highly Recommended for experienced modellers of this type of aircraft.

Thanks to Valom for this review sample.

Review and Images Copyright 2006 by Glen Porter
Page Created 11 September, 2006
Last updated 21 February, 2007

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