Grumman TBM-3 Avenger Accurate Miniatures 1/48 scale

by Giovanni Galvan © 2008 Modeler Site

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The Grumman Avenger needs no presentation, being one of the most famous protagonists of the Pacific War. But until the 90’s, there was in 1/48 scale only an old Monogram toy-style model, until Accurate Miniatures released a “state-of-the-art” mold, which is still one of the best kits ever done. Now the mold is also released by Italeri, at lower price, and it’s very recommendable to all modelers.


The Accurate Avenger was released in two versions, the TBF-1C and the TBM-3, which is the subject I chose. The box contains markings for a “Tokyo raider” with the three-tone scheme of middle war, but I decided to make a late “all Blue” Marines subject.

The cockpit is gorgeous, needs only the seat belts made of masking tape. Just like many modern kits, it’s amazing how all this stuff closes correctly during the fuselage construction. There is a technique for installing the turret, which is well explained on the Accurate site. The cockpit color is Interior Green (Humbrol 158) and semi gloss Black for the instrument panel and consolles, with Tan headrest. A drybrushing with Light Grey highlighted the details.



The fuselage joint requires a little amount of putty and sanding, while the wing fit is very good. I added also the bombs to their bays.

The engine is very well done, and I painted Engine Gray FS. 36118 (Gunze H305), the crankcase and Gloss Black, the cylinders.
I fixed the bomb bay doors open. The landing gear is very good. The tires were painted Extra Dark Grey and brushed with brown oil color, and the gear legs and wheels, Blue. The propeller was painted Flat Black with Yellow tips.

Building this kit was straightforward and pleasant, so, I decided to concentrate about the weathering effect on the Sea Blue scheme.
For the paint scheme, I selected and example coded “yellow 57” of the VMTB-132 from the escort carrier CVE 109 “USS Cape Gloucester”, involved in the attacks at Okinawa and Chinese coast in 1945. The scheme is Sea Blue FS 15052 (Gunze H65) overall, with White and Yellow identification stripes.

But before the Blue, I gave a coat of Zinc Cromate Green FS 33481 (Humbrol 81), and used some wet salt to cover these areas which could be seen under the scraps on the surface. After the salt was dry, I airbrushed the paint for the color scheme. At last I peeled off the salt with 600 sandpaper, obtaining a good weathering effect. To add more weathering, I used brown oil paint and chalks of various colors.

The strips in White and Yellow were painted with a mask, while other insignia were from the Accurate sheet and spare decals.


Color chart








Interior Green

34151 151 34151 X117 H58 1715

Engine gray

36118 79 127M X130 H305 1723

Sea blue

34052 116 1116M X204 H65 -

Zinc cromate green

33481 81 181M X408 H58 1584

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