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DECAL SHEET REVIEW


Yellow-Wings Decals Douglass SBD-2 #2106
"Midway Madness" -- 1:48 Scale



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The Douglas SBD Dauntless dive-bomber was one of the most remarkable and valiant aircraft of the Second World War.  It was the primary dive-bomber of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps from the pre-war years until the end of the conflict.  Particularly in the Pacific theater, the SBD participated in some of the most important battles of the war, from the defense of Pearl Harbor to the Battles of Midway, Coral Sea, Guadalcanal, and the Philippine Sea.  Along the way, SBDs sank more Japanese ships than any other allied aircraft.

SBD-2 BuNo 2106 is one of the most storied Dauntless aircraft ever to exist.  In your reviewer’s opinion, it participated in a truly unique combination of historical events and other “life experiences” probably unlike anything lived by this particular aircraft type.  BuNo 2106 came off the production line in 1940 and first served aboard the USS LEXINGTON with VB-2 beginning in early 1941.  The aircraft endured engine damage and was left behind at NAS Ford Island for repairs on 5 December 1941.  It witnessed and survived the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

With a new engine, BuNo 2106 got back into the fight on 12 December 1941 and rejoined the LEXINGTON.  The crew of BuNo 2106 received the Navy Cross for the actions in the Lae-Salamaua Raid off the coast of New Guinea in March 1942.  As the LEXINGTON went into the south Pacific, BuNo 2106 cycled back to Pearl Harbor in April for reassignment to a new squadron.  Of course, LEXINGTON was later sunk and the airplane would have likely been lost.  Instead, it found itself sent to Midway Island with other SBDs to reinforce the Marine Corps Dauntless fleet already there.  BuNo 2106 was reassigned to VMSB-241.  The airplane survived the attack on the Japanese carrier HIRYU that claimed most the Marine SBDs involved in the battle.  Shot up with some 260 holes, BuNo 2106 made it home, crash landing on Midway Island.  Her crew was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism.

As new versions of the Dauntless went to the front lines, BuNo 2106 came back home to the States.  It became a trainer, assigned to the carrier qualification training unit (CQTU) at NAS Glenview, Illinois.  On 11 June 1943, it crashed into Lake Michigan on a routine training flight as the student pilot stalled the airplane on approach.  BuNo 2106 came to rest in 170 feet of water. 

In October 1993, the wreck of BuNo 2106 was located and deemed to be so well preserved that it was raised in January 1994 and subsequently restored.  Today, BuNo 2106 is on display at the National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola, Florida.  It serves as one of the very few surviving examples of a Dash-2 Dauntless, one of only four airplanes to have survived the attack on Pearl Harbor unscathed, and the only surviving airplane that participated in the Battle of Midway.  What a remarkable life, and indeed, BuNo 2106 lives on.

Here, Yellow-Wings Decals provides markings for the five major defining moments of BuNo 2106:

The decals for BuNo 2106 come on two sheets.  The first contains all the specific airframe markings, and the second is an assortment of national insignia markings.  The quality of the decal design is excellent, and the printing by Microscale is right up there with Cartograf and other leaders in the decal business.  Colors are vibrant, in perfect register, and carrier film is very thin and tightly restrained.  It looks like these markings are intended for the great Accurate Miniatures kit, but many if not all can be easily used on the Hasegawa Dauntless, too.

Overall, this sheet isn’t just a winner – it's deeply intriguing.  The experiences of this particular aircraft and her crews are truly historic, and the depth of research on the decals and the deeper story of BuNo 2106 by Yellow-Wings Decals is very impressive.  There’s a lot here that will appeal to a wide range of modelers.  

Many thanks to Wayne Tevlin of Yellow-Wings Decals for the review sample. You can find Yellow-Wings Decals on the web at http://www.yellow-wingsdecals.com. You can reach them by email at yellow-wingsdecals@att.net and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/wayne.tevlin.3

Haagen Klaus
Scale Modeling News & Reviews Editor
Detail & Scale

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