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Mushroom Model Publications

Yellow Series


Douglas SBD Dauntless


by Robert Peczkowski


S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Mushroom Model Publications Yellow Series (6123)
Douglas SBD Dauntless
by Robert Peczkowski
with illustrations by Artur Juszczak
ISBN: 978-8389450395
Media: Soft cover; A5+ format; 136 pages plus covers
Price: in the UK and Europe GBP £12.00 from Mushroom Model Publications
in the USA USD$22.46 available online from Squadron.com
Review Type: First Read
Advantages: Provides a good history of the Dauntless; selection of contemporary photos; colour photos of surviving examples; attractive colour profiles.
Recommendation: Highly Recommended


Reviewed by Rodger Kelly

 Mushroom's "Douglas SBD Dauntless" is available online from Squadron


F i r s t  R e a d


New from Mushroom Model Publications is No 6125 in their Yellow Series and it covers the Douglas SDB “Dauntless” series.

The Dauntless came about from a 1934 request by the Bureau of Aeronautics and the US Navy to the American aircraft industry to tender for a new carrier-borne scout bomber.  Following a long development and testing regime controlled by the legendary Ed Heinemann the Dauntless was to become the US Navy’s standard ship-borne dive-bomber from mid 1940 until November 1943 when the first operational Curtiss SB2C Helldivers began to replace it.  Due to the Helldivers’ teething problems though the Dauntless was to continue being operated from carrier decks as well as shore bases well beyond that.  Its role during the Battle of the Coral Sea and the Midway actions where it accounted for many of the Imperial Japanese Navy’s carriers has ensured its place in history.

The book follows the standard Mushroom Model Publications Yellow Series format.  The first few chapters provide coverage of the Dauntless’ developmental and technical history from the experimental XBT-1 through to the SBD-6 in Navy service as well as its use by the USAAC where it was named the A-24 “Banshee”.  Coverage is also provided of the SBD and A-24’s use by other than US forces including Mexico, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Chile, and France.  The first half of the book also provides a detailed technical description of the SBD, chapters on the US Navy’s unit operational principles as well as a comprehensive list of US Navy and USMC units it was assigned to and finally, a world wide list of survivors. 



The second part of the book is a very complete walk-around comprising both black and white period drawings and photographs and contemporary colour photographs of surviving machines that have been restored and have been preserved in their original condition.  This is a very large section of the book comprising some 68 pages and will prove invaluable to the modeller.

The third and final part of the book is made up 20 pages of excellent colour profiles of the SBD and A-24 and it covers all of the finishes it wore in US Navy and USMC service from the early “yellow wing” era to the tri-colour schemes of the of the
SBD-6.  Profiles of Royal New Zealand Air Force, USAAC, Mexican Air Force, Chilean Air Force, Royal Navy, and the French Aeronavale are also included in this section.

The book has been printed in Poland.  It is B5 in size (240 x165 mm) and comprises 136 pages printed on good quality glossy paper (88 of which are in colour) between cardboard covers.

This book is more of a modelling reference than it is an operational history of the SBD and as such will appeal more to the modeller than the armchair historian.   The Mushroom Publications website at http://www.mmpbooks.biz/books/books-yellow.html lists it at £12.00 which is pretty good value considering what you get between its covers. 

If you are contemplating a build of one of the new large-scale SBDs or one of the outstanding Accurate Miniature ones then you will find this book priceless.


Thanks to Mushroom Model Publications for the review sample

Review Copyright © 2007 by Rodger Kelly
This Page Created on 06 November, 2007
Last updated 24 December, 2007

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