Vindicator was the first operational monoplane designed by Vought and
represented a major paradigm shift away from biplanes in use by the
Navy up to that point. The SB2U-1 was a fabric covered truss design,
with the exception of the wing leading edges and the engine cowl,which
were metal covered. The SB2U-1 was armed with a forward firing .30
caliber machine gun mounted in the starboard wing, outside of the
propeller arc and a second .30 caliber gun on a flexible ring mount in
the rear cockpit. The offensive bomb load consisted of a single 1,000
pound bomb carried on a fuselage centerline rack or two 500 pound bombs
carried on racks mounted on the wing, outboard of the landing gear. The
centerline bomb could be replaced with a 50 gallon fuel tank to extend
the aircraft's range for scouting missions. The first deliveries to the
U.S. Navy took place on December 13, 1937, when Bombing Squadron Three
aboard the USS Saratoga received their first aircraft. VB-3 became the
first Navy monoplane squadron to operate from a carrier and the second
Navy squadron to be equipped with a monoplane. The SB2U-1 Vindicators
were primarily used for neutrality patrols prior to WWII and for
Atlantic submarine and surveillance patrols early in the war. Most were
phased out of service by mid 1941.
The Accurate Miniatures kit comes in a top open tray type box with an inner divider partition. The box top has a nice rendition of the subject aircraft. Inside the box there are three cellophane bags, two with one sprue each and one with two sprues. Below the partition is a bag with the clear parts, the instructions, decals, masks and a small PE fret.
The next photo shows the fuselage sink marks mentioned above.
Much of the interior detail is on this sprue, note there are separate side frames for the cockpit areas and that two sets of tires are provided, one set weighted, the other not.
The kit comes with two practice bomb dispensers, two 100 pound bombs, one 1,000 pound bomb and one drop tank so you have plenty of options for under wing stores.
The kit also supplies a set of canopy masks which is always welcomed assuming they work well.
The decals provide markings for one aircraft, that being the Commander, Air Group, USS Ranger. The decals look good on the sheet, thin with with good color saturation and not a lot of excess clear film. Registration is up to you when it comes to aligning the red spot in the center of the star. Instrument dials for control panels are provided.
The instructions are printed on three 11" x 13" pages that are folded and stapled in the landscape format creating a twelve page booklet. The first page is a black and white half tone print of the aircraft. Page two has history and a paint chart with references for seven brands of paint plus the generic color name and FS number if applicable. The next eight pages have one assembly step each which includes a diagram plus written instructions, which is somewhat unusual these days. Color call outs seem to be pretty complete. The next to the last page has the main painting and decal position data. The back page is blank except for the company name and address.
After Market Goodies
Although I think the kit is pretty complete right out of the box Eduard did make several PE sets as well as a mask set, Quickboost did resin exhaust stacks, Techmod and Yellow Wings both made decals if you wish something different from the kit offering. I did not find the Eduard items in stock at my usual sources so you may need to search for them.
While this is a nicely detailed kit and appears to be mainstream it needs to be treated as if it is a short run kit. It will will require a lot of test fitting if you want a good result and as such I can only recommend it to more experienced modelers.
Links to kit build or reviews
I currently have none for this aircraft although there is some information on line and the last link above lists some printed references.