Enter keywords or a search phrase below:

Trumpeter 1/32 scale TBD-1 Devastator plastic model kit review

The fit of this Devastator won’t disappoint, but the decals might
Kit:02226 // Scale:1/32 // Price:$139.99
Trumpeter (Sample courtesy of Model Rectifier Corp.)
Nice subject matter; good fits; canopy masks provided
Translucent decals; cockpit detail; no instrument decals; “block” stencils; rubber main wheels
Injection-molded plastic (gray, clear); 203 parts (24 photo-etched metal parts, 2 rubber tires); decals
Trumpeter announced its 1/32 scale TBD-1 Devastator plastic model kit years ago, and it is finally here in the flesh — or plastic, in this case. The kit includes numerous options, like folded or unfolded wings, open or closed canopies, bombs or a torpedo, open or closed cowl flaps, and lowered or raised flaps. One unusual option is the open bomb sighting doors under the cockpit. These doors peg the kit as an early build because they were later changed for simpler doors with two hinges instead of three. Not included are the gunners’ twin-machine-gun mounting as seen on some Devastators.

The easy-to-follow instructions do contain errors in the color diagrams: the “lemon yellow” VT-2 squadron color on the tail does not match the “chrome yellow” on the wings. Also, the wingtip navigation lights are just the tip of the molded-on lights, not the entire wing tip as shown.

The cockpit is reasonably detailed and includes the bomb aimer’s compartment below the pilot. Not much is included here, but that’s OK because it isn’t easily visible. While the fuselage halves were still separate, I modified the too-long hinges of the bomb sighting doors so they would fit closed. All internal assemblies fit well. The instrument panel decals went down well over the molded detail. The engine looks good, and the exhausts fit through the cowl cutouts perfectly. I left the engine and cowling off the model until after painting and decals.

The massive, corrugated wings assemble quickly. Don’t forget to paint the area on the rear of the cockpit underside, visible through the torpedo cutout in the lower wing center section. I chose to model the wings folded, which allowed me to finish the outer wings separately and saved considerable shelf space. The hinges are adequately strong as long as you don’t accidentally snap them, like I did. A steel tube helped correct that mental lapse.

The wheel hubs fit snugly to the sturdy landing gear. The rubber tires look good. Be gentle with the torpedo. I accidentally did a torpedo run, and the petite ring on the nose snapped off.

I used the included closed canopy as a mask for the cockpit. Trumpeter included a double set of canopy masks — bless them — but I’m unsure whether they were intended as spares or internal masks. The instructions don’t clarify either way. They fit easily and worked perfectly.

Photo-etched metal provides seat belts for the crew, torpedo “box,” stabilizing fins, and various other small details. Decals are included for one pre-war TBD attached to VT-2 on the USS Lexington and an unidentified blue over gray option.

The decals lay down over the corrugated surfaces well, but take care — they are very thin and will fold with little encouragement. I lost one underwing insignia as a result, so I replaced it with the slightly smaller version from the other scheme. Unfortunately, the white is translucent enough to show through to the yellow wings. Disappointingly, the stencils are nothing more than simple black blocks, so I left all of them off the model.

My Trumpeter 1/32 scale TBD-1 Devastator took slightly under 30 hours to complete. There are some issues to watch for, but the fit and subject matter can compensate for some of the ills, and others are easy to avoid now that you have been warned. I’d recommend a builder have a few models on their shelf before tackling this big beast.
Read and share your comments on this article

Want to leave a comment?

Only registered members of are allowed to leave comments. Registration is FREE and only takes a couple minutes.

Login or Register now.


Essential finishing techniques for scale modelers.
By signing up you may also receive reader surveys and occasional special offers. We do not sell, rent or trade our email lists. View our Privacy Policy.