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General Motors TBM-3 "Avenger"
1/32 Scale Kit from Trumpeter Models
For historical and technical background, please see Wikipedia entry click HERE
(ABOVE) Box art for Trumpeter's 1/32 TBM-3 Avenger kit.
(ABOVE) A young future president
George H.W. Bush in the cockpit of a
TBM.  Bush flew Avengers from the
U.S.S. San Jacinto in the Pacific War.
I. Kit Contents:
II. Aftermarket Stuff:
(ABOVE:) These Eagle Strike decals included a TBM-3 flying off the U.S.S. Saginaw Bay (CVE-82) in 1944.  Whenever
possible, I like to build particular subjects that I might have some sort of connection with.  I have no direct connections to
any Avenger aircraft nor this ship, but I do live pretty darned close to Saginaw Bay.  (BELOW:) U.S.S. Saginaw Bay, a
Casablanca Class escort aircraft carrier.  Click the photograph for a link to more information on this ship.
Kit contains nearly 500 parts:
External surface detail:
III. Assembly
G Factor landing gear legs:
This kit features a nearly complete fuselage interior.  There's a lot of stuff to be
crammed in.  Fortunately, it all fit well and the fuselage went together nicely.
Assembly began with the engine and worked its way to the rear spaces:
Basic assembly and painting.  A lot of this stuff won't be seen in the completed model.
One other aftermarket I like to use are Eduard's photoetch details, mostly in the cockpit.
I also used some Eduard parts in the weapons bay area.  Some of these parts were
unsatisfactory so I ended up scratch making some details.
One hallmark of Trumpeter kits:  Ejector pin marks.  Thankfully these are in a place
that will be impossible to see when finished.
Test fit of cockpit components into a fuselage half.  Details still need to be painted, and
some weathering to be taken care of.
Tail landing gear assembly
This is the turret gun.  Most of the structure is
interior green, and other color to be added later.
Preparing to close up the fuselage........
Moving on to the wings.....
Trumpeter provided a pivot mechanism for the wing fold.  Unless the builder
engineers improvements to this, I don't think it would work very well.  I think the
best way to go is to build the wings permanently in one position or the other.
For some reason, I stopped taking pictures at this point.  I would like to share some thoughts
on this model kit.....  The only problem I encountered was building the right wing.  It was the
first one I assembled, and I followed the sequence on the instruction sheet.  I ran into
problems with fit and just a general awkwardness.  When I built up the left wing, I first
assembled the inner wing panel part to its corresponding outer panel, for both top and bottom,
paying attention to the angle of the outer panel dihedral.  Then I added the internal parts as
needed, then assembled the top to the bottom to complete the wing.  This went much smoother.
All other components fit quite well, and I enjoyed building this.  I thought I'd have problems
closing the fuselage up, considering the amount of internal components, but it was no problem
at all.  I painted my TBM with Xtracolor enamel paints, and the exterior was weathered with
my usual artists pastels, pencils and washes.

It is by no means a "Tamiyagawa" kit and I recommended it for modelers with at least
intermediate building experience due to complexity and the need to deviate from the
instructions from time to time.
Pictures of the finished model can be found by clicking