by Mike Rieth
This is an article on how I converted an Accurate Miniatures/Italeri 1/48th scale TBF-1C to an early TRF-1 Avenger
Cut machine gun trough in nose on right side (I used a mill.). Bend .005″ styrene sheet to fill sides and bottom of trough. Scribe access panel lines for machine gun, rear of trough. Make indentation in cowl flap. Add tubing for machine gun.
Fill in wing machine gun ports with plastic rod or filler. Remove machine gun fairings from top of left and right wings. Fill engraved lines for doors that access machine guns and ammunition. Fill in ejector ports for machine guns on lower left and right wings.
Add 10″ diameter window in Radioman’s entry hatch right side, .2083″ for 1/48 scale.
Add 10″ diameter window left side, centered between panel lines aft of large oval window.
Glue on the two large oval window clear kit parts left and right side and fill with cyano (Super) glue or other favorite filler and sand flush.
Add two small rectangular windows, .100″H x .200″L for 1/48 scale, with slightly rounded corners near and below trailing edge of wing. For Accurate Miniatures kit, use internal framing to position.
Add seat in radioman’s position behind the pilot. Do not put radio boxes on left side. I can’t confirm if the Midway TBF’s had the instrument panel in this area.
Add clear canopy extension that went between the turret and greenhouse canopy. I made this by vacuforming a piece of clear sheet over the windscreen of a Monogram 1/48th scale TBD and cutting to shape. This extension was moved forward under the greenhouse canopy when the turret was in use. It was dropped on later TBF’s as being useless.
Radio Antenna mast located on front of “roll over” structure and angled slightly aft. TBF-1C and later, radio antenna mast located rear of “roll over” structure and straight up.
Photos by Mike Rieth.
Mike is a professional model builder and can be contacted at email@example.com or 504 715-6775
Rieth Creations also does custom Laser Engraving/Cutting and Model Restoration