by Mike Rieth
I got the inspiration to do this diorama from the Osprey Combat Aircraft #16 TBF/TBM Avenger Units of World War 2 by Barrett Tillman. I based my model on the after-action report. Not only did I try to recreate the battle damage to the aircraft, but I also “battle damaged” the crew. The pilot had his right cheek cut by shrapnel. The turret gunner was mortally wounded and the radioman was knocked unconscious.
The hydraulic system was hit, which caused the tail wheel to drop, making the stinger machine gun useless. The cables to the elevator were severed, causing the TBF to lose altitude.
The pilot dropped his torpedo at a ship to try to lose weight. He used the trim tabs to level off and was able to crash land on the beach at Midway Island, when the right landing gear collapsed.
I installed a small electric motor to turn the prop and put an on/off switch on the base.
The weathering and battle damage on the model had to match the reference photos that I had and I tried to copy it as close as I could.
The “ocean” was created by forming the waves with modeling clay and covering with crumpled aluminum foil. A urethane rubber mold was poured. Clear urethane resin was poured in the mold. The underside wascolored blue/green and the waves were highlighted with white. This was glued to a MDF base.
Photos by Mike Rieth
Mike is a professional model builder and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 504 715-6775
Rieth Creations also does custom Laser Engraving/Cutting and Model Restoration