Flight 19 - TBM-1C Avenger


Sr Member
I've always been enamored by the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle and the disappearance of Flight 19. Somehow I want to believe the time distortion theory and that the planes are still intact and the pilots still alive.

In remembrance of their disappearance on December 5th 1945, I'm converting a 21st Century Grumman TBF-1 to the General Motors TBM-1C which Flight 19 flew. I have no idea what visible differences there are as of yet and maybe it will be just a repaint that I'd end up doing. I plan to convert this by December 5 - and considering my speed or lack thereof that would most probably be in 2012.

I've disassembled the body and pulled out the cockpit.






Not two minutes into the disassembly I've already lost the tailhook. Either it was eaten by the cat, who, incidentally, loves scale models and likes playing Godzilla, or it's in my kid's toy stash which is like a blackhole. Now if only I can find the gun turret I'd like to take photos of it.
I have one of these too and thought about doing the same thing. At this scale it’s just begging for some photo-etched and fine detailing. From what I have read online there were some cosmetic differences among the Avengers. A quick Google search should help with most of the detailing. Also check EBay from time to time because sometimes the old flight manuals with decent photos can be found for cheap. Can’t wait to see what you come up with.

21st actually did Flight 19 as a specialty set back when the 1/18th plane market was in full swing.

I was still at the hobby shop at the time and remember when we got 2 or 3 of them in stock, they are beautiful models.
I have one of the flight 19 ones. Not sure if there are any differences other than paint. I'll take some pix if it will help CJ.

Thanks, guys! Wow, you guys are lucky to get the Flight 19 version. Please do take some pics, Simon. I think it was the same TBF-1 and only the paintjob was different, which was a bit blue-grayish as opposed to the Navy's glossy dark sea blue. But I would have gladly settled for that if I had found one back then, instead of trying to repaint my gray-over-white scheme TBF-1 now.

Googled up the differences and found out what cosmetic differences from the TBF-1 there were. The General Motors TBM-1C was the same as the Grumman TBF-1C. And the only difference from the original TBF-1 was that it now had provision for two 0.5 inch wing guns and increased fuel capacity. So there shouldn't be any visible difference save for a few holes as those wing guns were hidden from view along with the internal fuel tanks.

Another thing I'd like to do is to make the panel lines more realistic. I'm not yet sure how I could achieve the effect of overlapping riveted panels. The plane currently has those deep trenches, with large pits for rivets spaced too far apart for its scale. It looks good at a distance, but not when you examine it at close quarters. But then again the thick plastic cockpit glass wouldn't be up for it anyway if you'd choose to look at the model at close range. Hmmm... now I'm beginning to think I'm better off not starting this project at all and stick to the other two.
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