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In-Box Review
Vought SB2U-2 Vindicator
Vought SB2U-2 Vindicator (V-156-F & V-156-B1 Chesapeake)
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by: Luciano Satornetti [ LITTORIO ]

Originally published on:


Based on the SB2U-2, the V-156-F incorporated specific French equipment. Briefly after the deliveries started in July 1939, V-156-F crews were trained for carrier operations aboard Béarn, but when the war broke out the old carrier was declared too slow for operational service. As a result V-156-F-equipped units, escadrilles AB 1 and AB 3, were based ashore when the Battle of France started. AB 1 sustained heavy losses while attacking bridges and German ground targets in Northern France, while AB 3's V-156-Fs were briefly engaged against the Italians. By the time of the Armistice, there were only a handful remaining Vought’s in French hands, and the type was phased out of service. It is reported that some fell into German hands and where later used in attacks on Dover but no official evidence of this is know.
France had placed an order for a further 50 V-156-Fs in March 1940, with delivery planned from March 1941. Following the defeat of France, this order was taken over by the British government for use by the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm, who named the aircraft the Chesapeake. The British required several modifications to the Chesapeake, including the additional fuel tank fitted to the SB2U-3, additional armour and heavier forward firing armament, with four 0.30in rifle calibre machine guns replacing the single forward firing Darne 7.5mm machine gun in each wing of the French aircraft they also had the Vought under fuselage bomb carrier refitted and the fence style dive brakes removed. Fourteen Chesapeake’s were used to equip a reformed 811 Naval Air Squadron on 14 July 1941.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vought_SB2U_Vindicator - cite_note-Thetford_Navy_p340-8 The squadron, whose crews referred to it as the "cheesecake", was intended to use them for anti-submarine patrols and was earmarked for the escort carrier HMS Archer.
By the end of October that year, it had been decided that the Chesapeake’s were under-powered for the planned duties and would not be able to lift a sensible war load from the small escort carriers. Accordingly, they were withdrawn from 811 Squadron in November 1941 for use as training aircraft and the unit was re-equipped with the Fairey Swordfish.

The Decals
Like most decal sets this all arrives in a zip lock bag, of about A5 size, inside are a decal sheet a bit smaller in size, the instructions which consist of two sheets that both fold out to A4 size and a photo etch fret.
The decals look perfect in register and to my eyes the colours look correct. A few stencils are supplied these being for the British aircraft, other than that all the markings consist of the serials, codes and national marking with enough national markings for one of the two French options and the British aircraft.
The recommended kits for all options are the Accurate Miniatures SB2U-1 or SB2U-2

The Photo Etch
This is in its own small zip lock bag and consists of six parts four for the fence style dive brakes not present on the kits and two case chute ejection plates, these have nice rivet detail and fine engraved panel lines.

The Instructions
Page one is a double sided A4 sheet with two profile views of both French options plus a top and bottom view common to both aircraft, this also shows the placement of the PE parts. On the reverse side is the British option in four views again with PE placement pointed out. On both sides colour callouts are listed in a table by name and FS code.
The third sheet is a history of the type in Polish and English with a reference guide listed in the bottom of each language history. I’ve checked the reference listed (SB2U in action, Squadron) and this shows the British aircraft AL924 with (squadron service?) and without codes and Royal Navy legends but my other references show the British aircraft with both codes and Royal Navy legends (British Navy Aircraft 1912-58, Owen Thetford, Putnam) neither of which are included and will have to be sourced elsewhere, but check your own references as can be seen both could be correct.

The Marking
The two French options:
• Vought F-156-F no.13, AB1-12, Escadrille AB1, Alprecht airfield, Winter 1939/40. Finished in all over Blue-grey FS25189
• Vought F-156-F No.7, AB1-6, Escadrille AB1, Alprecht airfield, Winter 1939/40. Finished in all over Blue-grey FS25189
The British option:
• Vought F-156-B1 Chesapeake, AL924, 811 Squadron FAA, Lee-on-Solent, 1941. Finished in Dark Earth FS30118 and Dark Green FS34079 over Sky FS34424.

In Conclusion
Nice set of decals with PE parts to convert the recommended kits into the aircraft offered. Question over the markings on the British aircraft offered, but the French marking look correct.
Highs: Good colour and register of decals, P.E included for parts not present in the recommended kits.
Lows: Question over the British marking
Verdict: A nice set that covers SB2U-2 aircraft in French service.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: 48077
  Suggested Retail: £7.40
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Aug 23, 2011

About Luciano Satornetti (Littorio)

Ok, firstly I build what ever takes my fancy however I mainly build 1/350 WWII era ships mainly cruisers and any aircraft. However my favourite aircraft being the mighty Beaufighter, Sepecat Jaguar, Hawker Hunter, Fw-190 and the Su-27 family. I also like wheeled armour like the Stryker and Centauro ...

Copyright ©2021 text by Luciano Satornetti [ LITTORIO ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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