Trumpeter TBD-1 Devastator in 32nd scale announcement came in early 2023, for some expected, for others – surprising. If it was back in a day, it would’ve been just another nice, hot, big kit coming from Trumpeter or HobbyBoss. But nowadays, their pace is slower than what it used to be and projects such as Devastator are more rare. In present day, competition is fierce, many more players are on the market and some giant leaps in technology made 48th scale very competitive in terms of detailing and options. Not that 32nd or larger scales lost their advantages completely, but definitely – to a large extent.
Trumpeter are aware of that and the fact that their toolings are not directly comparable with MENG, Zoukei-Mura, Great Wall Hobby or Rye Field Model probably rung a bell somewhere in their headquarters. Decision to release a boutique aircraft as the Devastator in large scale must’ve been a tough one. TBD-1 is produced in extremely small numbers for its time – only 130 planes. It wasn’t great looking, it was overshadowed by the fighters that appeared less than decade later and most importantly /modeling-wise/ – Trumpeter already had a superb TBDs in their line, which are serious kits in all aspects.
Modelers however, are a different breed. They judge somewhat abstract qualities when they look at an object. TBD Devastator is a plane rich in history and some historians credit it as the plane that saved the war in the Pacific. Even exaggerated, this statement holds some facts. Besides, in scale, Devastator is quite popular due to many reasons. The attractive duck-yellow appearance, the /often presented/ open canopies of the multiple crew members, the folding wings and of course – the wide weathering options on that canvas overall.
In 32nd scale, there is even more to that said above. However better technically Great Wall Hobby tooling might’ve been once, anything hardly beats the huge size of the 32nd in the end. And that is especially true for experienced modelers, who can squeeze a masterpiece from a ugly log if you give it to them. Saying the latter of course, we don’t expect Trumpeter to be bad tooling. Just the contrary. We expect it to be a nice one, with plenty of options and plenty of aftermarket goodies coming this way very soon. Maybe – just maybe – we would dare to predict some engineering inferiority comparing it with G.W.H. kit in 48th, but this is still a speculation.
In the end of the line, we are thankful for having this kit approaching its release date soon. Devastator is beautiful in its own, unique way. Being old and obsolete does not mean that it is to be forgotten. Rich in history, that plane will bring many happy moments for modelers, especially those focused on WWII and NAVY themes. No matter how will be approached – yellow or single tone appearance, in flight or with folded wings, 1/32 TBD Devastator is a promising kit that we look forward to.