Hobby Master 1/72 scale HA2205: Curtiss Helldiver Mk.1, serial JW104 of 1820 Naval Air Squadron, Fleet Air Arm in 1944. Production of only 1,013 pieces.
The Canadian Car & Foundry Co. manufactured 28 SB2C-1 Helldivers with a designator of SBW-1B for lend-lease to the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm who designated them Helldiver Mk.1. They were serial numbered JW100 – JW125. These were tested and loaded on an aircraft carrier with initial delivery to 1820 Squadron in April 1944. It wasn’t long before the British suffered the same crashes and serviceability problems as the USN. At this point the FAA deemed the aircraft unsuitable and cancelled the remainder of the planned 450 aircraft. These aircraft never saw action and were scrapped in the UK.
The SB2C Helldiver was designed to replace the SBD Dauntless as the USN’s main dive-bomber. The SB2C Helldiver was commonly referred to as “The Beast” because of its size and rather poor handling characteristics. Even with new variants and upgrades the Helldiver never received the credit and respect it deserved. With over 800 improvements the later variants of the Helldiver eventually flew faster and further than the Avenger, except for range it beat the SBD in every category. Its cruising speed was only 2 mph slower than the famous Hellcat.