1/350 Northrop BT-1 Dive Bomber
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Reviewed December 2015
by Timothy Dike
The BT-1 was designed in 1934 to meet a US Navy specification to replace the Martin BM-1 and the Great Lakes BG-1. Designed by Ed Heinemann, the BT-1 was the first all-metal aircraft to fly for the Navy. To guard against any weakness in the wings during dives, the wings could not be folded and the overall wingspan had to conform to the dimensions of the US carrier's hangars and elevators. Unfortunately, this requirement resulted wings that were shorter than optimal and substantially compromised the flying characteristics of the BT-1, especially a slow speeds (think carrier landings!). 52 of the 54 BT-1s ordered by the Navy in November 1936 were delivered, with one of the two retained for experimental use, the XBT-2 later becoming the Douglas SBD-1. Many of the lessons learned with this aircraft led directly to its successor, the SBD, which wrote itself into the pages of the USN's history during those desperate, and decisive, Pacific naval battles of 1942 and 1943.

Here's another example of the growing Over Angry Seas line of the aircraft now carried by Tom's Modelworks.  This one in 1/350 scale.

There are two aircraft included in the set, if one with a closed canopy and the other opened.  Both have landing gear in the down position.  Each aircraft is nicely detailed with nicely engraved panel lines. You can even make out the perforated dive brakes. They rival anything I've seen in plastic resin or white metal in this scale.  Because of the 3D printing process they have a slightly rough texture to the surface but this is barely noticeable and doesn't show up in the photos. click images
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The instructions consist of two inserts, one showing the wing painting and the other showing squadron section colors for the cowlings.  The box art shows painting variations for the aircraft.

These aircraft are perfect for a pre-war USS Yorktown or Enterprise and should really stand out with those yellow wings painted. This is kit #BT1-350 1/350 Northrop BT-1 US Navy Pre-War Dive Bomber - (x2) for $16.99 US. Check this set and others on Tom's Modelworks website with secure online ordering.

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