The Mark 13 torpedo was the U.S. Navy’s most common aerial torpedo of World War II. It was designed with unusually squat dimensions for its type: diameter was 22.4 inches (570 mm) and length 13 feet 5 inches (4.09 m). In the water, the Mark 13 could reach a speed of 33.5 knots (62.0 km/h; 38.6 mph) for up to 6,300 yards (5,800 m). Eventually, 17,000 Mk.13 torpedos were produced during the war.
True Details 1/48th Scale Mk.13 resin torpedo set
Well, here is finally a torpedo to go along my Accurate Miniatures TBF/M Avenger. It was built some time ago and went straight to the shelf in my office without the feature that distinguished this aircraft so much. Here comes the 1/48 U.S. Navy Mk.13 Torpedo #48506 from True Details.
I came across this set during a routine stop at my local hobby shop. So basically for the same price on-line with no shipping to pay, I decided to pick two torpedo sets. One is cast in a light gray resin and the other one in the traditional ‘butter cream’ resin color.
The 1/48th Mk.13 torpedo is comprised of basically of 9 parts. The torpedo itself, the wooden case, 2 propellers and 5 separate fins. There is an extra fin available in case you loose one. -that’s exactly what happened to me when I was removing them from the casting block-.
The cast is very clean on the main torpedo. There is an ‘eyelet’ on the tip that need to be opened. This should be the job for a pin vise and a small drill bit. Try to clean the extra resin from the casting on the eyelet, and you might end up blowing it up. Remember, I warned you 😉
As you can see on the provided pictures below, my MK. 13 torpedoes got a coat of Alcald 2 Gloss Black Base (ALC-304) and left to dry overnight. The leaflet included calls for a dark metal or dark gray color. Judging from pictures of the Mk.13, the color seems to be an aluminum shade either polished or dull.
I did tried Alclad 2 Polished Aluminum in a small portion of 1 of them. But this color proved to be too shiny almost chromed almost like the parts in model kit cars. I quickly changed to Alclad 2 ‘White Aluminum’ (ALC-106).
Meanwhile I left them to dry and started to work on the propellers. This is the most challenging part. Whatever you do, use a fresh #11 blade. Separating the propellers from the cast block is a very delicate job. The prop blades are thin and VERY brittle. No matter how careful I was or method I used, I didn’t get a single propeller without ruining a blade.
This is where I believe that little fret of photo etched propellers wouldn’t raise the MSRP that much and *I* would be more than happy to pay a little extra. The blade mounts could be provided as resin ferrules. Just thinking out loud.
The front portion or warhead of the torpedo, was painted with a 50/50 mix of Model Master Acryl 4765 Light Gray and 4757 Acryl Medium Gray. After sealing just the gray area with Acryl Flat Clear, I gave both torpedoes a wash of AK Interactive Dark Brown (AK 045). One of them has the war head all scuffed while the other one was left clean as a museum piece. The stand was built with Evergreen plastic 5/32” I beam (# 215). The exhibit plaque was made in .30 styrene. The picture and info was done with Photoshop as a .50” x .45” document at 200 DPI and printed on glossy paper.