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Readers’ Gallery: Raleigh Lamb’s Tamiya 1/48 F2A-2 Buffalo

Raleigh Lamb has posted this great looking Brewster Buffalo in the pre-war yellow wings scheme. Great work Raleigh!

This was a departure from my normal builds of drab grays and greens for me. I must admit I did enjoy applying all the different colors, and it definitely catches my eye. I used the Tamiya 1/48th F2A-2 Buffalo kit, an Eduard color P.E. detail set, a Squadron vacuform canopy, and Yellow Wing Decals for the squadron colors and markings. I started off by scribing the panel lines that were raised, as this kit had both recessed and raised lines. I also scratch built wheel well and motor mount structure, using a Special Hobby F2A-3 kit as an example. I stole a motor accessories section, and two .50 cal. M.G.s from a Hobby Boss FM2 Wildcat kit to round out the wheel well/motor mount area. As this was a pre-war bird, all the references I could find pointed to the entire interior being painted with an aluminum dope, with the exception of the area above the cockpit side consoles, which were flat black, so this is the way I painted it.

After installing the detail set in the interior, and completing the wheel well/motor areas, the fuselage halves were buttoned up, the wings assembled, and installed on the fuselage. The wing to fuselage joint left a fairly bad step on the trailing edge, and had to be shimmed to remove the step, and puttied to close a small gap. This was the worst of the fit problems however, and the rest of the build was straight forward. After some filling, and sanding, I applied Alclad’s gray primer to reveal any flaws in the surface, these were corrected to the best of my ability, and the primer coat sanded to a high gloss shine with a micro mesh kit. I then applied Floquil’s Bright Silver as the aluminium dope, pre shaded the tops of the wings, and the whole tail surfaces. The wings were painted Testors Enamel Chrome Yellow, the tail Lemon Yellow (Blue Angel Yellow), and the nose was painted True Blue. Touch ups were completed as necessary, and the decals were applied.

The kit decals were rather thick, and the national insignias wrinkled slightly with micro scale solutions, but after some re-applications of the solutions, most of the wrinkles were taken out. The Yellow Wing Decals performed well as they are printed by Micro Scale, but the folks at YWD provide you with some very thorough instructions and paint suggestions. After the decals were dry, the excess glue and solutions were removed with a damp cloth, and a coat of Future applied. Once this was cured, weathering/panel highlighting was accomplished with black oil paint, and turpentine. When this was complete, the excess oil paint was removed with a paper towel, and re-applied where necessary.

I thoroughly enjoyed this build, with all the bright colors, and can recomend this kit to anyone, as it can be built OOB into a very nice model, and can also very easily be super detailed to the modeler’s liking. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I have, and questions, comments, and critiques welcome.