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Kit Preview: Revell’s 1/48 OS2U Kingfisher

Notice the Dauntless... the pilots are still buttoned up inside. "Help!" 🙂

I love seeing Revell re-issuing the old Monogram kits. They bring back a lot of great memories. I knew that Revell had announced that the old OS2U kit would be back soon, but I’d forgotten about seeing that a few months back. But in my weekly visit to Hayes Hobby House in Fayetteville, NC this past Saturday, there it was, right on the shelf. (Alongside a re-issued P-47D Razorback…. more on that another day.) And the price was not to bad- less than $17. So of course I did what all modelers do- I grabbed the box and said “ring me up!”

If you’ve seen this kit before, it’s the same one you grew up with. Raised panel lines, minimal cockpit detail, good looking shape generally. I’ve read the central float is undersized, and I don’t doubt it, though I’ve not taken the time to measure it. I just build them as they are in the box, and let others worry about accuracy. (Not that accuracy is a bad thing, but my motto is “build it like a kid”, and I know that my 12-year-old self didn’t give a hoot about accuracy.)

Parts are provided for the beaching trolley as well as the wheeled version of the aircraft, so there are lots of possibilities for builds. In doing some reading on the Kingfisher, it seems that changing from floats to wheels was not too big of a deal, and for shore -based aircraft, doing that change was not uncommon. (An interesting story on Kingfisher operations in Alaska mentioned that.)

There is a fair amount of flash on the parts, but given the age of the molds (40+ years, I believe), I’m not surprised. Still, the parts are nicely cast in gray plastic, with the surface detail being very sharp and good looking. Clear parts are well cast, and nicely clear. As with any injection molded clear part, they are a bit thick for the scale, but not overly so. Most modelers will simply use them as is. The parts allow for an open or closed cockpit.

The cockpit is very simple, consisting of a “tub” with separate stick. No IP is provided, but a decal is in the box, so it can be placed appropriately. No rudder pedals are provided. The observers compartment consists of a square, flat “seat” that mounts into the right fuselage side, and a “deck” that covers the observers compartment. The deck has some simple raised detail.

I plan on building mine out of the box. I’d considered using Lone Star Models’ resin cockpit set, but decided against it purely for financial reasons. Their very nice looking set is certainly not over-priced, but I’m on a budget, so I had to pass on it…. this time. 🙂

The decal sheet looks nice and seems well printed. Two options are made available- one in the two color blue-gray/light gray scheme, and the other in an unusual gray scheme with yellow upper wings.

Modelers would love to see a new-tooling of this kit, of course, But I have a feeling that this re-issue will still sell like hotcakes. Overall it’s a sound kit, and even with purchasing after-market parts to bring the interior up to date, the total investment is probably about what a new tool kit would be, especially given that it would likely be from one of the smaller, short-run companies anyway. Plus, many like myself will likely buy the kit for the pure nostalgia of it.

I guess the only folks who won’t like this release are those who have been selling it on Ebay!