Perusing through my
limited run kits, I decided it was finally time to build the 1/48 Classic
Airframes Grumman J2F-5 Duck. I've always had a fondness for almost
forgotten military aircraft and the Duck is no exception. Though not as
glamorous or as handsome as Wildcats and Hellcats, this unsightly Grumman
aircraft was vital to the U.S. war effort in World War II. The Duck
performed admirably in duties such as reconnaissance, medical
evacuation, smoke-laying, light transport, search and rescue, target towing
and homeland sea patrol. My Duck represents a J2F-5 with Fleet Air
Photographic Unit Atlantic 3 in 1942 wearing the NS Blue-Gray over NS Light Gray
scheme. This Duck also wears the solid blue and white national
insignia instead of the pre-war red dot within the white star and red and
white stripes on the tail that were removed early in the war.
images below to see larger images
Airframes kit contains a great assortment of low-pressure injection molded
and resin parts. Surface detail consists of finely engraved panel lines.
Most resin parts are used to construct the nice cockpit. Some cleanup of
flash and other debris are needed prior to assembly. I basically built my
Duck out-of-the-box with the addition of Edward photoetch seatbelts.
Many panel lines had
to be rescribed because they were either poorly represented or were sanded off
during construction. As recommended in the instructions, styrene rod was
used for the landing gear supports and radio cable attachment points. The
instrument panel for the cockpit is basic so I added some details and
decals from my spares box. There are no attachment points for the fuselage
and wings so I drilled holes in the fuselage wing root and added styrene rod for
wing placement and additional wing support. Lots of putty was needed
along the fuselage joins, wing edges, wing roots and engine cowl. The
inside of the engine cowl had to be sanded down considerably for proper fit of
the resin 950hp Wright R-1820-50 engine. I tried using Squadron's
vacuum-formed canopy for this Duck, but the canopy was too narrow for the
Classic Airframes kit and is better suited to the recently released Glencoe
all panel lines were pre-shaded with Model Master Gunship Gray, followed by a
light mist of Tamiya Sky Gray over the entire model. Keep in mind the
upper wing was not attached until after all painting and weathering had been
completed. Aeromaster Lt. Gull Gray was used to tint the ventral panels
followed by additional panel tinting with mixtures of Lt. Gull Gray and Tamiya
White. A light mist of Lt. Gull Gray was then applied over all ventral
surfaces. My focus then turned to spraying a light coat of Gunze-Sanyo
Blue-Gray on the dorsal and side surfaces. This was followed by tints
of Blue-Gray and Lt. Gull Gray applied to panels. Lastly, a light mist of
Blue-Gray was applied to all dorsal and side surfaces to blend the colors.
The model was then given a few coats of Future. Decals were applied and an
acrylic wash of Neutral Gray/Flat Black was applied to panel lines.
Another coat of Future and a mist of Flat Clear prepared the model for
additional weathering. All wartime photos of the Duck in the NS Blue-Gray
over NS Light Gray scheme show marginally weathered aircraft. I decided
to keep with that historical condition and used mixtures of black and gray
pastels for most of the weathering. Tamiya's A and D weathering kits were
also used to simulate salt/rust/grime around the main float area. Flat
Clear was used to seal the weathering. Adcock's 'U.S. Navy Flying Boats
and Amphibians in World War II' is an excellent reference for weathering the
references I then drilled holes in the fuselage and wings for rigging.
The upper wing was then attached to the model. On my kit I had to cut
about a 1/4 length off of each of the four wing struts to obtain the proper
dihedral. I used 4X tippet for the rigging and radio cable. Several
coats of Flat Clear were used to finish the model.
Overall, this was
one of the better limited run kits I have built and makes into a fine
representation of the Duck.
As always, thanks to
ARC for the wonderful contributions that provide loads of information for scale
images below to see larger images