OK here it is, the wait is over for Bill Koppos’s Favorite model…and the winner is…
Special Hobby’s 1/32 scale Brewster Buffalo Mark I. Ta Da! (Cue Fireworks…) The maligned Brewster has always been a fascination of mine-why, I’m not sure. I like the looks, the barrel shape, different landing gear, cool glasshouse canopy. For the small numbers produced (just over 500) it really got around-Frosty Finland to Crete to mid-Pacific. But I was always interested in the ones that failed the worst, the unfortunate RAF and RAAF Buffalo squadrons in Malaya. It performed poorly here for various reasons, and the pilots were always flying them at a disadvantage. But they looked good in that Earth/Green camouflage with the squadron codes, so that’s the one I wanted to build. So lo and behold Special Hobby, as so often, had the goodies I wanted.
So when I got a hold of this kit I went all-out on it. It is a very good basic kit for a limited-run job. But there’s room for more-I detailed the cockpit, engine and wheelwells as well as my references would allow. The codes in the kit turned out too small so I made stencils and painted mine on. Extra care was used in the filling and sanding stage, mostly around the rear canopy glass. This was the summer of ’08 and I was going to the Nationals in Virginia Beach, and the Buffalo was too. After the first day on the contest table I found a note from Jim Maas, Buffalo nut and author of “F2A Buffalo in action”, and overall good guy. We did lunch and talked Buffaloes, and I was prouder than all hell to find a plaque by my creation, “Best Brewster Buffalo” from the Brewster Buffalo Association. This was of course from Jim, and made me smile good.
So what could top that? It ended up getting 2nd in 1/32. (The only guy that beat it was, of course, the same guy that always beats me like a rug up here.) Why not?
So that’s the whole sordid tale. It sits right in front of me on my IKEA modeling bench on the first shelf with it’s bling, where I always gaze upon it. My favorite model.
I would really like to see some of youse guy’s favorites, I would guess you have them, so why not post ’em up!
13 additional images. Click to enlarge.