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Chuck A. Villanueva
121 articles

Tamiya 1/48th Brewster F2A-2 Buffalo, USN PTO,WWII

July 23, 2013 · in Aviation · · 16 · 1.5K

produced an early series of 48th scale model kits in the early 70's. Hasegawa covered 72nd scale while Fujimi did both scales. Then Otaki came along with simple but pretty decent 48th scale kits. Anyway the was among the early Tam kits along with some Zero's, Raiden, a Frank, those 2 Lancasters which I did build one of those as a kid. Nice as being the only bomber kit other than Monograms. And no one else really since. Like the Monogram classics, these kits are still here. The Buffalo has fine raised panel lines. The kit is quite simple yet some nice details. It was amazing how expensive this kit was when it first came out. Believe over 20.00 USD,. This rebox was produced in the 90's, also repackaged to build just the -2. Molded in silver, I used Eduards PE basic cockpit set, Aeromaster decals and True Details "Fast Frames". The Fast Frames was bought about the time I got the kit. New idea at the time, have used them over the years on mostly WWII multi paneled canopies. About the only thing I really takes too much time and I'm not too thrill in masking canopies. Anyway I have about 5 planes on the shelf over 15 years old, and none show any deterioration or peeling so far that has the Fast Frames on the canopy. The only thing that can be a peeve is that they lack a little detail and will cover the riveting on the canopy frame rails. Otherwise they are quite simple and easy to apply. The Aeromaster decal set provided the marking for a USN machine that flew off the USS Saratoga (CV-3) in 1941, VF-3 in a scheme we do not see to often, an overall Lt Grey, AN602, aluminum and black was used for the cockpit. The Eduards set was basic unpainted PE set. Which also provided dropped flaps. Giving the Buffalo some character by doing this little modification. Other than some minor seam work around the lower wing fuselage join and some putty. It was a straight forward no headache build. Thanks for viewing.

Fly Navy

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16 responses

  1. Nice job Chuck, I'd like to see one of these in pre war yellow/blue colours as well.

    • Forgot to ask ,what's "fast frames" ?, not seen that in the U.K.

      • Adhesive vinyl masks that were done a few years ago, now Out of production I think. Not bad, but not kabukitape.

      • Fast Frames was a canopy masking idea that was created by True Details, which also made resin wheels and cockpit detail sets. in the early 90's. Squadron bought out the company and now markets most of the sets and wheels. And for awhile Fast Frames. These were out then came EZ Mask which are quite good and then of course Cutting Edge Black Magic masks. Now we have Eduards. The unique way of applying these masks was to dip them in soapy water and then attach them to the frames and with them still wet there was some room for adjustment before permanently attaching them to the canopy. Quick and simple way to do a masking job.

  2. Nice, clean build. It has aged well. I remember the Fast-Frame concept & think I might still have one or two in my accessory stash but never used any.

  3. Great job on that old dog Tamiya kit. I like the plain old Blue-grey scheme and that one is well done.

    It's one I hope someone decides to re-do with newer moulds - that Tamiya kit is an odd mix of naval and export features, making any Buff you build from it, not 100% correct for either. You can remove some stuff ffor an export, but the Navl version all require some additions and re-doing of structural bits.

    I love how the "experts" decry the Buffalo as a total failure. Tell that to the Finns! The Buffaloes flown by the Finns had a better kill ratio than the Hellcat's 19-1. The Finns shot down 33 Russians for every Buffalo they lost in combat... and they lost more in accidents than they did in battle!

    (Their nickname for the Buffalo was the "Heavenly Pearl")

    I have the Special Hobby 1/32 B-239 (Finnish) kit, and I'm now close to making a start on it.

    • pappy boyington loved the a-2...he said you could roll it in a phone booth...but hated the 3...said the radios and all the nonsense weight ruined it...yeager said he'd take the p-39 to war any day...a lot of it's the man...p-38's didn't work well in europe but ruled the pacific

    • Well said Brett. The Buffalo was not the piece of s**t the so-called experts would have one believe it was and I do love those Finnish Buffalo's! I once looked into what was involved to convert the Tamiya offering into a Finnish Buffalo and found it was more involved than I thought it would be. Guess I will have to do the Classic Airframe Buffalo in Finnish markings. Nice work on your build , Chuck.

    • Old yes, but despite the errors it is really a pleasant build. Now that Classic Airframes has since produced some update variants of the Buffalo. How accurate they are don't know as you rarely ever see them built. The Finns did fly the Buffalo with honor. Taking on the Soviet Air Force against superior numbers (not necessarily superior pilots) and aircraft. And doing well.

  4. It's a cool looking little plane, Chuck, and you've done a good job, which ever way you did the canopy...

  5. nice little build chuck

  6. Chuck,
    It looks great. You can't help but love this stubby little beauty. I have talked to a number of WWII Navy and USMC pilots and they raved about the handling of the F2A but overall they said it could not compare to the F4F. They liked the handling of the F2A but the F4F was the resident brute at that time. I built this kit and seeing yours encourages me to do another one. Great job, I love it.

    • Thanks Frank, yes it is quite a unique little fighter. The direction the Navy was heading when the Wildcat was produced and then the larger Hellcat. I may try to get one of the Classic Airframe kits and do a Finnish Buff or an SEAC variant. Will see if the opportunity should come about for that to happen.

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