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Jack Mugan
63 articles

Building Monogram’s 48th Scale Vought OS2U Kingfisher

June 17, 2016 · in Aviation · · 27 · 5.2K

The took to the air in 1938 and quickly became the Navy's eyes of the fleet on any ship that had a catapult. I was fortunate enough to hear a talk given by one of the few who flew this aircraft and still remember some of his recollections to this day.

Did you ever wonder what happens when a reconnaissance seaplane returns to the designated co-ordnance to meet the ship and the ship is not there? Well they begin to fly a grid pattern while waiting for their ride to return until they run out of fuel.

Landing on the open sea is not like landing in a sheltered harbor. The ship usually has to create a calm area by making a turn and leaving a relatively flat area of water in the lee of the ship. Flying directly at the ship the pilot has very little space to get the plane down on the water.

When the ship is not there, the pilot has to ditch, timing his touch down on the backside of a wave trough if possible. The speaker related how difficult this was to accomplish, and in his case the plane nosed over and sank, leaving him and his gunner to get into their life raft and hope someone comes looking for them. In this case a destroyer was dispatched and was able to locate them. This was not always the case.

The kit of the Kingfisher has been found in hobby shops for many, many years, and is still a findable kit today on E-Bay. Over time, the aftermarket produced lots of resin replacement parts, as well as PE sets, to improve those few errors that arose with the kit and add detail as reference material improved. For years the Monogram kit was the only game in town.

Modelers like me, striving for perfection with this old favorite purchased these products, increasing one's original investment in the project by a considerable amount. The days of purchasing a different decal sheet and building the model out of the box soon disappeared if competition was your goal.

I built this model a few years ago during the years when resin manufacturers were producing incredibly accurate detail sets, and I was very excited to put everything that was available at the time into this model. The canopies had to be vacuum formed of course if one wanted canopies to be open, due to the thickness of the clear parts. Next came the complete resin interior for both the cockpit and the radio/gunner's area. The corrected length main float came next, which was a big hunk of resin to say the least.

I plumbed the engine, scratched the float rudder assembly and rear wheel. Seat belts were added, the rudder was repositioned, the beaching gear was detailed and a gun sight was added to the rear gun. Guitar string material was used for the float supports and Modelmaster enamels where used to paint the before the war scheme. Monofilament antenna finished the project.

This was an enjoyable build.

Reader reactions:
21  Awesome

4 additional images. Click to enlarge.

27 responses

  1. Beautiful looking build, Jack - and equally stunning photos. Good job!

  2. Excellent build Jack, this kit deserved a passionate build. The one Monogram kit I did not build as a kid. Nicest Kingfisher I have seen completed. Thanks for sharing the story and the model.

  3. Classic build, classic subject, great story.

  4. Oh My Jack! You have nailed this. My Father had a ride in this aircraft during the war and he told of having to stand up from the rear seat in rough seas to hook up the lifting cable. He was at Pearl Harbor on December 7th. Had his ship, USS Cassin destroyed under his feet. But still said that hooking up to the lifting cable on this aircraft was one memory he will never forget. You have created a wonderful model of this.
    Great modeling.
    California Steve

  5. 🙂 ... Greetings ... 🙂 :
    Jack ... to tell you the truth ... this is the first KINGFISHER I have seen in years, not to mention the livery.
    Absolutely beautiful just as is. Well done my friend.
    As mentioned before ... the photography is well done , crisp , sharp and clear.
    Thanks for the pictures.

  6. An easy way to turn a $19.95 kit into a $95.00 kit with all that. Did it myself.

    Nice work.

  7. Jack, this is beautiful, I honestly thought the first picture was an artists drawing. Very well done, I really like the classic look of this scheme.

  8. Excellent rendition of a Mono classic. What you achieved with this Mono kit is truly amazing! Well done!

  9. An enjoyable build? Jack it's a joy to view it. Nice work.

  10. A model fit for a king ! Congratulations.

  11. Beautiful. I must go and get one too now. 🙂

  12. Great work,
    I really like those yellow wing era aircraft of the USN.

  13. I don't always agree with " You get what you pay for" this case it would appear that all of the resin goodies,vacuum form and PE payed off. Definitely, a Golden kit worthy of the "Cup". Its always neat to see the "Classics" reformulated and coming out new a improved.

    Two thumbs up.

  14. Wonderful job, Jack. See what you can do when you put those golf clubs away !

  15. Nice work, Jack!

  16. Simply stunning work on this Kingfisher, Jack! The metal finish paint scheme is especially well done.

  17. What a terrific posting, Jack, just the right balance of history and information on the kit, topped off with a great looking build. Fantastic!

  18. Very nice! Glad I kept mine in the stash


  19. Love it! I did one Kingfisher in blue scheme a while back, and have passed up on securing another kit, but after seeing how cool it looks in the pre-war scheme I'm not tempted to do another! You did a terrific job.

  20. Truly beautiful in all respects, photography included!

  21. Profile Photo
    P.k said on June 22, 2016

    Nice work i LIKE!

  22. Master piece by a master modeler.

  23. VERY nice! Excellent & interesting pre-war paint, too. These old Monogram kits are still excellent & I remember when they were just about the only game in town.

  24. Wow that's a beautiful model. Jack did you ever build a two seat HAWK F-104 and was featured on either 1001 Modeling Ideas or Air and Space modeling magazines?

  25. David...yes I did. That was quite a few years ago, you have a good memory. I won a
    $25 savings bond as a prize with that model.

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