Profile Photo

  • 2 articles
  • 1,183 karma
  • 13 friends

F2H-2 Banshee on USS Essex Korean War Diorama


This photo was the inspiration for creating the diorama using the 1/48th scale Kitty Hawk F2H-2/2P Banshee with my Rieth Creations Resin Correction Set.

I found it a very interesting juxtaposition (“primitive” to 1950s modern), how the men were working to strip and clean the 20mm cannons, propped up on ammo cans, on the deck of the aircraft carrier, out in the elements of winter, off the coast of South Korea.

Years ago, I bought the Tamiya WWII Navy Pilots with Mototug. I always thought it was implausible to have a mission briefing on the deck of the aircraft carrier and not in the Ready Room, so I put it in the stash. For this scene, I had to modify the Naval Aviators, which were wearing WW2 tropical flight suits and “Mae West” life vests, and make them Korean War Aviation Ordnancemen in winter clothes and repositioned their arms.


I built the mototug, painted it yellow and weathered it, as I had seen in newsreel footage. I added the black non-slip areas from a Testors mylar sanding sheet The driver had rolled up sleeves, so I made wire rings for his wrists and made a long sleeve coat using thick super glue.

The F2H-2 Banshee is the Kitty Hawk 1/48th scale kit with my Rieth Creations Resin Correction Set. Furball Colorful F2H-2/2P Sea Blue Banshees decals for VF-172 were used. This photo shows the corrected center upper wing and intake of the resin correction set to good effect. Some kit fuselage lines had to be filled and rescribed in a lower location.


The kit has 2 boxes on the rear gun bay station frame (not on actual aircraft) that put the cannons too far forward and didn’t have the equipment shelf, so I corrected the gun bay and added equipment, including the nose framing and loop antenna.

The empennage was corrected by lowering the height of the vertical stabilizer, rudder and moving the horizontal stabilizer to the proper position. The vertical stab to fuselage join line was reshaped.

The base was made from 1/16″ basswood sheet and I laser cut the lines for the planking. I created a CAD file for the tie down strips and laser cut them from .010″ paper stock. The tie down strips were glued to styrene channel.

The metal frame was bought at Hobby Lobby, which sells them in sets of 2 pieces with mitered corners in various lengths. Mine are 17″ x 10″. They also sell the corner miter connector parts. No cutting needed. Look for this option where you buy picture frames.

PS I forgot the chocks (in the Tamiya kit) and tie down gear in my spray booth. I noticed after posting.

I have more in-depth info and details for correcting the Banshee for those interested here: https://www.riethcreations.com/blog

4 additional images. Click to enlarge.


24 responses to F2H-2 Banshee on USS Essex Korean War Diorama

  1. Excellent modeling. Real classic feel to this; getting a sense that you were channelling (consciously or otherwise)the great Shep Paine in this project.

    Beautifully realised, made, and finished. Fantastic.

    ‘Liked’

  2. A very cool project. The model looks great, but the deck work really is a standout to me. Well done!

  3. Nicely done Michael, some great scratch building as well. Love that carrier deck, looks really nice.

  4. Great diorama Michael!

    Yes, the “deck briefing” was actually a staged shot (surprise surprise) of VF-16 squadron commander Paul Buie and his pilots.

    For those who may be interested, Michael’s correction set now includes the vertical fin so you don’t have to do all the work he did.

  5. Outstanding work, sir…one of the best pieces I’ve seen. Bravo!

  6. Brilliant work!

  7. Well done, Michael. Nice work all around.

  8. wonderful scene mike…yours always are

  9. Excellent, Michael. You have a real eye for dioramas. Fine result using your set and a few Kittyhawk parts! It must be Banshee Friday because I just finished mine too! Thanks again for making these parts available.

  10. What a creative masterpiece! looks great.

  11. Outstanding model, Michael!

  12. I echo the comments above…………. Your Banshee looks fantastic. The carrier deck is a work of art by itself………….. the tie downs look very convincing. Didn’t Tamiya offer the “Moto Tug” in a F4U Corsair kit at one time ?? This is very cool !!!!!!!!!!!

    I like it. A LOT !!!

Leave a Reply