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Atlantis 1/54 S2F Hunter Killer: A Casual Build?

If you have read any of my previous articles you know that I have reached the age where I appreciate a relaxing, casual build. I build a lot of old Revell and Monogram kits that I have been hauling around forever. Along comes and their re-releasing of old kits from Revell, Aurora, and a few more. A big plus to several of these kits is that they come with the base and pylon that allows them to be shown in the flight position. The big attraction for me is that the pylons allow me to put more models on a given display shelf. The Atlantis kits I have built in the past have been completed using the TLAR method (That Looks About Right) and were definitely a relaxing build.

Atlantis just released a model of the Tracker. As it turned out, this kit started out as a Comet kit in 1954 before it was eventually released by Aurora. The Aurora logo is cast on the inside of the fuselage. You will notice from the box tops that the markings haven't changed at all since 1954.

Last weekend I sat at my workbench, ready for a relaxing build of a really cool airplane. The first thing I noticed was that the kit had the location for all of the decals etched in the surface of the plastic. You remember building these kits as a kid and you knew exactly where the decals were supposed to go. At first I thought to build the kit as it was, but nope, couldn't do it. Lots of filling and sanding in my future. The next thing I noticed was that the base and pylon didn't look like the old Revell bits. There was a very interesting attachment for the pylon to the fuselage. If you remember the old Revell kits, there would be a piece that slotted into the bottom of the fuselage that contained the ball that fit into the pylon. The pylon had a socket that would firmly enclose around the ball and you had a great support for your plane.

But the pylon for the S2F was obviously added later. So, the pylon has a ball at its top that fits into a socket molded into the bottom of the model. The instructions would have you sandwich the ball between the two fuselage halves during assembly. I couldn't quite come to grips with the idea of having the pylon hanging off the plane during assembly and painting, so I left it off till the end. When the plane was done, I simply enlarged the bottom hole enough to insert the ball snugly. A great idea, except there wasn't enough snugness to keep the plane from falling into a stomach-churning dive to the right. I ended up super gluing the pylon to plane when I was done.

Well, after a half tube of putty to fill the etched decal locations and a couple of hours of sanding, I ended up with a model that looks pretty good (providing you keep one eye closed and stand a few feet away). And, as predicted, it takes up very little space on my shelf.

I think I may try something a little more recent for my next model and let my nostalgia genes rest for a while. Cheers and Happy Modeling!

5 additional images. Click to enlarge.

11 responses

  1. Awesome! These Atlantis kits are great aren't they!

  2. I remember the slot mounts with the clear stand but had never seen this ball mount type until now, very cool and solid. Nice build, i love the old model kits, i need to get my hands on some.

  3. I love you guys doing these things, but my attitude over the years was the exact opposite: as we got more and more accurate kits, and got closer and closer to being able to build the models I wanted to build when I first got my old friend (the first guy to publish me) William Green's "Famous Fighters of the Second World War" when it showed up in 1959, and the books that followed, I shouted "Glory Hallelujah!" every time a more accurate kit arrived, and have had nt trouble at all sending the previous failures to the land fill.

    We're pretty close now to being able to create the models I wanted to create back in 1959, when I got that first book. GLORY HALLELUJAH!

  4. Well George I looked at you S2F with the left eye shut then switched to the right eye closed and it still looks like a Tracker to me. Love the TLAR comment as I've built several kits in that mode. Thanks for sharing, I've enjoyed viewing the pics.

  5. Hello george,
    Old (very old) box, but the result is excellent.
    The STOOF (S2F) is still around. Some of them with turbo engines. History maker.
    Aurora, my first ever modelbox.
    Regards, Dirk / The Netherlands.

  6. Great blast from the past!

  7. A great celebration of a fun build with a very tidy finish

  8. Thanks for the nice comments. A little less casual than I hoped. I think for my next model I will do something more simple, like a partial scratchbuild of a P-38. :o)

  9. Great job, George! I just LOVE building old kits. Truth said, I love building every kit, but all nostalgic, no-worries, exciting feelings that ooze from your heart when you build the same kit you built back then!? Bring them on!
    All the best!

    • Thanks, Spiros. @fiveten You are right! Some of these kits I have built twice or more, and sometimes 40 or more years apart. I especially like the old Revell & Monogram. I flew through Greece several times when I was flying airlift, but never got a chance to check out any hobby shops. Hopefully at some point things will settle down (I'm not sure things will ever go back to what they were). Stay safe, my friend.

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