Cessna O-2A Skymaster – 1/48 ICM
This will likely – and unfortunately – be the last off my bench for 2020. Happily so though, I can finally put it in the display case, and pray that the landing gear doesn’t collapse anymore…
This kit is the new tool ICM O-2A Skymaster, which debuted earlier this year. There are many reviews linked to this kit, and in my experience they do the kit justice. To summarize, the kit has excellent exterior detailing, with very restrained panel line detailing, and posable primary control surfaces. The kit includes some rocket and gun pods, and has a well detailed interior, which has a decent control panel, a nice radio rack in the rear, and M16’s to be mounted to the bulkhead. The primary drawbacks that I encountered were that there are no kit provided seatbelts, which go a long way to detail an easily spotted cockpit, and the landing gear is inadequate for plane in scale form (very likely true to scale).
If I did this kit over again, I would replace the rear landing gear piece with metal replicas, word to the wise.. The kit thankfully includes an accurate measure of weight needed to prevent it from tailsitting, but this just adds strain to the gear legs. If you’re wondering, the wooden base in the photos simply has grooves beneath the main gear wheels to mechanically lock them from doing the splits. It will suffice for now.
Overall though, this kit is a welcome improvement to the decades old Testor’s kit, which can’t hold a candle without serious work. I’ve provided some pics of the sprues below, to compare how improved this modern kit is.
The front engine is a nice touch, and though you can’t really see it through the cowling, its nice that the compartment has depth to it.
I did add some detail to the interior, despite the molded in details. See the pics below for these details.
The antennae whips are stretched sprue and the antennae line is lycra. For the ordinance, I used the kit’s gun pods and rocket pod, but on the starboard wing I choose to mount a piece from the Testor’s kit, as I’d seen photos of planes with such a loadout.
For paint, I had some trouble sourcing an “Aircraft Grey” from Vallejo’s line, so I used the kit’s cross reference of Tamiya XF-19 Sky Grey. Close enough for me… The white was XF-2, and once painted, the whole frame was coated with Future, brushed on. Decals went on well, though the carrier film is very thin and apt to fold at the drop of a hat, so beware. On the flip-side, the thin film helps them to adhere will, aided by Micro-Set/Sol. A mix of umber and white oil wash was applied, which I was happy with, thus all was sealed with Vallejo Matt Varnish.
Though there are some flukes with the finished product, I’m happy with the results overall. Such a neat airframe to see loaded up with armaments, and I hope you all like it!
And Happy New Years to all!
16 additional images. Click to enlarge.