Sword 1/72 JRF Goose

KIT #: SW72011
PRICE: £12.99
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Carmel J. Attard
NOTES: Short run


The Grumman G-21 Goose is an amphibious aircraft that was designed by Grumman to serve as an eight-seat "commuter" aircraft for businessmen in the Long Island area. The Goose was Grummanís first monoplane to fly. It was its first twin-engine aircraft, and its first aircraft to enter commercial airline service. During World War Two the Goose became an effective transport for the US military (including the United States Coast Guard ), as well as serving with many other air forces. During hostilities, the Goose took on an increasing number of combat and training roles. The adaptable transport continued in postwar use.

It was powered by two 450 horsepower (340 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-985 Wasp Junior nine-cylinder, air-cooled, radial engines mounted on the leading edges of the wings. The deep fuselage served also as a hull and was equipped with hand-cranked retractable landing gear. First flight of the prototype took place on May 29, 1937.

The fuselage also proved versatile as it provided generous interior space that allowed fitting for either a transport or luxury airliner role. Having an amphibious configuration also allowed the G-21 to go just about anywhere, and plans were made to market it as an amphibian airliner. JRF-2 was the version for the United Sates Coast Guard, with provision for carrying stretchers seven were built

 Among the common versions there was the JRF-3 similar to JRF-2, but fitted with autopilot and deicing boots on wing leading edge to aid operations in the Arctic. Three built for Coast Guard. The JRF-4, similar to JRF-1A, but could carry two depth bombs under wing. Ten built for U.S. Navy. The JRF-5 was a major production version, incorporating bomb racks from JRF-4, target towing and camera gear from JRF-1A and de-icing gear from JRF-3; 184 built. In 1953, a modified JRF-5 was used to test the landing and takeoff characteristics of hydro-skis for the U.S. Navy. JRF-5G were the  24 JRF-5 transferred to US Coast Guard.

 Britain also received a number of Grumman Goose aircraft. These carried a different designation. Goose Mk I was the British designation for three JRF-5s supplied to the Fleet Air Arm. Goose Mk IA was the British designation for 44 JRF-6Bs supplied under Lend Lease and used for Observer training by 749 Naval Air Squadron in Trinidad. Goose Mk II British designation for two JRF-5s used as staff transports by British Air Commission in United States and Canada.


 The Goose was a very welcome kit when it was released by Sword.. The twin engine amphibian served through the war years and continued to serve after the war as patrol, transport and trainer aircraft.

 The kit comes in light gray plastic parts which are good  with lots of engraved detail. Care is required when removing parts from the sprue and I found best to use a razor saw and then file off the excess retained part. The kit contains resin parts for the crew and passenger seats which also have molded in straps, resin air intakes, exhausts and engines. There is also an optional hull which appear to carry more detail than the part of hull step it is intended to replace. Clear parts include cockpit canopy which integrates cabin roof, and side windows all of which are injected plastic. 

The 11-page A-5 size instructions contain 14 steps of construction  complete with easy to follow clear sketches and also two 4-view scale plans which suggest any one of two USCG decal options: A Goose JRF-55 post war silver  overall with black outlined yellow wing tips, wing floats and aft fuselage band; or the JRF-3 in prewar  Yellow top of wings and the rest silver overall finish with red and white, blue striped rudder.


Construction is straight forward by just following the instructions and care in separating the parts as mentioned earlier. The interior is first painted and assembled inside the fuselage. Crew figures can be aded at this stage but are  not supplied with the kit. The anti-splash strake on the nose adds detail to the rather full seaplane design nose but am not sure if this was also fitted to the prewar USCG version and one may need to refer to photos of real aircraft if one builds it. The only extra work made to the kit was adding wireless rigging from thin nylon thread and for rigging to the floats and the tail planes.

When it came time to paint, the areas in yellow finish were first given a base coat white which was then followed by standard Model Master yellow.. These areas were carefully masked and the model given an overall coat of commercial silver mixed with small amount (10% by volume) of clear lacquer. This was followed by a coat of Klear in preparation for the decal application.

 The decals were strong , easy to slide on the model and of correct register which can be regarded as excellent quality. Finally the model was given an overall coat of semi gloss Model Master Lacquer.


Fit of parts was good and I enjoyed  making this model. Sea plane lovers would enjoy building the Goose which can also be adopted for a civilian livery.

 Carmel J. Attard

March 2014 

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