Riich Models 1/200 OS2U w/Launcher
KIT #: RS 20003
PRICE: $21.00 SRP
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: New Tool. Two complete kits


The Vought OS2U Kingfisher was an American catapult-launched observation floatplane. It was a compact mid-wing monoplane, with a large central float and small stabilizing floats. Performance was modest, because of its light engine. The OS2U could also operate on fixed, wheeled, taildragger landing gear.

The OS2U was the main shipboard observation aircraft used by the United States Navy during World War II, and 1,519 of the aircraft were built. It served on battleships and cruisers of the US Navy, with the United States Marine Corps in Marine Scouting Squadron THREE (VMS-3), with the United States Coast Guard at coastal air stations, at sea with the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy, and with the Soviet Navy. The Royal Australian Air Force also operated a few Kingfishers from shore bases.

The Naval Aircraft Factory OS2N was the designation of the OS2U-3 aircraft built by the Naval Aircraft Factory in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The OS2U first flew on 1 March 1938.


This is an unexpected and pretty neat kit. Actually, I should say kits as there are two complete kits along with two sets of decals and two photo etch frets. The aircraft is molded in clear plastic, which was undoubtedly done to allow the cockpit transparencies to be molded onto the fuselage. Masking might be a bit of an issue, but with the frame lines this thin, I think one could get away without masking the individual frames on this one.

The main frame of the 68 foot catapult is molded in plastic as is the turntable and most of the 3D parts like pressure bottles and turnbuckles. Photo etch is used in appropriate areas like the maintenance platforms, thinner rails, steps and so forth. As there is little room to fit any weight in the pedestal, the aircraft is designed to fit in the center of the catapult. In reality, it would probably be near the back, ready to be used.

Instructions are well done and while no painting info is provided in them, I'd say you have a lot of options depending on what ship you are portraying. Color info is provided on the back of the box with the catapult shown as being 'steel'. I'll bet it was painted. The two aircraft options  are for unknown units. One is pre-war in blue grey over light grey. The other is in the tricolor scheme. The small decal sheet is nicely done. Those with talent could probably do a yellow wings version, though finding codes and such might require printing your own.


Though 1/200 may seem to be a rather odd scale, it does fit in with kits done by other companies in this scale, ranging from bombers to airliners. It is also pretty neat and quite welcome.



July 2013

Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get this one at your local retailer.

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