Monogram 1/48 OS2U Kingfisher




$ Out of production (April 2003)


Three aircraft


Scott Van Aken


1977 boxing


The Kingfisher was the first two-seat monoplane observation floatplane to serve with the US Navy. It many cases, it replaced the older Curtiss SOC Seagull biplanes. It was a very rugged aircraft, capable of withstanding the stresses of catapult launches from Battleships, cruisers and some destroyers. It was also operated with fixed landing gear from shore bases, but most often was found at sea. Its main role was spotting for the guns of the ships on which it served, but it was often called in to perform other duties such as air-sea rescue and at times as a fighter to ward off enemy planes. Other roles included coastal patrol and anti-submarine duties. Several Kingfishers survive today though none are, to my knowledge in flying condition.



The date on this box is 1977, but I know that this kit was out even earlier, perhaps 1966-68. Molded in dark blue plastic, the kit is quite complete with a nicely done interior and good detail (albeit raised panel lines). Its age is apparent with the requirement to slot the wing through the fuselage when assembling it, but this should pose no real problems. The fabric effect of the wing and control surfaces is not too badly done. The aircraft comes with options for under wing bombs and includes beaching gear. The ability to build the wheeled version is provided, though it means cutting away the large central float. Personally, I'd cut this float off anyway to make it easier to clean up the lower fuselage seam. The float can then be reattached.

The clear bits are separate so that they can be displayed open should one wish to do so. A nicely molded engine face is provided as are pilot and rear gunner. Markings are provided for three aircraft. One is the box art plane in what appears to be dark blue over white. I'm not really sure if that is accurate or not as it wasn't a standard navy color. I'd be more inclined to do the tri-color scheme of sea blue, intermediate blue and white. Conversely, the other scheme could be blue grey over light grey. Some more research will need to be done in this regard. The other is a British Kingfisher I in dark blue, medium blue and light grey. Again, I'd research those colors to verify their accuracy. Finally, a pre-war OS2U with a silver fuselage, blue tail white fuselage band and forward cowling and bright yellow wings. When I built my Kingfisher kit, this is the scheme I chose, though I used aftermarket decals.  The kit decals in this case have seen the ravages of time so may not be usable, but do give a good idea of what they are like. As you can see, the instrument panel is provided as a decal.


This kit is very much a case of the 'only game in town'. However, it is not a difficult kit to build, is fairly well detailed and looks quite nice when it is built.

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