Hobbycraft 1/48 DHC-2 Beaver




$19.98 MSRP


Four aircraft


Scott Van Aken


"Viet Nam" boxing


The Beaver was designed and built in response to the demands of Canadian bush operators. With its all-metal construction, high-lift wing, and flap configuration, the Beaver was a robust aircraft with excellent short take-off-and-landing capability even with heavy loads. In addition to its success in Canada, the Beaver found acceptance in as many as 60 other countries all over the world. Although not ordered by the RCAF, some 980 served with distinction in the US Army and US Air Force. About 1600 were made.

The Beaver was such a success that more were built than any other aircraft designed and manufactured in Canada. In 1951 it won both the US Air Force and US Army competitions for a utility aircraft. Many were used in Korea, where it was known as the "general's jeep". The type was also widely used in Vietnam where its STOL capabilities were much desired. Several were used in Psy-Ops where they would be blaring information from loudspeakers or dropping leaflets in Viet-Cong controlled areas. With the 'Vietnamization' program of the 1970's many were turned over to the South Vietnamese Air Force.

Though its military use may be over the type is still to be found in many countries around the world where its cargo carrying capabilities and ease of maintenance are still to be cherished over technical sophistication. Thanks to the Canadian Aviation & Space Museum for some of the background info on the DHC-2. 


Hobbycraft's kit of the Beaver is the first to my knowledge in 1/48 scale. It is available in two different boxings. This one with skis and as a civil version with floats. Probably the most striking thing about this kit is that the fuselage is molded in clear plastic. This was done to make it easier for the modeler to do the various windows on the kit. However, there are some difficulties that are introduced by this method of molding. First of all, it makes it a bit more difficult to paint the interior as the windows will have to be masked on the inside prior to painting. Secondly, clear plastic is more brittle than 'regular' styrene, so you'll have to exercise greater care when sanding seams and doing other work on the fuselage. Finally, the seam goes right across the windscreen. Though it appears that there is normally a brace right down the center (something not shown in the instructions), getting the seam filled without scratching the surrounding clear parts will be a challenge.

Other than that, the kit is simplicity in itself. There are few parts to the kit with most of the small ones consisting of flap hinges. The interior is provided with two seats a control column and instrument panel with raised detailing. There is nothing in the cargo area. You have one option for this kit and that is wheels or skis.

The instructions are quite basic, providing four construction steps and no color information for the interior at all. There are four decal options. One is for the box art aircraft in various SEA colors. This aircraft can be done from two units, the difference being either a black or light grey underside. The other three are all in natural metal. One is French from their involvement in Indochina circa 1954. Next is a Laotian Beaver from 1958. Finally, the ski equipped U-6 from an unknown unit with red markings on the wing tips, tail and gear struts. The Hobbycraft decal sheet appears to be one of the good ones. It is glossy and well printed. The only glitch I can see is that the red on the US Insignia, unit badge and unit award are out of registration. There are some white markings on the sheet which are basically invisible thanks to the white sheet backing!


If you can get past the clear fuselage, this should be a very simple build. The combination of few parts and well engineered parts should make a very nice kit. I'm equally sure that you are proud of me for not making any off-color remarks regarding any double meaning of the name of this aircraft! :o)

Review kit courtesy of my kit collection.

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