|PRICE:||$17.00 MSRP ($14.40 at www.greatmodels.com )|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The first version of the aircraft entered service in 1959 as the T2J-1. It was re-designated the T-2A in 1962 under the joint aircraft designation system. The two-seat trainer was powered by one Westinghouse J34-WE-46/48 turbojet. The aircraft was subsequently redesigned, and the single engine was replaced with two Pratt & Whitney J60-P-6 turbojets in the T-2B. The T-2C was fitted with two much more powerful 2,950 lbf (13,100 N) thrust General Electric J85-GE-4 turbojets. The T-2D was an export version which was sold to the Venezuelan air force, while the T-2E was sold to the Greek Air Force. The T-2 Buckeye (along with the TF-9J) replaced the T2V-1/T-1A Seastar, though the T-1 would continue in some uses into the 1970s.
The Buckeye was designed as a low-cost multi-stage trainer. Its straight wing is similar to that used in the original North American FJ-1 Fury. Its cockpit controls are similar to the T-28C trainer. The T-2's performance is between that of the Air Force's T-37 Tweet, and the TA-4J Skyhawk. While it has no built-in armament, the T-2 has two underwing hardpoints for .50 in gun pods, 100 lb (45 kg) practice bombs or 2.75 in rockets.
All T-2 Buckeyes were manufactured by North American at Air Force Plant 85, located just south of Port Columbus Airport in Columbus, Ohio. 273 aircraft were built during its production run. The name Buckeye refers to the state tree of Ohio, as well as the mascot of the Ohio State University.
Virtually every Naval aviator from the late 1950's until 2004 received training in the T-2 Buckeye, a career spanning four decades. In the Naval Aviator syllabus, the T-2 has been replaced by the near-sonic T-45 Goshawk (the US Navy version of the BAE Hawk), which is more comparable to other high performance subsonic trainers, or the USAF T-38 Talon. More recently, the T-2 has been used as a director aircraft for aerial drones. Several T-2 Buckeyes are now registered in civilian markings and regularly appear at air shows.
Not really all that much to say about this one. As you know, Revell AG purchased Matchbox many years back and has been reissuing these kits in their own boxes from time to time. This time, the kit is molded entirely in white plastic.
It is a pretty basic kit without boxed in wheel wells and with a simplistic cockpit that only includes some seat shapes. At least Revell has been nice enough to include some instrument panel decals, something the Matchbox offering didn't have. The kit needs 9 grams of nose weight to keep from tail sitting. The landing gear is a bit simplistic as well with the nose gear and wheel being molded in one piece as separately it may be too weak. Main gear doors are all separate and will layer nicely, though they could perhaps benefit from a bit of thinning down. The cockpit canopy is quite thick and clear, though with the kit bits, there will be little to see inside. Readers will be pleased to know that Pavla has a very nice resin cockpit set to fit this kit
Instructions are typical Revell AG in that only Revell paints are listed and many of the shades will need to be mixed. I do wish they'd at least include FS 595 color references for those of us who cannot get Revell paints. Probably the biggest benefit of this kit are the better decals. The Greek SEA camouflaged option is the same as in the Matchbox kit. The USN unit is different, this time being VT-19. Decals are very nicely done and it will be interesting to see if the white is opaque enough to block out the underlying International Orange over which they will be placed.
I have to say that I was somewhat taken aback by the current price of this kit. It was $3.50 when I last bought one about 20 years back, but it is a kit that has been in demand for some time and perhaps that is the reasoning behind the much higher price. Truth is, I doubt if we'll ever seen a more modern replacement for this one, though I'm sure that many will appreciate it. As it is, the kit offers a very good basis for a nice model and builds fine as it is.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-2_BuckeyeYou can get this and other neat kits and accessories at GreatModels
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