Airfix 1/72 DHC-2 Beaver




$5.00 on the 'junk kit' table


Two options


Scott Van Aken


Currently (2015) Out of Production


I think I can say with out fear of contradiction, that most men like a little Beaver. And that is particularly true of those that build models. The DHC-2 Beaver was developed just after WW2 when DeHavilland Canada realized that they needed to design a rugged bush aircraft of be forced out of business. The Beaver was the result of that and it was enough of a success to keep the company solvent for many years.

Though not their first design; that was the DHC-1 Chipmunk, a very capable primary trainer that saw a great deal of use, The Beaver led to the much larger DHC-3 Otter and then to the DHC-4 Caribou, a twin engined, medium lift, cargo aircraft. With the exception of the Chipmunk, probably the largest user of DeHavilland Canada aircraft was the US Army, which bought prodigious numbers of the Beaver, Otter and Caribou.

All of these aircraft has excellent STOL (Short Take Off and Landing) capabilities which made them particularly useful to the Armies that bought the aircraft. That same ruggedness that was appreciated by Canadian and Alaskan bush pilots was what attracted the various military forces to want to purchase these aircraft. All of them have done well in overseas markets and many are still flying.


This is not a new kit and I'm somewhat surprised that it has not been reissued by Hornby. Perhaps they are doing a new tooling. It is not surprising that the Airfix kit would represent a version used by the British Army. Not all Beavers have all those lumps and bumps on top of the forward fuselage, so if you are doing other Beavers, that needs to be modified.

The Airfix kit has been around for a while, at least the mid 1970s and while devoid of gimmicks is still a child of that era with raised panel lines, a mediocre interior, and oversize parts. My example was in an olive drab plastic and in a box dated 1986. This one was from the 'dead kit' pile at the LHS as the previous owner had cut the backs away from the rear seats.  The transparencies are quite thick, especially the roof ones, which have large sink marks in them. Tough to remove, too!

The interior consists of two forward seats, two middle seats (the ones with the backs removed on my kit), and a rear bench. There is s single piece double control column and an instrument panel. I mentioned the thickness of the transparencies so no worries if you don't put a lot of effort into the interior. If you do, the two cabin doors are separate items so you can pose one or both open. The wings are a single upper piece and two lower halves. There are separate control hinges and what look like small bomb racks for the left wing underside. Probably for message containers (or beer kegs).

This kit can be built as a floatplane if one desires. To that end there are a nice pair of floats iwth various braces and water rudders. A strake for the lower rear fuselage is provided in lieu of the tail wheel. You can also put your Beaver on skis as those are included. In this case, they are added in addition to the main wheels and a ski is provided to attach to the tail wheel.

The instructions are very typical of Airfix of the period, but completely adequate to enable one to build the kit. Part numbers and paint colors are called out in the building steps, albeit that paint numbers are Humbrol references. The decals offer two versions; an British Army aircraft in green and brown camouflage that is shown on skis, and a US Army one in olive drab and shown on floats.The decals themselves are flat and were yellowing so they may be unusable. There are some aftermarket sheets that have small Beavers on them so you do have options. Once the painting and decaling was done, the wheels were added and other detail painting done to the kit. 


I realize that Hobbycraft has produced this aircraft in this scale as well as 1/48. They may well be better builds, but if the 1/72 kit is like the 1/48 version, it will have a clear fuselage, which some may not want to deal with. I have built this kit, though way back when and if you don't mind doing your own markings, there are tons of possibilities when it comes to the military variety and even more civilian options.

April 2015

Review copy courtesy of me and the junk kit table! 

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

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