Monogram 1/32 Gulfhawk 2

KIT #: 6053
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: John Summerford
NOTES: Out of production


Courtesy of the National Air and Space Museum

One of the most exciting aerobatic aircraft of the 1930s and '40s, the Grumman Gulfhawk II was built for retired naval aviator and air show pilot Al Williams. As head of the Gulf Oil Company's aviation department, Williams flew in military and civilian air shows around the country, performing precision aerobatics and dive-bombing maneuvers to promote military aviation during the interwar years.

The sturdy civilian biplane, with its strong aluminum monocoque fuselage and Wright Cyclone engine, nearly matched the Grumman F3F standard Navy fighter, which was operational at the time. It took its orange paint scheme from Williams' Curtiss 1A Gulfhawk, also in the Smithsonian's collection. Williams personally piloted the Gulfhawk II on its last flight in 1948 to Washington's National Airport.


Monogram first released this kit in 1960 and again in 1983 as part of its Heritage Edition series. The main components are on three sprues of hard orange plastic with another sprue in silver and the windshield/canopy on a clear sprue. The parts count totals up to 74 for the airframe and two for a standing pilot figure. Panel lines on the fuselage are raised as is the rivet detail. Rib detail on the wings is too sharp. The decals are intended to go onto the bare plastic. The instructions are printed in blue on a both sides of a 22-inch by 17-inch sheet of paper and includes a brief history, exploded parts diagram, paint color chart and 37 steps. The kit is engineered so that one can retract or extend the landing gear by rotating the propeller. Cleats are molded on so that the wire braces can be represented by wrapping thread around them.


For a 60 year old kit, I think it holds up pretty well given that the overall shape is accurate and the detail, save for the single piece engine, is good. There is room for adding detail if one wishes.

John Summerford

November 2019


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