Sheet #

 Aeromaster 72-146, F2A Buffalo, part 2




See review

Review By:

Scott Van Aken



 Brewster's F2A Buffalo was basically an aircraft that has had a lot of bad press. Despite being cannon fodder for the Japanese during the early years of the Pacific war, one has to realize that the aircraft was not in the same league as the nimble and heavily armed A6M. It was also flown by pilots who had little or no combat experience. When flown by an experienced cadre of pilots, it did quite well. The Finns proved this in their use of the aircraft against the Russians.

Well, this sheet is not on with Finnish aircraft on it. It is more into the cannon-fodder end of the spectrum. There are two kits in 1/72 for the Buffalo; one by Matchbox and one by Hasegawa. I have not built the Hasegawa kit so cannot comment on how it builds, but being a newer mold than the Matchbox version, I'm sure it makes into a more detailed model. However, the Hasegawa kit is strictly an F2A and cannot be built as the export version used by the RAF, though I'm not sure about the Dutch. The main difference is in the tail cone with the RAF version having a longer one than the Navy variant. I had always thought the Dutch Buffalo was similar, but the drawing shows the short cone. More research is needed on this one. The Matchbox kit comes with the longer tail and that is what I used on the Dutch B-339 modeled a few years back. I really need to do some better photos for that review.

Anyway, the Aeromaster sheet includes three US F2As. One each from the USS Saratoga with the white tail, one from the USS Lexington with the yellow tail and one overall grey version from VMF-201 (not shown). The two USN versions are the 'yellow wings' variety and quite colorful.

There is a Dutch B-339C of 2-VLG-V from Singapore in 1942. It is OD and Medium Green upper with a silver undersides.

The RAF version is also from Singapore in 1942 with 488 Sq in Dark Green and Dark Earth uppers with the lower parts split down the centerline in Sky on one side and black on the other.

For some odd reason, the Hasegawa F2A didn't seem to light anyone's fire. Not sure how well it sold, but there it is!

Review copy courtesy of my ever-expanding decal collection.

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