Hasegawa 1/72 S2F-1
Tracker "JMSDF 51 Squadron"
2800 yen SRP
Scott Van Aken
2018 Limited Edition
ThThe Grumman S-2 Tracker (S2F prior to 1962) was the first
purpose-built, single airframe anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft to enter
service with the United States Navy. Designed and initially built by Grumman,
the Tracker was of conventional design — propeller-driven with twin radial
engines, a high wing that could be folded for storage on aircraft carriers, and
tricycle undercarriage. The type was exported to a number of navies around the
world. Introduced in 1952, the Tracker and its E-1 Tracer derivative saw service
in the U.S. Navy until the mid-1970s, and its C-1 Trader derivative until the
mid-1980s, with a few aircraft remaining in service with other air arms into the
21st century. Argentina and Brazil are the last countries to still use the
The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force received 60 S2F-1s in 1957 from
U.S. stocks, and were operated until 1984. After being received, six S2F-1s were
reconfigured into four S2F-U and two S2F-C variants. The S2F-1 was nicknamed Aotaka(あおたか,
Blue Hawk). They were replaced by the Lockheed P-3 Orion. Many Japanese
airframes were converted to fire bombers or used as spares.
released in 1975, this venerable kit has held up very well over the years.
This example has a few sink areas, almost no flash, and has the raised panel
line detailing that was in vogue at the time. It is a fairly simple kit
consisting of two grey and a single clear sprue. The clear plastic is fairly
thick by modern standards, but there is little to see in the cockpit anyway.
That part of the kit is simply a floor on which one puts two seats, a couple
of generic crew figures and some decals. It sits atop the nose gear well.
There is no cabin detail.
This assembly is trapped between the two fuselage halves along with the
belly mounted radome. Good luck finding room for weight to keep this from
tail sitting. However, the S-2 had a tail wheel and was so balanced that if
the plane was light on fuel, simply walking on the upper fuselage towards to
tail would cause it to tail sit.
Engines are nicely molded as a front half on a plat that fits into a full
cowling. The prop is then installed along with the piece to keep it from
falling out. If you don't want the prop to spin, you can simply glue it on
at the end of the build. Nacelles are a right and left half into which you
trap the main gear. Main gear well is non-existent. If you are careful and
don't install the forward strut, you can rotate the gear into the well until
after the model is painted.
The wing is a single upper piece with separate lower halves. The nacelles
fit onto this along with the search light. All the gear doors are molded as
a single piece and must be cut. A separate insert is provided for the tail
hook well and hook. The tail gear fits into this. Nose gear is sturdy and
all the wheels are separate.
Tailplanes are upper and lower halves as well. One then builds
and installs the upper radome and the clear canopy piece. There are small
'fences' that fit on either side of the upper wing engine exhaust. These
need to be made of card and a template is provided. There are also a few
holes to fill
in the nose section. Missing is the heater exhaust and intake so you may
want to add that if you are fussy.
Instructions are standard new Hasegawa with Gunze paint. There are two
offerings, both in light gull grey over white. One is the bo art plane from
51 Squadron JMSDF. The other is a USN Reserve plane from VS-935 with large
areas of what are listed as international orange areas on the airframe. The
builder will also need to paint all the deicer boots and the anti-glare
panels on the inside of the engines and on the nose. The upper fuselage walk
areas are provided as decals.
Hasegawa is the only company to produce an S-2 in this scale. The Hobbycraft/Academy
kit is a copy and the kit has also been reboxed by Minicraft and Revell over the
years. Despite its age, it does build up into a nice early S-2 and I have seen
conversion kits available to make later versions, though I don't know if they
are still extant. It is not a fussy kit to build, but painting will be a bit of
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Thanks to me for picking this one up when it was on sale.
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