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Twobobs 1/48 scale T-2C Buckeye

Supplanted in 2004 by the T-45, the Buckeye trained almost every U.S. Navy jet aviator.
Kit:No. K48-001 // Scale:1/48 // Price:$62.35
Twobobs Aviation Graphics, 661-256-1396
Very good engraved detail; excellent resin parts; excellent decals; handy CD
Assembly complicated by so many parts molded in halves; rough fit of vacuum-formed canopy; lack of interior detail painting instructions not helped by through-canopy shots on CD; missing details
Injection molded, 152 parts (33 resin, 2 vacuum-formed plastic), decals, photo reference CD
Pairing with a Czech kit manufacturer, decal maker Twobobs’ first model kit is the North American T-2C Buckeye, until recently the U.S. Navy’s standard advanced trainer. The first plastic kit of the Buckeye in 1/48 scale, it comes with a top-notch decal sheet and a special reference CD with hundreds of walkaround photos.

Most of the parts are injection-molded plastic and have well-executed recessed panel lines, while fine details in the cockpit are cast in resin. A pair of vacuum-formed canopies is provided – a spare in case of “operator error.” The decal sheet provides markings for two orange and white trainers with full-color, detailed placement instructions.

As with most limited-run kits, the Buckeye is complicated, as molding limitations hinder the capability to provide fine detail. Nearly every part is molded in halves, including each intake trunk, exhaust, a two-part rudder (so that makes four parts), aileron, flap, wheel/tire, and even the air scoop. But exterior detail looks great.

The interior is a mix of plastic and resin parts. There are no painting instructions for the interior; apparently you’re supposed to study the pictures on the reference CD. But those pictures were shot through a closed canopy and are foggy. One shot shows an instrument panel with a center pedestal console and HUD, neither of which is supplied in the kit. The resin seats are nice, though, with molded-in harnesses.

Assembling the fuselage is tricky, as the intake trunks are difficult to align with the intakes. Six air scoops attach to the belly of the Buckeye, and each has a tiny, separately molded lip. Assembly tip: Glue the scoop to the lip while the lip is still on the sprue. When it sets, clip the lip from the sprue and clean up the stub.

The keyed joint of the wings and fuselage isn’t good, and I ended up cutting away some of the shallow tabs. The angle of attachment of the thin, resin flap hinges is not clear, and there is no indication of flap angle. I just guessed.

Mounting the landing gear required extra attention. The main struts are molded in upper and lower sections that lap-join, and each strut has a two-part oleo scissors. The nose gear had two problems: The nose-gear wheel had no hole for the axle; and the instructions show a tab on the nose strut going into a slot in the back face of the well, but there is no such back face.

I painted the Buckeye with Testors Model Master gloss white and Boyd sunburst orange enamels. The Twobobs decals went on perfectly. The vacuum-formed canopy is a rough fit, especially around the edge of the windscreen. There is no representation of a hinge, so mounting the canopy open is imprecise. I found the plastic back face of the canopy (D14) interfered with the rear seat and fuselage when the canopy was posed open, so I tore it out. Photos show that there should be short, thin strakes on the upper edge of the fuselage air brakes, but none are provided.

I spent 29 hours on the Buckeye, and the work produced a handsome model – a fine first effort for Twobobs. Perhaps the next kit will provide proper injection-molded canopies. And while we’re at it, hey, how about a 1/48 scale T-45 Goshawk?


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