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Grumman S-2A Tracker
(S2F-1/CS2F-1)

Kinetic, 1/48 scale

S u m m a r y

Item No. Kinetic Model Kits Item No. K48039 - Grumman S-2A Tracker (S2F-1/CS2F-1)
Contents and Media: More than 200 parts in grey plastic and eight parts in clear; markings for three aircraft.
Scale 1/48
Price: USD$49.99 plus shipping available online from Lucky Model
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: High quality moulding; finely recessed panel lines; optional position wings (extended or folded) with no cutting required; entry door and bomb bay doors may be posed open; clear parts moulded to accurately depict canopy bulges; straightforward parts breakdown; improved packaging (sprues in multiple plastic bags); high quality decals produced by Fightertown Decals.
Disadvantages: Simplified interior; lack of detail on searchlight; missing landing light.
Recommendation:

Kinetic's new 1/48 scale Grumman S-2A Tracker is an impressive model of an interesting but previously neglected subject. Construction looks to be very straightforward. Surface detail is very nice too. An impressive package.

 

Reviewed by Brett Green


HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron.com

 

FirstLook

 

Can it really be more than two years since Kinetic released their 1/48 scale S-2E/G Tracker? Time flies.

At the time of the initial release, many modellers hoped that the early version Tracker would also be offered. Kinetic has now granted their wishes.

The Grumman Tracker, originally designated S2F (hence its nickname, "Stoof"), and later renumbered as the S-2, was the first purpose-designed Anti-Submarine Warfare aircraft to enter service with the US Navy. The Tracker commenced operations in 1954, and was retired by the US Navy in 1976, although other countries continued to use the S-2 in front line service for decades.

The initial versions, including the S-2A, featured a shorter fuselage and smaller tail area than the later type featured in Kinetic's S-2E/G kit.

Kinetic's 1/48 scale S-2A has an all new short fuselage, plus new parts for the early engine nacelle, shorter outboard wings and tailpanes, and other specific detail parts.

 

 

The new kit comprises more than 200 parts in pale grey plastic plus eight parts in clear. Markings for three Trackers are included. The plastic parts are packed into eight separate plastic bags, protecting the large parts from scuffing in transit.


 

Surface texture is crisp and petite. Panel lines are finely rendered, and selected recessed rivets are subty done. Very nice indeed.

 

 

The wings are mounded as inner and outer sections, with top and bottom parts for each of the four sections. The inboard wing sections should mate securely to the fuselage thanks to two large wing spars.

The wings may be posed either folded or extended. Different parts are required at the wing fold depending on which option you choose, so pay careful attention to the instructions. The join for the folded wing option looks robust and positive.

 

 

The fixed leading edge slats are separate parts. All other control surfaces and flaps are all moulded closed or in in neutral positions as appropriate. The horizontal stabs can pivot on their locating pin, so these may be posed according to the modeller's taste.

Three wing pylons and rocket pods are supplied for each wing.

The weapons bay may be posed open and two torpedos are included. The bay is otherwise completely bare.

Undercarriage parts are broken down simply. The wheels feature separate tyre halves sandwiching the wheel hubs. This should make painting easier. The front landing light is supplied as a separate clear part for the front landing gear door.

A number of separate small antennae are provided for the fuselage.

The cockpit is pretty basic. I was a bit worried about the simple seats until I saw some reference photos that confirmed that they are little more than empty metal buckets. Harness straps are not depicted, However, as they have already done for their F-16, E-2 and E-6B families, Kinetic will undoubtedly release a colour photo-etch upgrade for the front office before too long.

The transparencies are thin, very clear and free of distortion.

 

 

Kinetic has moulded the canopy in two halves split down the centreline. This permits the two parts to feature their characteristic large side bulges. You'll just need to take care when gluing the canopy halves together (although the saving grace is that there is a centreline frame along the line of the join). The top cockpit console will help secure the join between the canopy halves too.

The prominent searchlight on the starboard wing incudes a clear cover, but there is no detail behind it. It will be worth spending a little time adding representation of the curved lens and the filament. The landing light on the port wing is not depicted.


 

Markings

Markings are supplied for three early Trackers:

  • S2F-1 US Navy VF-32 1962

  • CS2F-1 Canadian Armed Forces 1983

  • S2F-1 JMSDF II FS 1975

 

 

The wing tip markings are supplied as decals, as are the prominent walkways on the upper wing.

The big colourful decal sheet is perfectly printed by Cartograf.

Artwork was designed by Fightertown Decals.

The large decal sheet includes stencil markings.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Kinetic's new 1/48 scale Grumman S-2A Tracker is an impressive model of an interesting but previously neglected subject. With its relatively modest parts count, construction should be very straightforward. Surface detail is noticeably improved compared to Kinetic's earliest releases too.

I was very pleased to see the folded wing option, inclusion of ordnance and the sparkling clear parts and those decals are pretty spectacular. USD$49.99 looks like very good value too.

The cockpit and weapons bay are basic, but this opens the door for aftermarket companies to wave their magic resin wand in these areas. In fact, we already have engines and intakes from Aires, Seats from Steel Beach, Wing Folds from Wolfpack and more.

For those who are not super-detailers, the simple parts breakdown will be appreciated.

This is another very nice package from Kinetic that will be well within the capabilities of the average modeller.

Thanks to Lucky Model for the samples


Review Text and Images Copyright 2013 by Brett Green
Page Created 1 June, 2013
Last updated 3 June, 2013

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