by Fotios Rouch
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The AJ-2 Savage is an appropriately named, beautifully brutal airplane that
has always had great appeal for me. I always wanted a 1/48 scale kit of this
Actually, the truth is I always wanted two kits of it - one blue
reconnaissance aircraft and one gray/white bomber. Mach2 and Rareplanes produced
this aircraft in 1/72 scale but nobody seemed to bother to do one in 1/48 scale.
Collect-Aire came to my rescue again. It is funny how many of my favorite planes
are made by Collect-Aire.
The Collect-Aire Resin 1/48 scale Savage is not a shake and bake kit. I have
yet to see a resin kit that is. It took me months of on and off work to complete
it. I worked on each piece individually to fix any surface imperfections or
warpage or other resin issues.
Only then I did I think about assembling anything. Since the canopy area is
so big and so much is visible I decided to add more detail than what is offered
in the kit. Parts were sourced from Reheat in addition to wire, evergreen
styrene and metal tubing.
It is also important to state that the Steve Ginter Naval fighters book was a
very important companion to me for the duration of this project.
There are some things that you might need to be careful about when building
this kit. The fuselage comes in four pieces, the front plug (recon or bomber
option) and the main body portion. On both my Collect-Aire Savages I noticed
that the front plug is a little wider than the rear. This creates a step. There
are many ways to deal with it. Just plan ahead knowing this fact and you will be
I disagree with the maker of this kit that all five wheels are of the same
diameter. The front wheel was smaller. I substituted mine with an injected one
that looked just like the one from my walkaround pictures.
Details were added in the wheel wells but very little was needed for the bomb
bay which I felt was detailed enough. I pre-shaded most of the surfaces with
black and used pastels is some areas after the camouflage was applied. I used
the kit decals which were good and added a few more warning stencils from my
In summary, Collect-Aire's AJ-2 is a very rewarding kit to build. It looks
like Savage when done and stands proud and mean next to its other early Navy
friends in my display case.
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Article Copyright © 2001 by Fotios
Page Created 16 November 2001
Last updated 04 June 2007
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