Italeri’s 1/48 S-2 Tracker: Etching Out An Office

I can definitely say this kit is from the “I wouldn’t have built it otherwise” category.

A commission model build customer contacted me and asked if I could build a 1/48 Grumman S-2 Tracker. To be honest, I had to look up the airplane briefly to verify I knew which one he was talking about. My memory of it, prior to that, was “some twin engined Navy bird that chased subs”.

The client proposed sending his kit- Italeri’s 1/48 scale offering. Looking that up, I found it was a reboxing of the Kinetic kit. Further research of reviews were a mixed bag. Comments ranged from “beware” to “no big deal”. Being a modeler for hire means taking on kits that provide a challenge, so I said “sure, why not” and away we went.

On receiving the kit, the first thing I noticed was how the cockpit lacked in detail. A reasonable instrument panel, some slab like seats, a floor, a bulkhead- all with no detail- and that was about it. I decided to use an Eduard “Zoom” set to upgrade things a bit. (I assume the “zoom” part of the name is because your money zooms out at a greater rate when buying anything labeled “zoom”. Thankfully- it was billable.:) )

The set added bulkhead and floor detail, additional seat details, gorgeous instrument panel and roof console detail, and a few other bits. While most of it will be lost when tucked inside the fuselage, it will be adequate to make a decent appearance if examined through the canopy.

The IP and upper console pieces were simple enough- just glue them on. (Yes, I know the “Zoom” means you can stick them on…. but the adhesive was poor… so glue was used.)

The seats have a unique photoetched side pieces, that, when painted, actually look quite nice, I think. When viewed through the canopy, they will (I hope) look the part.

The whole thing was painted, weathered, and stuck together. It’s not the best looking cockpit I’ve ever built, but for the purpose at hand, it will suffice.

Now I’m looking at that internal weapons bay, void of detail…. I suppose that is the next step- scratchbuilding!

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