Attack Squadron 1/48 F2F-1 Kit First Look
|Date of Review||November 2017||Manufacturer||Attack Squadron|
|Kit Number||48036||Primary Media||Resin, Photo-Etch, Vac|
|Pros||Sharp casting, excellent details||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||OOP|
In the beginning, there was the Loening Aircraft Engineering Corporation, but when that company was purchased by Keystone Aircraft Corporation and moved from New York to Pennsylvania, a number of Loening engineers left and formed their own company in 1929 and the company was named for their largest investor, Leroy Grumman. In the early days, they were producing aluminum truck frames and a practical retractable landing gear system adopted by Vought for their O2U-1 scout aircraft. When the Navy approached Grumman to produce retractable landing gear for the Boeing F4B, Grumman instead offered a new fighter aircraft design with retractable landing gear. and powered by the R1820 Wright Cyclone. That aircraft was the FF-1 and over 100 examples were produced.
With the success of the FF, the Navy followed up with an order for a follow-on design developed by Grumman. The F2F was a single-seat aircraft (the FF seated two) that was powered by the Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp Junior and the interior of the airframe was divided into watertight compartments which not only saved structural weight, it also improved survivability during a water landing. The F2F entered service in 1935 with 55 examples built.
You may know Attack Squadron from Poland for their finely cast resin detail sets, but they also produced several full kits as well. One of those kits is this 1/48 scale F2F-1 which is an impressive example of CAD design coupled with state of the art resin casting. The kit is molded in light gray resin with an amazing amount of detail that is supplemented by a fret of photo-etched details, printed instruments on clear acetate, and a vacuformed windscreen and canopy. Among the features and options in this kit:
- Hollow cast fuselage
- Detailed cockpit tub with separate bucket seat and control stick
- Photo-etched pilot restraints included
- Photo-etched instrument panel with printed instruments on acetate
- One-piece canopy
- Impressive one-piece forward fuselage deck with integral cabane struts
- Beautifully cast Twin Wasp Junior engine
- Intricate photo-etch and resin main landing gear
The kit provides markings for the following aircraft:
- F2F-1, VF-3B, 3-F-1, 1936
- F2F-1, VF-5, 5-F-1, 1937
- F2F-1, VF-7, 7-F-13, 1940
- F2F-1, VF-4M, 4-F-9, 1937
- F2F-1, VF-2, 2-F-1, 1937
- F2F-1, VMF-2, 2-MF-9, 1937
Now for the good news and the bad news. The good news is that this is an excellent kit that will go together nicely for those with multi-media skills. The design of the kit is such that there should be no surprises. The bad news is that the company that produces Attack Squadron products ceased production of all resin products last month. Whatever inventory that remains 'out there' is all there will be of this (and other) Attack Squadron kit(s). While the parent company is hopeful that someone will acquire the molds and CAD designs, nobody has stepped up to that opportunity and then there's the question of the new company maintaining the quality that came from Attack Squadron. In any case, there are some kits left if you hurry...