Glencoe 1/54 J2F Duck Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||July 2006||Manufacturer||Glencoe|
|Subject||J2F Duck||Scale||1/54 (1/48)|
|Kit Number||4101||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$10.00|
During the early 1930s, Grumman developed a general purpose amphibious aircraft for the US Navy and Coast Guard. These were the JF-1 for the US Navy, the JF-2 for the Coast Guard. The Argentine Navy also operated the JF-2. By the beginning of 1941, over 100 JFs and J2Fs were in service with the Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard.
Production of the Duck continued through the war with over 600 units delivered.
Even the USAF operated the Duck as the OA-12 (J2F-6) in the air rescue role out of Alaska after the war.
Glencoe has re-released their Grumman Duck. Originally developed by ITC, this kit is listed as 1/48 scale, but actually scales out to more like 1/54 scale. Nevertheless, this is the only injection-molded kit of the Duck produced in this scale, the closest alternative was the Classic Airframes releases from a number of years ago that were mixed media.
The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on five parts trees, plus the fuselage halves and the upper wing halves. One other clear tree is included containing the one-piece canopy.
As you can see in the bottom photo, a number of parts had disengaged themselves from the parts trees, but not to worry, the kit is well-packaged and everything inside was in excellent shape.
As mentioned earlier, the kit was originally developed by ITC, which makes the molds quite old. Nevertheless, the detailing on the kit is nicely done and can be enhanced with a little extra work. An AMS modeler could easily use the Micro-Chisel and scribing tools from Mission Models to bring the kit up to contemporary scribed detailing, but the average modeler will not at all be unhappy with the kit as it is straight from the box.
Detailing inside the cockpit is minimal, but can be enhanced using spares out of your parts box. Don't go to too much trouble since the canopy is molded closed. If you vac the canopy using the kit part as a master, then you'll have an interesting bit of work ahead.
Construction of the remainder of the aircraft is straightforward. The main gear can be posed extended or retracted. The engine has a nice exhaust manifold that is visible from the rear of the cowl ring.
Markings are included for three examples:
- J2F, VU-1, 1-J-23, Pearl Harbor
- J2F, VMS-3, 3-MS-1, Virgin Islands
- JF-2, 3-O-5, Argentine Navy
This is an interesting old classic that builds up into a nice model. With a little AMS detail, you'll have a nice rendering of this famous Grumman amphibian. If 1/48 scale is an issue, you can try to locate one of the old Classic Airframes kits at about five times the price. This kit is recommended!
My sincere thanks to Glencoe Models for this review sample!