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T2V-1 SeaStar

Sword 1/72 T2V-1 SeaStar Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review May 2013 Manufacturer Sword
Subject T2V-1 SeaStar Scale 1/72
Kit Number 72072 Primary Media Styrene, Color Photo-Etch, Resin
Pros Easy multimedia kit Cons See text
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $32.98

First Look

T2V-1 SeaStar
T2V-1 SeaStar
T2V-1 SeaStar

As the US Navy transitioned into the jet age after World War II, the adopted the T-33 trainer, designated as TO-2 and then TV-2 as their land-based turbine-powered training platform. While the TV-2 was suitable for land-based training, the type was not capable of carrier operations and Lockheed stepped up with a special variant of the T-33, the T2V.

The airframe was strengthened for the rigors of 'crashing' onto aircraft carrier decks and added a tail hook to support arrested landings. The rear seat was raised under a reprofiled canopy and dorsal hump to provide the instructor a clearer view of the student's approach to the deck as well as the Landing Signal Officer (LSO). Lower approach airspeeds were possible with the addition of leading edge flaps and the airframe was also designed for greater tolerance to salt water spray and higher humidity.

Sword continues to produce more variants of the Lockheed T-33 family and this is another one of their nicer releases I've seen. This kit represents the T2V-1 SeaStar which was a T-33 significantly modified for aircraft carrier operations.

The kit features a styrene cockpit tub with lots of color photo-etched parts (by Eduard) to render an eye-catching front and rear cockpit. The canopy and windscreen are separately molded so you can see all of that great detailing after assembly. Among the features and options in this kit:

  • Nicely detailed cockpit
  • Resin ejection seats
  • Positionable canopy
  • Detailed landing gear and wheel wells

The instructions correctly indicate that ballast will be needed in the nose to keep this kit from being a tail-sitter but doesn't indicate how much ballast will be needed.

Eduard decals are provided for three examples:

  • T2V-1, 144276, 2M/249, NAS Memphis
  • T2V-1, 144173, --/173, Shaw AFB, 1970
  • T2V-1, 144750, QF/7, MCAS El Toro, 1962

This looks like another nice kit from Sword and should go together nicely in the hands of the experienced modeler.

My sincere thanks to Squadron Mail Order for this review sample!