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HU-16A Kit

Trumpeter 1/48 HU-16A Albatross Kit First Look

By Fotios Rouch

Date of Review June 2013 Manufacturer Trumpeter
Subject HU-16A Albatross Scale 1/48
Kit Number 2821 Primary Media Styrene, Metal, Photo-Etch
Pros First injection-molded kit in this scale Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $134.95

First Look

HU-16A Kit
HU-16A Kit
HU-16A Kit
HU-16A Kit
HU-16A Kit
HU-16A Kit
HU-16A Kit
HU-16A Kit
HU-16A Kit

The Grumman Albatross is a twin piston engined amphibian aircraft developed to perform search and rescue operations in the open seas. It saw great use during the Korean war and later during the Vietnam war. 

The Albatross was also flown by the USAF Reserves and by the US Navy and Coast Guard in Search And Rescue missions.  The USAF and Navy retired the Albatross in the 1970s and the USCG retired it in the 1980s.  The antisubmarine version of the Albatross was used by the Hellenic Navy into the mid 90's before it was replaced by the Orion.  Many civilian operators have and are still flying the Albatross.

The Trumpeter Albatross was announced a few years ago and late last year the first actual evidence of it made the light of day at the October 2012 Japan Model & Hobby Show. This is the first plastic kit for the Albatross in 48th scale.  I also own the RVHP resin kits and I think there was a vacform kit in the past.

The model comes in a large sturdy box and all the sprues are individually packed in clear bags.

The first good impression comes with noticing the fine surface detail. 

No obscene trenches or deep rivets are to be found here.

The fuselage is broken down in four major halves and it includes the cabin bulkheads.  The front fuselage is cut so alternate noses can be fitted.  I am looking forward the ASW version! 

The cockpit is very well detailed but the overhead throttles are missing.  It will make great sense to scratch build them since they will be very visible from the provided open canopy hatches. 

The kit provides a complete interior with bulkheads, a cabin floor and a ceiling. Seats and bunk-beds are also provided.  Also very impressive is the landing gear treatment. 

The detail is plentiful as it should be since it will be very visible looking at the fuselage sides. Trumpeter even provides the landing gear struts in white metal for that added confidence.

Two sprues with all the engine details are provided.  There is a lot of detail present and it will look great with some careful painting.

Some items of note are the nice touch of providing the rudder separately but also going above and beyond and providing the rudder trim tab as a separate piece.

I also like that the flaps can be posed in a lowered position.

The electronics gear visible behind the pilots will look great with some added wiring.

The clear parts are very nicely done and are free of distortions.

There are three decal choices provided:

  • HU-16A, 51-0022, USAF Air/Sea Rescue
  • HU-16A, 1024, RoCAF
  • HU-16A, 1032, RoCAF

The characteristic yellow walkways on top of the wing are not provided and they will have to be painted.

The Steve Ginter book on the Albatross will be an absolute must for anyone wanting to add that little extra detail.

Looking at this model in the box it makes me think that this is one of very best offerings to have come from Trumpeter.

I am looking forward to building it!

My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!