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Brewster F2A Buffalo

Brewster F2A Buffalo Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review June 2005 Title Brewster F2A Buffalo
Author Andre Zbiegniewski Publisher Kagero
Published 2003 ISBN 83-89088-14-2
Format 106 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $24.95 (Out of Production)


Kagero publishes some very interesting and well-researched monographs on a variety of subjects. Let's take a look at their monograph on the Brewster F2A Buffalo. Many people believe that the Buffalo was an ineffective fighter that was decimated in the Battle of Midway. By the time the Buffalo entered combat with the USN and USMC, it was obsolete, but other air forces had previously achieved up to 3:1 kill ratios against the Soviets and against the Japanse.

If there was a single problem with the aircraft, it was the Brewster Company's business structure that over-extended its production capabilities, got caught in some international scandals, and ultimately pushed the company into contract sub-assembly production for Consolidated and Grumman before being shut down in 1944. Due to the company's troubles, the F2A was not given the chance to evolve along with the aircraft that was developed by Grumman simultaneously - the F4F Wildcat.

Published in both Polish and English, the author walks the reader through the development of the aircraft, its combat experiences, and its contributions in a number of air forces.

The coverage includes:

  • Introduction
  • A New Fighter for the US Navy?
  • Into the Fire
  • Colors

Book Review Book Review

In addition to the history of the aircraft, the title looks at the details of the Buffalo through some very thorough diagrams detailing the differences between each variant. These diagrams are produced in 1/72 and 1/48, with scrap drawings in 1/24. Eighteen color profiles are also provided to illustrate the aircraft in 1930s USN and USMC service, wartime USN and USMC colors, Dutch Air Force East Indies color, RAAF, RNZAF, and of course Finland.

As is customary for the Kagero series, a sheet of decals is included representing selected subjects from the color profiles in the title. In a new push, Kagero has elected to provide fewer subjects on the decal sheet in favor of providing those subjects that are covered in 1/72 and 1/48. The aircraft covered by this sheet include:

  • F2A-1, BuNo 1338, 3-F-18, VF-3, USN, 1940
  • Model 339E, W8138, NF-O, 488 Sqn, RNZAF, 1941
  • Model 239, BW-378, 5, 4./LeLv 24, Finland, 1941
  • Model 339, B-3110, 2-VLG-V, Dutch East Indies, 1941

At the moment, the title is out of print, but hopefully Kagero will re-issue this excellent reference if the demand is there. You can find Kagero books at your favorite hobby retailer.