F2A-1 Buffalo "The first in US service" 1/32Art.No.: 100-SH32064 Product number: 8594071085384
The Brewster Aeronautical Corporation, an ambitious and originally a car body building company, became famous in aviation world chiefly for the F2A Buffalo mid-wing fighter with retractable undercarriage, designed by Dayton T.Brown and R.D.MacCart in 1936 to meet the US Navy requirement for an all-metal carrier-based fighter plane. The US Navy were looking for a new fighter plane to replace their already obsolete F3F biplane fighter machines. The prototype known under factory designation as Model 139 and in the military as the XF2A-1, took off for the very first time in December 1937. Eventually, the US Navy ordered fifty-four of F2A-1 version (Model 239), although utilised only some of them , the rest being sold to Finland. The reason for that was that in March 1939, the US Navy had requested the Brewster company to fit a Wright R-1820-40 engine into a XF2A-1 airframe. This power plant possessed rather better performance comparing to earlier dash 22 variant and it gave a birth to a prototype of the new version, the XF2A-2 (Model 339) that featured also a new propeller unit with electrically-operated, variable pitch blades. Several other internal alterations were also carried out. The military ordered a batch of forty-three machines of F2A-2 variant to make up for the F2A-1 fighters that had gone to Finland, those made their way to Finland via Norway and Sweden, totaly forty-four of them reaching their new country of operation between January and May 1940, too late for them to take part in the Winter War. Having missed this conflict, they enjoyed their finest hour during the so-called Continuation War, seeing service with the LLv 24, or No.24 Squadron of the Finnish Air Force. On June 25, 1940, Soviet bomber planes attacked the Finnish territory and met the Finnish opposition in the shape of the Brewster fighters. During their service, the Brewster Buffalo were regarded very highly in Finland, in contrast to their reputation within other air forces, mainly owing to the fact that the Finnish bought the first version which was substantially less heavy than the later ones. It also had much better manoeuvrability and harmonized performance. The Buffalo was also known by the nickname Taivaan Helmi, or Sky Pearl. Those machines of the F2A-1 variant that remained in the US were heavily used in training service until being worn-out and eventually written off.
The F2A-1 kit comprises nine grey styrene frames, a frame with clear parts, a set of finely detailed resin components and a PE-fret. The decal sheet caters for machines in pre-war distinct guises and offers also one machine in an overall grey finish.