1/32  ID Models Grumman S-2A Tracker

by Henk Hirs



This is the ID Models Vacform model of the Grumman Tracker as it served with vliegtuigsquadron 4 from HNLMS Doorman. The Tracker replaced the Grumman Avengers in the early sixties and served with the squadron until 1971 when the squadron was disbanded. The kit is a typical vacform so the only thing you get is two large sheets of plastic with the basic fuselage, engine pods and wings shapes, and one small sheet of clear plastic with the windscreen and searchlight. There is no undercarriage, but there are shapes that resemble the wheels. The rest of the model you have to built yourself.  I have shortened the fuselage because in the kit the length of the fuselage is that of the G version which is somewhat longer than the A version.  I thought a nice big model, so lots of detail in the fuselage, so I started to build the nav and the sonarstation.  On I went and built the seats and the entire interior and I opened the door in the right side of the fuselage. I thought that you could look inside through the door. How wrong I was.

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The engines came from the Revell Beaufighter and where made to resemble the Wright R-1820. This was done by adding some plastic struts and filing the crankcase round instead of the shape from the Bristol Centaurus. The cowling was also made from the cowlings of the Beaufighter, because it is a hell of a job to get the vacform cowlings nice and round. So with a lot of filler and sanding the Revell cowlings where mated to the vacform parts.

The cockpit, or was it the flightdeck, was made when the fuselage halves where glued together. So the panel and again two seats where made. The control columns came from the trusted Beaufighter and one from the scrapbox (A good friend and modeller donated his crashed Beaufighter for this project, thanks Peter).  To built the flightdeck the “roof” was removed, but in a later stage it seemed a good idea to put it back on because the clear part of the windscreen and side windows was very flimsy.  And it was better to build the details on to the thicker plastic part then on to the clear part. So when the roof was put back on and painted grey the clear part was placed over it and was sanded flat on to the rest of the fuselage.

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After this it was time to make the wings which where made folded up because of space. The Tracker is not very long (about the same length of a Hunter), but the wingspan is very big. This is a very straight forward action and not a very difficult job. To make the model a little more lively I opened the bombbay up and detailed this a little up.  Finally time for the painting. The Dutch machines where painted in sky and dark sea grey.  When the paint was dry, the decals went on.  The letters and signs sets from Dutch Decal and another friend and modeler made all the other markings (thanks Meindert).  So after a long built there it was a Grumman Tracker.  And up for the next vacform.  Happy building.


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Photos and text © by Henk Hirs