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Kitty Hawk OS2U Kingfisher - S.O.D. resurrection

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The He 162 is almost finished, I still have to cut masks for various markings but don't feel like spending time on it right now. The Kingfisher box has been staring at me for well over a year. I had started engine construction and I must say I never had a more disappointing and frustrating start to a kit in my life before. In the box the kit looks to be awesome. And it IS. Detail seems very nice overall.


Why did I throw everything back in to the box over a year ago?


  • The plastic: soo brittle that smaller parts just burst in to pieces very easily.
  • The sprue gates: made to withstand a 10 Megaton blast. Just ridiculous in some areas. See above.
  • The instructions: insulting that Kitty Hawk let that sorry excuse for instructions go in to production. It is nearly impossible to see what goes where and how. For a very complex 70-part engine in an expensive kit, I find that highly unsatisfactory. Only a few detail-drawings would have done the trick here, something like an A-A, B-B sort of thing. Kitty Hawk: make an addendum and put it on your website.
  • (Non-) Mating tabs and slots, pins and holes: too many of those. Correctly cut and cleaned up parts should fit and not require extra trimming and re-drilling holes.
  • All of the above okay for a short-run, but not for a € 110 main-stream kit. Corners were cut, major ones me thinks.




Then why the resurrection? Well, it's The Scale and it's of a magnificent looking float plane. The greenhouse works like the real thing and in itself the kit has magnificent potential. Soooo, I took a deep breath, sighed, gave it The Finger, and got on with it. I was going to finish her as one of the Dutch East Indies birds that were on their way on a ship when the Dutch called it a day. These airplanes were diverted in their crates to Australia (already painted up Dutch), where they were repainted and used.





I had visions of a diorama where a Dutch plane sits in a hangar showing a partial RAAF repaint, but since I lost interest in Dutch subjects I chose t finish as an FAA Kingfisher, in the lovely Slate Gray / EDSG / Sky scheme, or the also lovely and less usual Non specular Sea Gray over Light Gray. I am still researching for photos drawings of the latter (bottom scheme below, the only one I found so far).


Can anyone recommend MRP paint equivalents for the lower scheme?






On to the engine. The instructions were no help here. The first thing I did was look at everything, thinking about what should go where, dry-fitting various options, and making a plan. I contemplated just glueing the cowling to the fuselage, but this is a no-go because the engine plus cowling 'float' in front of the fuselage firewall, resting on the engine brace rods. I decided to assemble cowling, cowling front ring, engine covers, and cowling flaps first and then figure out how to get the engine in there.


This is how the engine mounts are supposed to be assembled. I had to re-drill the holes and do lots of cleanup on the too thick connecting pins. Tamiya thin cement fixed them in place and on the backside I added drops of superglue to make sure they stayed put. First sigh of relief.




Here's the bracing glued to the front firewall. Again, the holes had to be widened. But: getting there.





A dry-fit finally revealed to daft-me how the enige assembly is meant to be attached to the cowling ring rest (which I already glued to the cowing).




Now, that was that, But can the engine assembly be fitted in to an already assembled cowling? I airbrushed the cowling inside interior green just in case I could get it in but not out again (experience :P )




Well, it fits with minimal effort IF you slide it in sideways. I did not have to exert any forces of significance to get it to slide in past the three tabs. Not sure if this can be done with the exhausts installed.




I secured the tab joints with thin cement and left it to dry. I will also add bits of superglue once it  dried fully. Phew. I got that out of the way and out of my system. I will add parts of the exhausts later, from the outside in. I just did not have the stamina to battle with that extra feature right now. As you can se I also got some Eduard stuff to enhance the kit here and there. 




In hindsight, it was me at fault and not Kitty Hawk. I commend them for the engineering of the engine, it makes it possible to build a very detailed engine right out of the box that one can show off through open engine panels. Construction is very sturdy once assembled, and very accurate and delicate. I just lost my patience the first time around. What I did today, I could have done in the first place.


Thanks for watching!





Edited by Grunticus
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Finally a build I was looking for, for a long time. I must say the Dutch scheme is very interesting IMHO, as I'm leaning towards building Dutch Indies is very interesting, loads of exotic material to go for.

Every time I see this kit I'm just one step away from a click to purchase it. So far never did, first see how it builds up, well...

Hope you have a good build and enjoy it.



Kind regards,


Robert Jan

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40 minutes ago, Dutch Man said:

Finally a build I was looking for, for a long time. I must say the Dutch scheme is very interesting IMHO, as I'm leaning towards building Dutch Indies is very interesting, loads of exotic material to go for.

Every time I see this kit I'm just one step away from a click to purchase it. So far never did, first see how it builds up, well...

Hope you have a good build and enjoy it.



Kind regards,


Robert Jan


Thanks Robert-Jan, after years of restricting myself to Dutch birds I kind of lost interest (except for an ML- KNIL Hurricane perhaps). This kit can IMHO be a lot of fun IF you know what you're getting in to. It does look like the end result can be very very nice. 

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I got on with some further construction. I cut, cleaned and dry-fitted the main float. It fits just fine once you drilled open the locating holes.


Then I started on the rear gunner's position. Being all the wiser since starting this kit I used a microsaw instead of the sprue cutter to free the ring holding the Eduard psp plate from the sprue. As soon as I (gently) started sawing:




Bollocks. Just bollocks :angry2: There must have been a batch of cheap Polystyrene pellets on the market at some time, or, KH got shafted. I am in the business of producing plastics, and this is just crap quality, or something was off during the injection / cooling phase. One also notices when sanding, it just doesn't react to sanding like what I am used to from umpteen other kits, much more grainy. Oh well. I got it fixed in the end:








Some cleanup left to do I see. The elevation ring of the gun can be left movable. The gun itself is nice. The Eduard PE pistol grip flew in to a black hole while handling it (three of us couldn't find it anymore) so I made a new one from stock and stretched sprue.




A styrene nozzle (part 81) is meant to be glued to the front, but I will have a go and use a small piece of hollow brass rod.



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On 7/26/2020 at 6:17 AM, Out2gtcha said:

Nice job!

Yes, the KHM instructions are vague in parts and down right wrong (especially in order).

However the kit does go together well in the end, and with some additions like a reinforcing rod for the main float it can come out really nice.


Thanks! I read the reinforcing advice in several build threads and will follow it. I will use brass rod.

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I feel your pain with Kitty Hawk’s plastic. In the end, I figured out that the only way to get parts like that of their sprues was to heat a curved scalpel blade with a candle, and cut them off that way. Saved me a ton of hassle....


Keep up the good work!


THOR    :ph34r:

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

I realise it's becoming a broken record so for the last time: this kit is engineered in the most annoying way, every step takes twice as much effort as it should, aided by the failing instruction format. Anyhoo. I spend small periods of time clearing one bit at a time and that helps to keep interest.


Getting this (not yet glued and still to receive the small parts and PE):



Is portrayed like this in the instructions (and this is a magnification):




The assembled rear gun, before weathering. Gun body and nozzle from Kitty Hawk, rest from Eduard. I didn't have the appropriate diameter hollow brass rod, so I drilled out the kit-nozzle with a micro drill):




Rear deck with some added wring (not accurate, just for some interest):




I have gotten this far now:




This is the paint I used for the "Field Green" called out in the instructions. I think it's a pretty good match.



Edited by Grunticus
color name corrected
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