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Grumman Tracker
1:48th Scale Kinetic Kit (modified)

Post World War 2 the Royal Canadian Navy operated the Grumman TBM Avernger from 1950 until 1960.  The Avenger replacement was to be the Grumman CS2F-1 Tracker which was to operate from the new aircraft carrier HMCS Bonaventure under construction in England.  Dehavilland Canada won the contract to build 99 Trackers under license from Grumman at their Downsview plant and in Oct 1956, the first Tracker was handed over to the RCN.  I worked in Downsview control tower at the time and saw many of the Trackers test flown including 1502, the first DHC built Tracker.  This aircraft was also the first aircraft to fly on-board HMCS Bonaventure.

The kit used here is the new 1:48 scale Kinetic offering but it required a good deal of modification to backdate it to  the early RCN version.  Belcher Bits produced a modification kit with working drawings needed for the mods.  Mike Belcher also produced an excellent set of decals to go with this kit...which I picked up at the Vancouver Fall Show.

Starting with removing a section from the forward fuselage then marking the more complex rear portion The fine toothed razor saw is used along with Dymo tape to make accurate cuts. This rear section is a bit complex but it only took a few minutes to make the cuts.  
The pieces removed from the fuselage were used to reinforce the  cuts Only a small amount of Tamiya putty was necessary to fill the cut lines. Next mod required the top of the rear nacelle be removed as per the drawings  
One down (right side)...one to go (left side).  Belcher's resin nacelle tail pieces will be added later A .020" piece of plastic card was cut to shape and glued to the top, flush with the top of  the wing The kit wingtips were larger than the RCN version.  .080" Card was glued up in layers then shaped  
The cockpit was OOB with no frills Belchers conversion kit provided the replacement horizontal tailplanes in cast resin. My big buy included a set of cast white metal landing gear which was a very nice surprise.  
Now painted in the Extra Dark Sea Grey/Medium Sea Grey scheme which is very controversial With the decals in place the model is sort of finished.  Due to arthritis in the hands and a bad eye, the topside antennae were not installed. The rescue hatch outlines were too thin for these old hands to cope with and two of the four were destroyed in the process.  
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Last modified: 10/05/12