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
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
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
Only a small amount of Tamiya putty was necessary to fill the cut
Next mod required the top of the rear nacelle be removed as per the
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
The rescue hatch outlines were too thin for these old hands to cope
with and two of the four were destroyed in the process.