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  • Writer's picture@PlaneThought41

Top Gun Trainer: 1/48th Two Bobs T-2C Buckeye

Updated: Aug 7

Two Bobs paired up with MPM to produce this USN trainer model kit in 2009, which had previously been ignored by manufactures. The resulting 1/48th scale T-2C Buckeye can be built up into a very nice model of the subject by experienced model makers.

1/48th Two Bobs T-2C Buckeye

Notable Kit Features:

  • Top-notch resin cockpit and ejection seats complete with molded in seatbelts

  • Finely done panel lines and surface details

  • Kit provides intake trunks with engine faceplates as well as exhaust tubes & faceplates

  • Separate flaps, ailerons, elevators and rudders

  • Open or closed canopy option

  • Clear wingtip and navigation lights provided

  • Reference photo CD included with a host of walk-around photos

  • Excellent decal sheet

1/48th Two Bobs T-2C Buckeye

Build Inspiration:

I have always liked this USN trainer aircraft for some reason (probably after seeing a couple of USN T-2s at a Canadian International Air Show in Toronto ON), so I was rather pleased when Two Bobs produced a 1/48th scale model of the T-2C Buckeye. It seems they sold out pretty quickly though, as I missed getting one in the initial release. Luckily I managed to pick one up second-hand at a model show. The included VT-9 Tigers markings option was a bonus for me as I thought the paw prints across the spine of the aircraft were brilliant.

T-2C Buckeye VT-9 Tigers

Heads-Up Report:

  • This is a limited run, multi-media kit, so it requires quite a bit more parts preparation prior to gluing any components - also it seems ejector pins are everywhere

  • The instructions are vague in placement of parts of flaps & gear but you do have the reference photos on the CD

  • My kit needed a light, fine sanding overall for a better finish

  • I don't think the cockpit floor angle is accurate

  • Intake trunks are centre-split units and are difficult to align with the intake lips

  • Rear exhaust tubes are centre-split units and the fit isn't good

  • Gluing up the 3-piece fuselage requires patience and extra sanding & filling

  • Six underside air scoops each have a separately molded lip. Glue the scoop to the lip while the lip is still on the sprue and then clean up the assembly

  • The keyed joint of the wings to fuselage fit requires some extra work to get it to fit nicely

  • Front gear mount is weak and the nose-gear wheel had no hole for the axle

  • There is a lap-join in the main gear and the gear needs to be cut with precision to fit in the wheel wells

  • Large canopy is a one-piece vacu-form part (two are provided - so you can make one mistake here, but no more.) Be prepared to spend a lot of time to get this to fit - Patience and Persistence Please

1/48th Two Bobs T-2C Buckeye

Kit Additions / Modifications:

  • Adjusted the rear seat upwards in height to compensate for the low(?) cockpit floor

  • Add nose weight as noted in instructions

  • I replaced the rear exhausts with 9/32nd tubes

  • Added wire pins to gear attachment points to strengthen join

  • Drilled out nose gear tire mounting hole

  • Replaced canopy actuator with guitar string (Low E)

  • Cut canopy to be able to display open (I formed the canopy by filling it with modelling clay to be able to cut and sand it with more precision)

1/48th Two Bobs T-2C Buckeye


Typically my first shot of paint is to hit the masked canopy area with black to effectively paint the interior frames of the canopy. I also painted the wing walk sections as it would be easier to mask these of now rather than later. A coat of off-white was applied all over with some variance of tone (not too much as these birds were kept pretty spiffy looking). Next I masked off the white including the area of the national insignia on the upper and lower wing, as well as where the NAVY marking would be on the lower wing. I did this insignia masking by using a photocopy of the decal. The Day-Glow red-orange was then sprayed. After all that had dried, I proceeded to mask off and spray the arrestor hook stripes, tank and nose anti-glare black as well as the flap area and intakes in red paint. The landing gear door edge red was done with a magic marker. After the paint cured, the model was sprayed with my gloss standard, J&J Pledge (floor finish) in preparation for the decals and (minimal) weathering. Note: You want as smooth a surface as you can get to apply the decals on so if the gloss coat isn't glass smooth, try giving it a very light wet-sand with some 800+ grit paper to improve the finish. Once he decals were on and any washes applied the final light top coat of model Master semi-matte was sprayed on to seal things in and give the final finish. All that remained were all the last details of securing the gear doors, controls and antennas (although I just noticed I missed the tail pitot!).

1/48th Two Bobs T-2C Buckeye

The After-Build Report:

Due to the multi-media aspect of this kit, I would only recommend this 1/48th Two Bobs T-2C Buckeye to experienced model makers. You can get a great model for your display, right out of the box with this kit, however you will need some extra patience and time to get things together. If you want a 1/48th T-2 Buckeye in your collection this is it (If you can find one)!

1/48th Two Bobs T-2C Buckeye

Completed build #248 - December 2021 using the 1/48th scale Two Bobs #K48-002 kit.

Feel free to comment or ask any questions - Keep on building, gain experience, challenge yourself if you like, but try not to stress yourself out over the build - it is supposed to be an enjoyable hobby after all - Cheers

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