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  • Writer's picture@PlaneThought41

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

Updated: Jun 28

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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Aug 05, 2023

It's the Canadian International Air Show not the CNE Air Show. Now in its 74th year and bigger and better this year on Labour Day weekend. Cheers

Aug 07, 2023
Replying to

Well, I stand corrected on this point! Obviously I am not going to argue with an expert on the subject - So Article Edit made - Cheers 😁


Aug 05, 2023

Another lovely looking build FPR

Aug 07, 2023
Replying to

Thanks Richard - Appreciate the comment

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