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Classic Airframes' new 1/48 scale
Brewster F2A-1
& Model 239 Export

by Phil Hale

Brewster Model 239


Classic Airframes' 1/48 scale F2A-1 and Model 239 kits may be ordered online from Squadron



For a detailed examination of the kit contents, see Jim Maas' in-box review here on HyperScale.

I had the opportunity to build both the Classic Airframes 1/48 scale American Navy F2A-1 (kit number 4100) and the Finnish Model 239 (kit 4101) Brewsters. I understand that most operators did not refer to the aircraft as the Buffalo so I’ll try not to use that term here.


Jim Maas gave us a good look at the basic kit and all the goodies provided by Classic Airframes. I won’t go into that here. I will say that you get a lot for the money and it is well engineered. The scribing is very nice and it may look a little deep but under a coat of paint looks very good and holds a wash very well.





Finnish Model 239

I built the Finnish version first and had to learn a few things the hard way. Sometimes I like breaking new ground and I’m like most everyone else - I like building the new stuff.

I have included some “in progress” photos to help you in your building process.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

One thing to bear in mind with limited run kits - they all fit a little different. The plastic is softer and as such may be a little more prone to warping from heat. I had very little trouble with warping because I had two of the first ones out of the molds. There are some knockout pin marks in some prominent places that need to be dealt with first.

There are notches on the inside surfaces of the upper wing panels. You’ll need to enlarge these. This will allow you some room to adjust the fit of part D-1. I also cut off the small pin on the bottom of part D-1. I have included a photo of the two upper wing panels. One has been slightly enlarged but you have to cut more out. Test fit this area to ensure a good fit. If you attach this part incorrectly, it will interfere with the landing gear later on. I attached Part D-18, engine mount, to part D-12 after completing Steps 2A and 2B. Photograph attached. The engine mount will not meet part D-12 if you attach per Step 5. It will be too short. You may want to take some time and remove the locator lines inside the fuselage. They are really not needed and it may help to position the engine and gun mounts.


Overall fit is very good, especially for a limited run kit. The forward portion of the cowl Part A3 will need some sanding to achieve a smooth surface. I used Part A-4 and faired it in on the underside of the wings. The Finns did not have the window on the underside of the fuselage. Fit of part A-4 is fairly good but will require some filler. The fit of the wings to the fuselage sides are very good but you’ll need to fair in the front and the rear area.

There are several bulkheads inside the fuselage and these may require a little sanding to get a good fit. If you test fit and tweak things just a little you’ll end up with little sanding.

US Navy Brewster F2A-1

On the Navy F2A-1, I had trouble getting the life raft tube and the roll over bar to fit. Trim the legs of the life raft tube and both will fit much better. I had to enlarge the opening for the telescopic sight in the windscreen.

The windscreen, canopy and rear clear parts fit very well. The window on the underside does not fit as well. You’ll have to sand and test fit.


Take care with the photo-etched bomb fins. The folds are complicated but the fit well and look great when finished. I painted mine olive drab per the instructions but I think early Navy bombs may have been painted yellow or yellow chromate.

The decals are excellent and did not require much setting solution.





Overall, this is a very good limited run kit and is one that can be recommended even to modelers with no experience on limited run kits.

Thanks to Classic Airframes for the sample



Additional Images


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Lentolaivue 24
Aviation Elite Units 4

Illustrator: John Weal
US Price:
UK Price: £12.99
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Publish Date:
 June 25, 2001
Details: 128 pages; ISBN: 1841762628
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Buy it from Osprey Publishing

Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2005 by Phil Hale
Page Created 17 June, 2005
Last Updated 17 June, 2005

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