Hasegawa + North Wings 1/72 conversion
Grumman C-2A Greyhound
by Tom Baldwin
Grumman C-2A Greyhound
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If there are two absolutes when it comes to anything in the U.S. NAVY, one is for sure, somewhere, there’s a Sailor complaining about something, and two, it’s probably a “Sea Story”!
One such sea story in the C-2 community is about the tragic tale of the COD that was lost on cat shot aboard USS RANGER in Dec 1970. Like Chancellor Palpatine said so eloquently in Star Wars, “it’s a COD Legend”! As young C-2A LoadMaster trainee, we were shown the PLAT film video many times of the worst that can happen on cat shots (the video can be seen on YouTube). As the video tragically shows, a C-2A throttling down the catapult, into a steep climb angle, stalling and crashing into the sea.
VRC-50 C-2A Romeo Golf 414, bureau number 155120 was dispatched to USS RANGER Dec 15, 1970 to retrieve and transport back components from RANGER’s generator for repairs, that could not be made at sea from the team sent from the PI. RG414 was commanded that day by Lt. Merrill “Skip” McCoy, copilot LtJg. Anthony “AJ” Piersonti, Plane Captain ADJ3 Clyde “Buck” Owen, and Loadmaster AMS3 John Szlapa, and five passengers, one going home on emergency leave.
The cargo consisted of the generator rotor assemblies, which were loaded into the cargo cage. What happened next has been the subject of many a tale, but what we do know is that on the cat shot, the cargo broke loose, traveled aft (most likely killing all seven), the C-2 sped down the cat and assumed a severe nose high attitude on climb out, the result off the severe aft CG shift. As the aircraft reached stall speed, it hammerhead stalled, most likely with the cargo shifting CG forward, possibly killing the pilots as the 2000lb plus slammed into the pilot forward bulkhead. The aircraft impacted the water and broke apart. Only two of the nine aboard were recovered.
This is the North Wings C-2A resin kit, combined with the Hasegawa E-2C kit and the Eduard E-2C PE set.
The North Wings kit contains a complete interior, with the overhead rail assemblies, passenger seats, but no cargo cage.
Construction started with the cockpit, using the kit pieces and the Eduard PE set. I added some details to the pilot seats, and added the pilots reading lights. Rearview mirrors were also added to the sliding overhead hatches as well.
I scratchbuilt the cargo cage components, consisting of the stanchions, cross bars and bean poles, and added them to the kit supplied cargo floor. The floor was painted and weathered using the hairspray technique, which was a first for me.
I then corrected the kit supplied main distribution panel, and added the prop sync and various boxes that sit below the MDB ( for you C-2 bubbas out there, I even added two outflow valves, stuck open of course!) The seats were then constructed and painted, per the colors at the time provided by several ex VRC-50 C-2 guys. I then glued the seats to the floor, and proceeded to close up the fuselage halves, which suffered from a little warpage, but nothing a few nights in the clamps couldn’t cure.
Here’s where the fun began. After a coat of primer to check for flaws, on the way back to the bench, I DROPPED THE MODEL! Split right down the middle, seats and cage flying everywhere!
Back to the bench for another round of superglue and epoxy putty! (I bet this thing weighs 10 pounds)!
Some fuselage areas were back dated to C-2A configuration, notably filling the APU exhaust and inlets on the starboard side, and adding the APP exhaust (more rounded than oval than the current APU).
I then built the nacelles from the Hasegawa E-2 kit, and added various details to the main landing gear, including brake lines, linkages etc.
I backdated the props by sanding the tips to square, then painted, decaled and weathered.
The wing was then assembled to the fuselage, and blended and faired in with miliput epoxy putty.
The horizontal stab was then added, followed by the vertical stab/rudders.
Finishing, Painting and Markings
The model was primed, and corrections made, then on to paint – gloss white for the wing/fuselage bottoms, as well as the upper fuselage and tail, gloss gull grey for the remainder. Various washes were applied, as the mighty COD gets a little grimy from all the work she does!
I used decals from various sources, some form the North Wings kit, some from the Hasegawa kit, and some from an Authentic Decal set. The tail codes (RG) and the arrows were made on my computer, as were the VRC-50 FOO DOG decals and crew names (which were not on the a/c at the time).
I finished up by adding the cargo ramp, the antennas and nose pitot tubes.
I built this model as a dedication to the crew of RG414, as well as all of the other C-2A crew who were lost. These guys paved the way for the later generation of C-2 maintenance magicians and AirCrew, we owe them a tremendous amount for their service. I’d like to give a special shout out to my C-2A bubbas, Bobo Holsworth, my AMSAN Brother Kevin Balk, Verdi, OI, Dise man, and Burke.
Images and Text Copyright ©
2015 by Tom Baldwin
Page Created 29 June, 2015
30 June, 2015
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