U-2A/C Dragon Lady




Meteor Productions


S u m m a r y
Catalogue Number and Description: CEC48288
Scale: 1/48
Price: USD$15.99
Contents and Media: 17 parts in grey resin, one clear acetate sheet
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Simple construction; major improvement over kit parts; attractive seat with cast-on harness; accurate for CIA or Air Force U-2; minimal modifications to kit; kit is a worthy donor for the main parts despite its venerable age.
Disadvantages: Stout casting block on tub (although slimmer than earlier releases).
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by Brett Green

HyperScale is proudly sponsored by Meteor Productions


F i r s t L o o k


Hawk’s original 1/48 scale U-2A "Dragon Lady" was released 40 years ago, but it was quite accurate at the time and remains acceptable today. The more recent issue of the kit by Testors as a U-2C is more readily available now. This new Cutting Edge cockpit is suitable for both models. The cockpit configuration is appropriate for CIA or Air Force machines, but not for NASA U-2s.

Cutting Edge’s U-2A/C cockpit is quite simple. It comprises only 17 parts in grey coloured resin. The cockpit tub is supplied as a single part. Side console details, the rear bulkhead, plumbing, switches and seat rails are all moulded onto this compact casting. Detail is crisp and busy. The instrument panel offers the option of acetate instruments per Cutting Edge’s common practice over the last year or two.

The ejection seat is typically nice. It is fully detailed front and back, and includes a convincingly draped harness. The seat simply slides onto the rails in the cockpit (test-fitted in the photo to the right), but the seat should be installed before the cockpit is secured in the fuselage to avoid breaking the delicate control yoke and the protruding driftsight glare boot (you just have to love that name!).

The remaining parts include new instrument coaming, the two-part control column and yoke, stirrup, rudder pedal, throttle, canopy breaker supports and the defogger. All of these small details are well rendered.

Construction will be very straightforward. Mounting lugs and sockets must be carved away from the kit sidewalls. The glare shield must also be removed. Apart from that, the Cutting Edge items are direct replacements for the kit cockpit and coaming.

All parts in my review sample were perfectly cast. Casting blocks are mostly thin, but the block for the tub will require the use of a razor saw.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images

Instructions are in the familiar Cutting Edge style. Notes are provided and, as I have mentioned in earlier reviews, the modeller ignores them at his peril. You really do need to read these instructions to avoid expensive and time-consuming problems.



C o n c l u s i o n


This is the second recent Cutting Edge cockpit release targetted at an older kit. This cockpit will certainly breathe new life into either the Hawk or Testors offerings of the U-2. Furthermore, its installation will present few challenges to anyone who has worked with after-market resin sets.

Cutting Edge’s recently released 1/48 scale U-2 decals will add further variety.

Cutting Edge’s U-2A/C Dragon Lady cockpit will be a very useful accessory to anyone building either of these 1/48 scale spyplanes as a CIA or US Air Force machine.


Thanks to Meteor Productions for the review sample.

Cutting Edge Modelworks products are available from Meteor Productions Website

HyperScale is proudly sponsored by Squadron.com

Text and Images Copyright © 2001 by Brett T. Green
Page Created 18 September, 2001
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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