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Supermarine Walrus



Classic Airframes


Classic Airframes' 1/48 scale Walrus is available online from Squadron.com


S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number : 451
Scale: 1/48
Price: USD$44.95 RRP (USD $37.96 from Squadron.com)
Contents and Media: Gray styrene; resin detail parts; two vacform canopies; decal sheet with four marking options.
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Smooth surface texture; appropriately engraved detail; authentic fabric texture; detailed resin cockpit; alternate parts for open or closed canopies; wide range of marking options..
Disadvantages: Resin pour plugs will need careful removal; some reinforcement of upper wing and struts (and other elements) recommended; vacform canopy & DIY fuselage windows; lots of alignment challenges.
Recommendation: Highly Recommended for experienced modellers.


Reviewed by Lynn Ritger




It may be justifiably argued by many Allied airmen, plucked from the waters into which their stricken aircraft plunged, that the Supermarine Walrus was by far the most beautiful aircraft ever seen. Possessed of an ungainly but effective design and amazing utility, the Walrus served from 1933 until well after the end of WWII performing tasks as varied as rescue duty, artillery spotting, Arctic exploration, and I’m told whale spotting was performed postwar as well!

Others can relate in detail the saga of this previously overlooked but immensely valuable aircraft, but it is my intention to share my impressions of the latest offering from Classic Airframes.





My first impression on opening the plain white box (no printed boxes were available at the time the review sample was shipped) was “WOW, that’s a big airplane!” I had not yet taken the time to familiarize myself with the basics of the aircraft, and was quite surprised to see just how large the ‘Shagbat’ really is in comparison to other period aircraft.

On closer inspection, Classic Airframe’s new 1/48 scale Walrus shows that the sophistication noted in their recent Reggiane fighter releases is carrying forward into their future releases. Molded in medium grey styrene with their now-traditional profusion of resin detail parts, the surfaces of the airframe parts are extremely clean and free of any rough texture. Panel lines are of course engraved, and lightly done at that. The fabric texture of the wings is extremely well done and, in my opinion, accurately reflects the different surface tensions present in the canvas covering of the different flying surfaces. There are indentations at all major strut mounting points on the flying surfaces, and based on previous experience I would strongly recommend drilling these out as well as the corresponding mating surfaces of the struts and adding small pieces of 24 or 28 gauge wire to the struts to provide a more sturdy join. This is admittedly time consuming, but will pay off in strength and flexibility on the model when complete.


An excellent suggestion made by a fellow club member (Chris Durden) is to add a spar along the upper wing…there is a center section to which the outboard wing panels are joined with 3 degrees dihedral, and installing a spar will help with both the alignment as well as the strength of the structure when completed. I also believe that the lower wing and tailplanes will benefit from such strengthening measures. I intend to add several small pieces of 24 gauge wire along the edges of the lower wing mating surface to provide more “bite” against the mounting face on the fuselage. This approach worked well on the CA F4B-4 I built, and the resultant model became strong enough to stand up to an inadvertent drop onto a thinly covered concrete floor!

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

A pair of vacuformed canopies is provided, one featuring a flip-forward panel over the right side of the cockpit. No other differences between the canopies are noted.

The aft hatch window is featured on the vac sheet as well. The instructions call for the side windows to be cut from a .010 sheet of clear styrene, also provided. This should not prove to be beyond the capabilities of most modelers. It may pay off to coat the sheet of plastic beforehand with Future (or Johnson’s Klear or whatever it may be called in your part of the world) as this barrier will resist fogging from superglue fumes…this will allow you to affix the windows using superglue without fear of crazing or fogging the window.

As with many of their other releases, the resin parts are extremely well done and provide for a very thoroughly equipped interior. Among the nicer features are a single-piece Bristol Pegasus engine and a pair of simply gorgeous machine guns (Vickers ‘K’ guns as best I can tell…Lewis guns were an option on the full-scale article). The row of small aerodynamic fairings for the flying wires will certainly provide hours of fun.


One area to note for those looking forward to the kit: resin pour plugs are on the back of the wheel wells, some interior bulkheads, and the two ring mounts for the guns. These should not prove to be trouble given a bit of patience, a razor saw, and sandpaper, and they are by no means as offensive as those on the Blenheim kit!

The instructions are quite thorough, and offer a rigging diagram for all areas requiring such treatment (e.g. the outboard floats, the engine assembly, and the interplane rigging). Alignment peculiarities abound on the Walrus, and the instruction sheet takes great pains in explaining these; chief among the interesting alignment challenges is the 5 degree offset of the engine nacelle. A full-scale 1/48 template is provided to assist in proper alignment of the nacelle.

Markings for no less than four aircraft are provided in the kit, including two 700 Sqn examples, an Australian aircraft, and an unusual Operation Torch aircraft sporting overpainted British markings and yellow-ringed American insignia as well as a “shadow shaded” upper surface camouflage scheme featuring four different colors!

This last is intriguing enough to be my first choice! Printed by Microscale, the samples in my kit are impressively thin and in perfect register.


Overall, I have to say I am tremendously impressed with this latest effort. True to Classic Airframes’ tradition, they have released a stunning rendition of an often overlooked but important aircraft, and I am eagerly looking forward to starting the kit!

One further note - I would like to point out that my friend Bryan Ribbans has a great selection of Walrus walkaround photos (including interior photos of an example undergoing restoration in Australia) on his terrific website at http://www.seawings.co.uk . I shall be visiting that site quite frequently during the construction of the “Shagbat”!

Thanks to Classic Airframes for the review sample

Review Text and Images Copyright © 2001 by Lynn Ritger
Page Created 17 December, 2001
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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