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Supermarine Walrus

Classic Airframes

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Kit No. 4105 - Supermarine Walrus
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: 65 parts in gray styrene, 56 parts in cream colored resin, and 4 clear injection molded parts for windshield and windows. Instructions, 2 decal sheets and painting guide with markings for 8 aircraft.
Price: USD$55.00
Review Type: Another FirstLook
Advantages: Excellent decal selection, Injection molded clear parts.
Disadvantages: Difficult build
Recommendation: Highly Recommended


Reviewed by Steven "Modeldad" Eisenman

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




Well, its back; the Walrus from Classic Airframes.  No question this kit has a reputation as being a difficult build.  But what are we to really make of this Walrus? 

Is the Walrus a symbol of death as ascribed to the Beatles lyrics “… I am the walrus Goo goo g' joob” (was the Walrus Paul?)?  Or does it lead modelers to their demise, as the Walrus in Lewis Carroll’s “Walrus and the Carpenter” led those poor oysters to their demise? Many a modeler, I’m sure, has said the CA Walrus is a killer. 

But maybe, perhaps, the CA Walrus as modeling death or killer is all myth, for there have been produced some very fine models from this kit.  I point you to two very fine works by John Valo and Barney Dunlevy.



Another FirstLook


Okay, let’s start by counting rivets, and the Mk. I Walrus had thousands of them. 

The Mk I had a metal hull, while the Mk. II had a wood hull.  The CA Walrus, while not covered in rivets (or any representation there of), is a Mk. I, with the horizontal windshield to nose decking and curved fuselage top edges. 

Is the absence of rivets a problem?  That will depend on the opinion of each individual modeler.  While in most close-up pictures the rivet pattern is discernable, in most pictures taken at a distance, the sides appear smooth.  Given the slab sided hull, I’m sure any modeler will find it not difficult to add rivets using a “Rosie the Riveter tool” or some variation of it, if they so choose. 


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

On with rivet counting.  I placed the major parts of the CA Walrus on a 150% enlargement of the Walrus plans that came with the Mushroom Model Magazine monograph on the Walrus and Stranraer.  Assuming that the drawings are accurate (and in this day in age that is a risky assumption with regard to any drawings), the only issue I perceive is that the rudder appears to be too narrow in chord. 



One improvement over the first issue that many will welcome are the injection molded clear parts.  They have good clarity and well defined frames.


The decals are printed by Microscale are well printed and in register.  Not only do you get the decals for the first boxing, but you also get a second sheet with markings for pre-war aircraft.  The decals include those most odd foot print wing walk markings.  They appear to have been used on all the Aluminum Dope aircraft.  When it comes to the camouflaged Walruses, it is hit and miss, and without photographic documentation, it is your call. 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

The following Walruses are all in Aluminum dope and natural metal. 

  • 714 Squadron, HMS Manchester, L2253, 1939. 

  • 715 Squadron, HMS Suffolk, K8552, November 1938 

  • No. 715 Flight, HMS Cumberland, K5780, 1937 

  • No. 720 Flight, New Zealand Division, Royal Navy, HMS Achilles, K5774, 1937-38 

Camouflaged Walruses: 

  • 700 Squadron, FAA, HMS Shropshire, K8548, 1940 – 1941:  This aircraft is in a four colors shadow-shading topside scheme.  The upper wing is Extra Dar Sea Grey and Dark slate Grey, as is the top of the fuselage.  The lower wing is in Dark Sea Grey and Light Slate Grey.  The lower part of the hull is in Sky Gray. 

  • No. 8 Communications Unit, RAAF, P9275, 1943:  Extra Dark Sea Grey and Dark Slate Grey wing tops and hull, with the undersides of the wings in Sky.  The instructions note that it is not determined whether the lower wing was shadow-shaded. 

  • 700 Squadron, K5762,  Aboukir, Egypt:  Dark Earth and Middle Stone with Azure blue underneath. No shadow-shading.  I have my doubts about this scheme, as only black and white pictures exist, as far as I know.  It could be an undocumented legend, as may be the case with the Desert Scheme Swordfish. 

  • HMS Cumberland, P9561 Operation Torch, 1942:  Shadow-Shaded with Extra Dark Sea Grey and Dark Slate Grey upper wing top and upper hull, with Dark Sea Grey and Light Slate Grey lower wing-top and lower hull.  The instructions seem to have a misprint in that the top-plane view indicates that the aircraft is not shadow-shaded. 





To all those who appreciate odd aircraft and those who have a slightly masochistic streak, I highly recommend this newest reissue from Classic Airframes.  In all seriousness, while clearly a challenge, it will certainly be a unique and eye-catching addition to any modeler’s collection.  You have been warned, now take a risk.  I may even follow my own advice.

Highly Recommended.





Supermarine Walrus & Stranraer, Kightly and Walsgrove, Mushroom Model Publications, 2004. 

Review sample provided courtesy of Classic Airframes.

Classic Airframes kits are available worldwide through hobby retailers and from Squadron.com

Review and Images Copyright © 2005 by Steven Eisenman
Page Created 12 December, 2005
Last updated 12 December, 2005

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