1/48 Brewster Buffalo Mk. 1

453 Squadron, Singapore

By Tony Mollica

The RAAF operated 2 squadrons of Brewster Buffalos in Singapore, alongside a single squadron operated by the RNZAF. The two Australian Squadrons, 21 and 453 lost many aircraft on the ground but acquitted themselves well during air combat against a numerically and materially superior enemy. The aircraft that is the subject of this article, TD-F, was flown by F/O 'Mac' Read, who rammed an Oscar after expending all of his ammunition, and was subsequently killed. This is the first aircraft type used operationally by 453 Squadron, and is also the first built in my ‘Aircraft of 453 Squadron’ theme. There will also be a Spitfire Vb, Spitfire VII, Spitfire IX, Spitfire XIV and Spitfire XVI to complete the theme.

The base kit for this conversion is the old Tamiya F2A-2 Buffalo in it's 1993 release which doesn't include the parts required to build a British specification Mk 1 machine. A number of aftermarket products have been used, as well as a significant amount of scratchbuilding, to convert and superdetail this model.




Brewster F2A-2 Buffalo


Etched Brass Detail Set


Seatbelts and buckles


Supermarine Spitfire Mk Vb (1 part only)


Cockpit Placard Set

Red Roo

Buffalo Mk 1 Conversion set


48-039 Brewster Buffalo Decal set

It was painted according to profiles in the Red Roo book using colours recommended in same. Refer to colours recommended on page 40-41 of 'Buffalo Down Under'. Note that Gary Byk proposes a number of possible colour matches for the light grey undersurface colour. I too have selected 'light gray' FS36493 as a likely choice, based on his recommendation. The following colours have been used:

Model Colour

U.S. Colour Match

Federal Standard Colour Approximation

Model Paint Used

Uppersurface Brown

ANA 617

FS 30118


Uppersurface Green

Medium Green 42

FS 34092


Undersurface Light Grey

Light Gray

FS 36493


Undersurface Black

Not applicable

Not required


Refer to the colour images adjacent to page 96 and the camouflage diagram on page 90 of 'Buffalo Down Under' for details of the scheme shown.


Decals from Aeromaster sheet 48-039 for Brewster Buffalo were used. Note that the only photo of this aircraft that I know of is the third aircraft in line in the squadron line up in the top left corner of page 28 of 'Buffalo In Action'.
This model was built prior to the Red Roo decal for this aircraft being released.  A complete description of the work undertaken on this model can be found in the ‘Hints and Tips’ section of the Red Roo Models website.


Any comments please email me at t_mollica@hotmail.com

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