Author Topic: The Northrop N-2.5FS Navigator in Uruguayan Service  (Read 2164 times)

Offline Brian da Basher

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The Northrop N-2.5FS Navigator in Uruguayan Service
« on: July 31, 2019, 04:35:59 PM »


The Northrop N-2.5FS Navigator was a precursor to the more notable but still obscure N-3PB Nomad.



This versatile float plane project started as a development of the A-17 requested by Lincoln Ellsworth for a proposed Antarctic expedition.





In the end, Mr Ellsworth's expedition was cancelled and so was his custom-ordered float plane.



By then the prototype had been built and christened the "Navigator". Fortunately, the U.S. Navy saw potential in the design and bought the prototype as well as three additional pre-production models for evaluation.



Known as the N-2.5FS in official Naval-ese, it began flight-testing in late 1938.



Unfortunately, once military equipment was added, the extra weight made the Navigator unable to carry a torpedo aloft with more than a quarter fuel load.



Disappointed, the U.S. Navy passed the four float planes on to Uruguay where they were used for defense patrols. Their long range made them ideal for over-ocean flights even if they lacked much of a punch.



The Northrop N-2.5FS Navigator float planes would serve in this capacity throughout W.W. II and were eventually relegated to internal air policing duties until the last one was written off in the 1950s.



Nothing exists of the N-2.5FS Navigator today except this desktop model which was discovered when the old Uruguayan air force HQ was torn down to make way for a Mr. Chicken franchise.



Brian da Basher
« Last Edit: July 31, 2019, 04:40:36 PM by Brian da Basher »

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: The Northrop N-2.5FS Navigator in Uruguayan Service
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2019, 05:06:04 PM »
This all started with a 1/72 Aoshima Zuiun that was sent to me by a good friend (thanks a million, hamsterman!). This early example of the kit-maker's art is a true classic and comes with some top-flight box art even if some aspects of it are toy-like.



The first thing I did was amputate the nose so I could fit a better looking engine. I decided to save the excellent kit canopy and replaced it with a drop-tank half from a 1/144 B-47. I also cut down the fin & rudder to obscure the Zuiun silhouette a little.



As you can see, there were some yawning gaps, especially around the wing-fold, but Mr Tamiya's miracle putty saved the day! At this point, it seemed a good idea to tackle the painting before attaching the new engine.



Having less model to maneuver around made painting the canopy a bit easier.



The old hairy stick and acrylics were used, Model Masters "Feldgrau" up top and Light Sea Gray underneath.





The canopy was done in some of my dwindling Poly Scale RAAF Sky topped with a coat of gloss medium. The Amiot 143 cowling was painted Model Masters Flat Black. Poly Scale Building Brown was used on the exhausts and the guns were given a custom mix.



Those cool Uruguayan markings came from a Roundels of the World decal sheet and the codes are from an Italeri Fiat CR.42.



I almost forgot to mention that I dressed up the Amiot cowling by adding a spare engine piece behind the facing plate, concerned that without something back there it wouldn't look right. As it turns out, I probably didn't need to worry since this is one of the few shots where you can see the engine detail. The prop is from a Monogram P-36 and was left in all its natural plastic glory.



It took me five days to put this together and while it wasn't the smoothest build, I was pretty happy with how it all turned out. Before I forget, here's a couple of "money shots", U.S. penny for scale.



I'd like to thank Bill for his kindness in sending the kit, Mr Fontaine for parting with that Roundels of the World sheet so many moons ago, Mr Wombat for bravely moderating this GB and the rest of you playing along or just stopping by for a look.



I also wanted to give Mr Robomog a tip o' the pin for suggesting the bit in the back story about not being able to lift a torpedo. I'm always grateful for creative points-of-failure for my also-rans.



This last picture shows the Airfix stand I posed the model on. I'm always pleased whenever I can use it.



Brian da Basher
« Last Edit: July 31, 2019, 05:33:24 PM by Brian da Basher »

Online Robomog

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Re: The Northrop N-2.5FS Navigator in Uruguayan Service
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2019, 06:26:06 PM »
Glad to be of service Brian, This one has come out really well, the Uruguayan air force markings show it off a treat.

Mog
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Offline elmayerle

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Re: The Northrop N-2.5FS Navigator in Uruguayan Service
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2019, 10:15:20 PM »
Another beautiful model and back story, Brian.

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: The Northrop N-2.5FS Navigator in Uruguayan Service
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2019, 03:02:49 PM »
 :smiley:
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Offline Frank3k

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Re: The Northrop N-2.5FS Navigator in Uruguayan Service
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2019, 11:26:31 PM »
I used that kit as a source of parts - you did a great job with your version, Brian!

I think it looks vaguely French.

Offline Dr. YoKai

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Re: The Northrop N-2.5FS Navigator in Uruguayan Service
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2019, 08:20:27 AM »
Fine looking build, BrNeat and plausible backstory, too.

Offline apophenia

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Re: The Northrop N-2.5FS Navigator in Uruguayan Service
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2019, 05:16:22 AM »
Great stuff Brian  :smiley:  It might not have been able to carry a torpedo but it looks a heck of a lot nicer than the RCAF's float-fitted Northrop Deltas! I think Uruguay got the better deal there  ;)
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Offline ericr

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Re: The Northrop N-2.5FS Navigator in Uruguayan Service
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2019, 03:10:35 AM »
 ;D