1/72 Scale Custom Cessna OE-2 "Bird Dog II" Build

Bryan Austin

New Member
May 12, 2023
The Cessna model 321, military O-1C, changed to OE-2 (Marines) in 1962. Large square tail surfaces, different back window, greater H.P. engine, constant speed prop and 8:00 tires. The model 321 had a different rear window than the earlier Cessna model 305, O-1 Bird Dog (changed to OE-1 in 1962). I decided not to mess with this modification on such a small scale.....butterfingers!!!
Cessna 321 N101GC.jpegUntitledaa.png

As post in the Cessna 170 build topic, I was posting my progress over on my introductory page but figured it would be best to start a Cessna OE-2 Bird Dog II titled thread here.

Recently I purchased an Airfix OE-1 Bird Dog kit. I took the tail feathers off the kit and used them on the Cessna 170 custom build. I took the tail surfaces from the Cessna 180/185 kit, and used them for this modification.

I'll start a new thread on the OE-2 project later.......

Kits used for these projects...


The below photo shows the parts swap.
Top tan fuselage is the 1/72 scale Airfix OE-1 Bird Dog.
Bottom grey fuselage is the 1/72 scale Kovozavody Cessna 180/185 Skywagon kit

Parts Swap
I swaped the tail surfaces from each kit...
The OE-2 will be build using the square tail
The 180 will be converted to the 170 with the round tail....posted in another topic.

For the OE-2 build, I had to add a tail cone to the tail. The photo shows the cone cut off the "170 Build" but it did not work, was too short. I had to make one from scrap sprue.

With the tail cone secured, it was time to add the horizontal surfaces. Slight change of plans. I have several 180/185 kits so I used spare verticals for the horizontal stabilizers. NOTE: the larger dorsal/vertical used for the vertical stabilizer on the model. The OE-2 was the first Cessna series to use the larger dorsal. The 180 used a smaller dorsal, which is what can be seen that I used to make the horizontal stabilizers. After the OE-2 was well in use, the larger dorsal was then used on the Cessna 185.
343724023_630699295577394_6049898744700723230_n (1).jpg

Flipped on it's back, I also decided to leave the firewall foreword as is...but I did fill in the gap for the exposed exhaust for the "smaller" engine. The Cessna 170 custom build (top fuselage) is awaiting further attention.

Waiting a few days for the ridiculously thin weak gear to dry, you can see the smaller rear window, I wish I could have modified correctly.

I was actually doing pretty good on a third build, stock 185 (180/185 kit option), when I goofed.....anyhow, here is a photo of the build that is slightly on hold till I get some more decals made Monday.
I am learning how to make my own decals, and how to apply them. I lost concentration and dropped the model and whiped out the gear. The N number was applied on backwards and when I was about to remove it, crash & burn.


More updates later........
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Cessna built the prototype 305 Bird Bird Dog as c/n "601" in 1949.

Cessna started using the "square" tail on nearly everything....Even the old round tails were test and dropped from further manufacture, even the Cessna 170 (as the 170C). Eventually the 305 was tested with a square tail as c/n 608. Although the smaller dorsal vertical was used from the Cessna 180, only one was manufactured for.....and still owned by the Mississippi State University aeronautics program.

I really love that larger rear window area!!

Cessna eventually manufactured the 321, as mentioned earlier, but because of the much higher cost, only 25 were manufactured and sent to war. The US decided to just use what OE-1's, use some Cessna 185's, and what 305's were left.

I added what Cessna Prototypes I could on my google docs page here: Cessna used consecutive "6xx" for their prototypes starting with the model 305.
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