This plastic 1/72 Scale Grumman S2D Tracker was built by 30-year Navy veteran Bob Olivari, starting out as a plastic model kit. After building the kit, Mr. Olivari added extra details, decal decorations, and historically correct paint. The S2 “Tracker” joined the US Navy in 1954. It served for 23 years and was retired in 1977. A total of 755 aircraft were built by Grumman Aircraft Co.–of which 625 served in the Navy. 

The S2 also served with the Canadian and Australian Navies. Other nations included South America and some European countries. The Tracker’s primary mission was to seek and destroy enemy submarines operating from ten Essex class WWII modified carriers. After retirement, many of these planes went on to serve in the US Forestry Service as fire bombers (after conversion to turboprop engines).  

More of Bob’s work can be seen in San Diego’s Petco Park, where a 15-foot long model of the aircraft carrier USS Midway is on display. The carrier was built in three parts so it could be moved into the building. Then Mr. Olivari built all the aircraft models seen on the deck of the carrier to the same level of detail as those on display at the Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum. 

Exhibit added: July 11, 2015 - Last modified: April 3, 2024

Presented by The Joe Martin Foundation for Exceptional Craftsmanship