1/48 Italeri C-130H Hercules

by Darius Aibara

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This mythological hero has been reasonably well supported in 1/72 scale, but only Italeri has brought out injection moulded C130 kits in 1/48 scale. 

 Hercules C1-P

Having developed a taste for large scale endeavours with the Vulcan, I obtained Italeri's C130H and Flightpath's etched brass details from Hannant's model shop in London.  This comes in an even larger box than the Vulcan and is packed with parts for the exterior and a reasonable interior which is improved by the Flightpath details.  The decal sheet with this version of the Italeri kit came with low vis decals for USAF, Canadian, Italian, French and RAF "Fat Alberts" with some common stencils.  The RAF
 version was a Desert Storm aircraft in overall "Desert Pink" with small low vis roundels and two code numbers - not that interesting! 

The fuselage is moulded in four sections split vertically and just in front of the wing root.  The kit is designed for the fuselage to be assembled in front and rear portions which then "snap" together, however I though that the fit would not be particularly good and so I carefully assembled the parts to form complete fuselage halves with a smooth join between the front and rear parts.  The interior parts were painted and assembled and the Flightpath details added.  The excellent Flightpath set contains details for the cockpit console, throttle quadrant, pilot and co-pilot's seats and the side and rear entry doors/steps.  The etched brass fret was quite thick however and so the parts were not easily separated using a sharp blade. I eventually found success in removing them using a razor saw over a timber offcut, which had the added advantage of not having the etched parts "ping" off into sub-space once detached.

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The canopy is provided as a large injection moulded part including part of the fuselage roof.  Once the interior had been fitted and the fuselage halves joined, the canopy was masked, glued in place and the edges faired into the fuselage with filler.  The interior had been painted "approximate" interior green using an auto spray can (no more brush painting large areas for me!) and the masked canopy was similarly painted before the outer finish was applied.

The wings have extended flaps thanks to Flightpath and they and the engine pods were completed as separate modelling exercises.  I separated the rudder and elevators and re-attached them in deflected positions.  The wings fit over a strengthening spar provided with the kit, which passes through the fuselage.  I did not glue the wings in place as they fit relatively snugly to the fuselage and can be removed to allow the completed model to be transported.

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The kit represents an RAF Hercules C1-P of No. 70 Squadron at RAF Lyneham in  1982 following "Operation Corporate" in the Falklands.  It features the in-flight refuelling probe rapidly developed to enable the aircraft to fly across the South Atlantic and which Italeri provide on a separate sprue.  The camouflage pattern of dark sea grey and dark green was applied using Humbrol spray enamel, paper masks and large quantities of masking tape.  The underside light aircraft grey was brush applied as Humbrol apparently do not do a spray can of this colour (I suppose I should get an airbrush some day).  Once dry the underside was weathered along the panel lines.  The decals
came from various sources: codes and stencils from an Airwaves "RAF Desert Storm"
 sheet for a Hercules C3-P, roundels from an Xtradecals sheet and more stencils from the kit decal sheet. The upper surface walkway lines were formed using Xtradecal red and yellow stripes with the red stripe applied first, made dashed by brush painting over with the camouflage colour, and then applying the yellow stripe!  The whole was then sealed in with Johnson's Kleer - followed by a large drink and a lie down.

As the stereo display stand is full this model gathers even more dust on top of a filing cabinet.

If making this kit again I would probably sand down the panel lines (especially around the nose) and illuminate the interior.  The RAF Meteorological Flight "Snoopy" would make an interesting model...Hmmm. 

Darius

Photos and text by Darius Aibara