1/72 Masterkit EMB-312

Gallery Article by Fernando I. Moreno Villa on Nov 26 2010


EMB-312 - Fuerza Aérea Paraguaya

The Tucano is a tandem-seat turboprop trainer developed by Embraer in the 1970s. 

This airplane has been a commercial success and has been exported to several countries: Argentina, Perú, Venezuela, Colombia, Honduras and France. Embraer's Tucano was selected as the new advanced trainer by the Royal Air Force, wining an important contract which included licensed manufacture by Shorts in the UK. It was also produced locally under license in Egypt, which supplied several units to Irak and Iran. It can provide a "jet-like" flying experience and features Martin Baker ejection seats and hard points to carry almost a ton of ordinance.

Paraguay received 5 units in the 1980's, three of which still remain active. Recently, Brazil donated another batch of 3 second-hand aircraft to the Paraguayan "Moros" Squadron to reinforce border protection and anti-drug interdiction. 

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Masterkit was a Brazilian brand and this is the only kit I know from them. Now out-of-production, the Pioneer2 might be the only other alternative for an EMB-312 in this scale, while Airfix still offers the Short's Tucano version. Comparing both kits, they share the same mold but the quality of the plastic is better in the Pioneer2.

The kit was injected in soft white plastic with engraved panel lines, but very basic seats and almost no cockpit detail. I had to build both front and lateral control panels to increase interior detail. Take special care during wings placement and alignment; they might also need some shape and size corrections.

Wheel bays are totally detail-less, but at least they are not simple empty spaces as in most vintage kits. If you want a very realistic look, you should do some scratchbuilding or get expensive resin detail sets. This kit has serious fit issues, mostly the nose and wings sections, so it needs a lot of sanding work. 

Remember to add as much weight as possible in the nose because this is a tail-sitter. In my case, all the ballast I added was not enough, so I had to build a base to hide the problem. 

Based on the few pictures I found of the real Paraguayan Tucanos, I figured out the camouflage pattern and colors to do the paint job. The colors used were Medium Green, Olive Drab and Dark Tan (Model Master acryls). Undersides were painted Flat White and spinner/props in Gunship Gray. 

With no decals available for this version, all of them were printed over Testors paper, with some help of an old friend…

Pre-shading and post-shading of panels were done with airbrush. After that, I applied a coat of Future and later, an oil-wash to highlight engraved lines and add some dirt. 

I hope you liked this model, which I finally completed after 8 months of interrupted work…

Thank you all and regards from Monterrey, México.

Fernando I. Moreno Villa

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Photos and text © by Fernando I. Moreno Villa