1/350 L' Arsenal EC-130E

Gallery Article by Douglas Conrady on May 13 2013



One of my latest creations is a 1/350 EC-130E. The EC-130 was designed as an electronics platform in the 60's. Fast forward to 1980. In 1980, the US attempted a hostage rescue in Iran. Since the EC-130 had all sorts of cool and fun equipment, it was chosen as the aircraft to serve in the desert as a make shift base, Desert One.  Four of the aircraft and one MC-130 flew into Iran ahead of the RH-53D's.  Desert One was set up and when the RH's arrived, that's when things went from bad to worse.  An RH flew into an EC, and that was the final strike.  Operation Eagle Claw was over.  The RH-53's were destroyed and the 3 remaining EC-130's were loaded with the remaining men and they high tailed it out of there. 


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After completing the airwing off the Nimitz and the RH-53D's for Operation Eagle Claw, I went out and discovered there is a C-130 kit in the same scale.  Well, I just had to put it together, to complete the set.  The kit is from a company, L' Arsenal, whose main focus is resin ship accessories.  They have a line of aircraft too, mostly ship borne helo's and planes, but there are a few non-carrier types.  I found a US based distributer and promptly ordered one.  The little resin kit couldn't have been designed and executed better.  However, the kit is of a standard C-130. I  was going to have to make a few hangly-dangly things to make an EC-130.  I first went out and got lots of pis of EC-130's.  I even found pics of the actual aircarft I was modeling, 62-1818, right after it returned to the states from Eagle Claw.  I found 7 things I was going to have to add.  A beaver tail on the back, 2 antenna on the wings, 2 wing tanks, and 2 intakes above the fwd doors.  I made the fuel tanks from toothpicks, they seemed the right dimensions, without modification.  All the other add on's were made from sheet plastic and dead recogning. After studying photos, photos, and more photos, I decided that the landing gear was too tall.  So... I modified them.  I was able to lower and level the plane to more accurate dimensions.  Funny story, I lost the front wheels twice to the carpet monster... The set is about the size of a head of a pin, but I prevailed and wrestled them away.  The aircraft was painted in almost normal SEA camo.  The bottom was blackened, but the other colors/pattern were standard SEA.  I "discovered" a new way to apply camo.  I know most of you probably already do this, but I drew the camo lines on the model as a guide for painting.  I started with the tan, then the med green and then went to the dark green.  After that was all cured, I went back and applied the black.  Since I was modeling a covert operation, I didn't have to worry about decals.  They were all painted out.  All I had to do for markings was paint black too.

Please email me if you've got any questions or comments.

Thanks for looking and don't throw rotten tomatoes!

Douglas Conrady

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Photos and text by Douglas Conrady