The C-130 is the mainstay transport aircraft for numerous nations and has been operational since 1957. The newest C-130J, incorporates many upgrades avionics and the most notable being the newer engines with six blade propellers.
The Indian Air Force purchased six C-130J-30 in early 2008 for its special operations forces. The IAF also has the distinction of having performed the highest landing of a C-130J at Daulat Beg Oldi airstrip in Ladakh at the height of 16,614 ft. (5,064 m ).
This is Minicraft's first C-130J Model. This kit comes in light grey plastic with clear canopy and navigation lights.It shares most of the parts from the earlier C-130 Kits. The difference in this kit is that it comes with new engines, six blade propellers and extended wheel sponsons. But there are no cockpit, antennae, hatches or air conditioning Intake details.
This kit was sent to me by myfriend Vinayak who had made the same kit with modifications carried out to extend the fuselage to represent the 15ft. (4.6m) extended fuselage variant C-130J-30s.
The fuselage was cut at two places and a plastic water pipe used to carry out the extension. I used three pieces of pipe. First to form the backbone second one squeezed inside the first to widen it so it fit snug against the inside of the cut fuselage parts. once the fuselage parts were glued together I added the third and final pipe piece on top to make it flush with the cut fuselage pieces. (I have added pictures of the same below).One also needs to cut the short wheel sponsons and fit the extended wheel sponson supplied with the kit. As there are no antennae, hatches, Aircon intake, TSS chin attachment hard point and Assorted Radars on top of fuselage those were scratch built.
Paints used were Tamiya mixed and matched. A coat of Future Floor Polish and later a mix of future andLifecolor matt was applied for the dull satin finish.
The kit decal were only used for walk lines, all other decals were self made on a Inkjet printer. Roundels and fin flash are from Brightspark Decals.
This was a bit tedious but enjoyable build. Minicraft has now launched the extended version while I was struggling with this build. My sincere thanks goes to Vinayak for providing me the kit, tips, reference pictures and also pointing out the many mistakes I made thru the build.
Happy Republic Day to fellow Indians "Jai Hind"
Photos and text © by Murli Rajan