Force acquired their T-34C between 1979-1981 to replace the older A model. A
total of 25 ex- US Navy Turbo Mentors were acquired and went straight to 102nd
Training Squadron based in Adisutjipto AFB. Most of the Charlie (as they
passionately referred to) are still in good shape and still flying today.
images below to see larger images
box contains 3 different mediums, injection molding, resin and vacuform plastic.
began with the resin cockpit. The detail of the cockpit resin supplied by True
Details is very good. Also other parts namely the wheels, rockets, pylons and
fit of the plastic parts is poor. There were no guiding pins to assist the
alignment of both fuselage halves. After wet sanding and dry fitting the
cockpit tub to the fuselage numerous times, finally the cockpit is glued in place.
must be taken when inserting weight into the nose area. I put about 7 or 10
steel BB's into the nose area and that was enough to prevent a tail-sitter. I
suggest putting more than 10 just to be safe.
halves are glued in place with two-part epoxy, superglue and lots of rubber
bands. The joined fuselage was left to dry for several days. Wings, vertical and
horizontal stabilizers were glued soon after. Lots of sanding was required to make a
smooth blending between the wings and the fuselage.
all the main body assembly completed, then came the next challenge : the Canopy.
The plastic is made of vacuformed Plastic, and that proved somehow a challenge
for me being a novice modeler. It is too hard to cut with a regular scissors and
too soft for a small saw. Good thing Czech Model gave a spare canopy just incase
we damaged the first one. Thank Goodness I managed to cut the canopy from its
casting block without a scratch.
comes next. After masking the canopy frame, the model was sprayed with Tamiya
Primer and given a base color of Gunze Sangyo H-73 Light Gray. Yellow Training
Stripes airbrushed with RLM04 Yellow, after a base spray of Gloss White. The
Training Stripes were airbrushed onto the outer part of the wings, vertical
stabilizer and spinner. After the painting process was completed, the model was given a
generous amount of glosscoat lacquer to protect the paint job
to prepare the model for decal application. The model was left about a week for
the paint to dry completely.
came the most difficult part : Decals. Since the beginning I intended to build
an Indonesian Air Force Turbo Mentor. As
I and hundreds of Indonesian Modeler found out, there are NO aftermarket decals
out there for the Indonesian T-34C. So I decided to make a custom, handmade, the
first, the one and only Indonesian Air Force T-34C belonging to the 102nd
Training Squadron using my trusty Canon IP-4500 Inkjet printer.
a plain white decal paper for the National insignia, the distinctive Red-capped
yellow bird emblem of the 102nd Training Sqn., and a transparent
decal paper for the serial number, the decals were drawn freehand with a photo
editing software, printed and sprayed with glosscote lacquer for added
several trial and errors, all the homemade decals were applied with very little
effort. The Decal Paper quality was so good that they conformed to the complex
surfaces of the plane without any decal softener. Lovely!
finally, overall, despite of its shortcomings, this is quite a good kit and
captures the outline of the real Mentor. The tail-heavy look of the real thing can be simulated on the model when you
put a little extra effort working on the nose wheel area and the nose gear strut
as I did.
kit as I found out is not for a short tempered modeler and not for the faint
hearted one. I almost threw this model out of
window several times during assembly mostly due to my own recklessness.
once completed, it's a sight to behold (at least for me).
my Wife said it's one of my best (and she's a very blunt Critic). Thanks Dear,
coming from you that means a lot : )
dedicate this model to all Indonesian Air Force Pilots. Keep 'em Flying Boys!.
from Jakarta, Indonesia
images below to see larger images