KIT:

Hasegawa 1/200 C-130 Hercules

KIT #

MM 12

PRICE:

$18

DECALS:

See review

REVIEW &
PHOTOS :

Scott Van Aken

NOTES:

 

HISTORY

What can one say about the Herc that hasn't already been said. Superlatives seem to follow the aircraft throughout its long and continuing history. When Lockheed first designed this aircraft in the early 1950s, they couldn't have foreseen the huge success that this aircraft has become. There are probably as many countries flying the C-130 as there were flying the T-6 Texan. Any world Air Force with the ability to maintain an aircraft of this size has at least one of them. 

The market for 'used' C-130s is large and many of the early C-130A and B models built in the mid-1950s have found a new lease in life in the military forces of many smaller countries and with civil operators.  They are particularly useful for fighting fires as a paletted system has been developed that is quite effective. Many of the ANG units in the Western US have this capability and have been used with much success in the huge number of fires that have plagued the US this summer.

They are also used by civilian fire fighting operations, who find the relatively low maintenance cost attractive after years of flying large round motored aircraft. The civilian hauling business also uses quite a few C-130s. The Hercules has the ability to use unimproved surfaces like dirt or gravel. It is capable of lifting quite a substantial load from these short strips so is widely used to supply isolated areas. They are particularly useful in supplying mining operations with heavy equipment.

Though it is nearing 50 years of operation, the C-130 is still being built. The current C-130J is really a vastly different aircraft from the C-130A of 1953, but still is unmistakably a Hercules. There is no real end in sight for the Herc as there will always be a market for an aircraft of its type.

THE KIT

Hasegawa is the company that started building airliners in 1/200 scale and it isn't unexpected that they would produce kits of other aircraft in the same scale. The C-130 is dated 1987, and unlike the earlier 'Love Liners', it has engraved panel lines. There really isn't that much to the kit as one would expect of such a small scale. The sprue containing the engines, props and fuel tanks has been repeated. The cockpit glass has been made into one large transparency. This should make it easier to blend into the surrounding nose and is the only transparency included. There is also a stand should you wish to display your Herc in flight.

One would almost thing that Hasegawa was planning other versions of the herc due to the way that the kit is molded. For instance, having separate forward sections of the landing gear sponsons would make sense as other versions have these different. The kit also has a separate rear ramp section, though there is no real need in building it open as there is nothing in the aft cargo area.

Instructions are typical of Hasegawa and are very easy to follow. There are markings for two Air National Guard C-130H aircraft. One is from the Oklahoma ANG in the European I scheme of 34092/34102/36118 with the underside in 36118. This is a bit unusual as most Euro I Hercs are in a wrap-around scheme. Also missing is the title 'Oklahoma ANG' that is usually on the sponson.

 The other scheme is a very early one in SEA markings of 34102/34079/30219 upper with 36622 lower surfaces with the Mississippi ANG. Again, most C-130H models were not delivered in this scheme and there is also no state identifier on the aircraft. This one has a yellow tail band common before the switch to Euro I.

The decal sheet also includes full upper surface wing walk markings and other stencils. It is unfortunate that there are no aftermarket decals for this aircraft as the ones provided in the kit are really a bit dull. It should not be too difficult to fashion something else from the spares box. All ANG aircraft underwent a change to AMC grey about 10 years ago which is a MUCH easier to paint scheme. For a time, they were also blessed with large tail codes, which added some interest to the aircraft. 

As to what this kit looks like built, I cannot tell as I have never seen it built! However, it does not look too complicated and should make a nice model. Don't forget to add a lot of nose weight!!

Review kit courtesy of me and my wallet!

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