KIT: Lodela/Heller 1/72 T-6G Texan
KIT #:  
PRICE: about 100 Mexican Pesos
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Fernando Ignacio Moreno Villa
NOTES: Discontinued, manufactured in Mexico under license


T6G Texans served with the French E.A.L.A. (Escadrilles d'Aviation Légères d'Appui) in North Africa before being complemented with T-28 Fennecs and Skyraiders for COIN missions. These veteran trainers saw intensive action in Algeria during the independence fight that lasted from 1954 to 1962. 

It comes from an old Heller mold. Obviously, it has raised panel lines but also has good surface details considering its age. Lacked of detail in the landing gear and cockpit, but at least it offered more or less good engraved control panels. It is a very basic but nice kit. I found the art of the box attractive, so I decided to follow it as my guide.  


Well, as usual, the first step was to work on the cabin. After attaching the seats to the base, I sprayed all in Interior Green. I painted the control panels and sticks apart and finally, I attached the whole thing to one side before closing the fuselage.

Then I went to the wings. It required some putty and sanding at wing joints. Fuselage assembly went OK, it fitted well but required also some putty and sanding work. Landing gear and weapons were left to the very end, as well as the transparent single-piece canopy.

Texans that served at the early stages of the Algeria campaign maintained the yellow trainer scheme. So I covered it entirely with Insignia Yellow, after painting and masking the Flat Black sections. Rudder was a problem because there was no decal provided for it. I had to mask and apply colors one by one, starting with White, then Blue and finally Italian Red. I had to mix Insignia Blue + White to get the correct French tone. Spinner and motor were painted apart.

The following steps were: a coat of Future, decals, seal with Future. An oil wash with Black and Siena for weathering, some silver dry-brushing, some pastels and a final spray of flat clear coat. All paints and clear coatings were Model Master acrylics (except Future), sprayed with a Paasche H single action airbrush.
This was a OOB (Out of Box) project, so I avoided any aftermarket item. I just made seat belts using masking tape + Aluminum foil and also and some fine copper wire to add some little realism to the motor.
The kit supplied a decal sheet with two options: French E.A.L.A. or Gabonaise Presidential Guard. It was difficult to get more references for the latter option, so I preferred the first one. Decals proved to be very fragile and I was forced to paint the shark mouth with a fine brush and patience!

I was satisfied with the outcome. This is a very basic but nice kit, I enjoyed getting back to the hobby with this venerable airplane that served in so many fronts with so many countries. It is pretty good for beginners, but I would recommend the Academy, that had recessed panel lines and more detail. I should warn about the Testors kit in 1/72: it looks very good and well detailed, but it has the USAF rounded engraved in wings and fuselage!!!
Also, I’m very happy to present my first submission to Modeling Madness.
Air Combat Information Group -   .
Osprey Publishing Men-At-Arms “The Algeria War 1954-1962).

Fernando Ignacio Moreno Villa

June 2007

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