Planet Models 1/72 GAF Nomad
|NOTES:||Resin kit with metal bits and vac clear bits|
The Government Aircraft Factory N.22
Nomad first flew in 1971, a twin engine STOL transport, it was developed to
maintain production at GAF after the Mirage contract was completed.
look at the bits,
visit this preview.
For a look at the bits, visit this preview.
Started as usual by cleaning up the pouring lugs and flash, then washed the resin parts in warm soapy water. Assembled the cockpit, a floor with centre console, instrument panel and coaming, 2 seats, and two control wheels. I painted this mostly light grey, with the instrument panel and console dark grey and then dry brushed silver to pick up the moulded instrument detail. The seats are very clearly visible so I made some seat belts from blue masking tape, and added a drop of silver paint to represent the fittings.
Built up the passenger cabin, it's not really visible through the small side windows so I didn't put a lot of effort into it. The floor was badly warped, A soak in hot water and leaving it overnight between two blocks of wood sorted that. There were 10 moulded markings for seats. References vary between 10 and 12 passengers, Planet split the difference and supplied 11 seats. I put 2 at the front of the floor in an obvious space, and left out the seat just inside the cabin door. Painted the inside of the cabin and the floor Tamiya XF-4 “yellow green” a really noxious colour and one of the worse smelling paints I have ever used. Painted the seats dark red for a bit of variety. The inside of the local scrap yard example appears to be a sort of pale apple green, but is very faded and flaking.
I packed the nose area and the spaces around the nose undercarriage bay with lead shot and superglue, not sure how much, I just kept adding shot till it was full, probably about 20 grams. Joined up the fuselage, got a good match along the top and a small step about midway along the underside. Filled the joint with superglue and sanded clean. Added the lower stub wings, main wheel housings and rudder, nothing was a great fit, and had another fill with Mr Surfacer and a sand session.
I then added some of the small detail items, first two bulges under the wings, I have only seen these in a photo of the first prototype under test, so not sure if they were present in the production models. Then eight shark fin like objects under the wings, I guess they are actuator housings, and then a scoop on top of each engine, these were not shown in the instructions, but obvious in photographs of the aircraft.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
I went with the Australian Army
version supplied with the kit, a easy all dark green scheme. Masked the cockpit
and didn't bother with the cabin windows.
I then added the white metal undercarriage legs, all that lead worked, it's not a tail sitter, but only just. Hit another snag, the nose wheel leg is too short, or the main legs too long, as the stance is very nose down. I soldered a length of copper wire to the nose wheel fork, and adjusted the length till it sat better. Not a bright choice, the melting point of white metal is about the same as solder, and I melted part of the leg. Superglue would have done the job OK. Then added the nose undercarriage doors. There were no main wheel doors supplied, and my photos show them on some civil aircraft, but not on Australian Army planes, so I decided they weren’t needed. I didn't use the four resin oleo forks supplied, really were too small to handle, and nearly invisible between the main wheels.
A bit more detail painting in the cockpit, then added the vac-formed canopy. I hand painted the framing with decanted rattle can green, as I have had trouble trying to match these colours in the past. Painted the top of the canopy Tamiya X-25 'clear green', there is a bit of variation in this panel, some aircraft have it as solid, some clear and some tinted. I used Krystal Klear for the side windows. At this point I noticed the extra windows, so the Klear got carved out and the holes filled with two part automotive body putty. Another sanding session, and a respray of the rear section of the fuselage.
Decided to add some orange panels to give a bit of interest to the model, it looked very dull. Should have painted them first, as it needed four coats to cover properly.
Used the kit supplied decals which worked fine with a little setting agent. I rearranged the 'ARMY' wing logo and the roundels to match one of the photos. There was a lot of variation on Army Nomads, logos come and go, as do the orange panels. I found 5 pictures of A18-312 and all are different. Then an overall coat of floor wax to seal the decals.
Then added the five wheels, which had nice resin hub detail moulded on one side only. Hit another snag, the metal axles were too short on the main wheel legs, so I glued the tyres onto the legs instead. The nose wheel fork was far too large for the tyre so I had to squeeze it in, then again glued the wheel tyre rather than the hub. Had to touch up the paint on the wheels again. Last step was adding the propellers.
A fairly simple build of a high quality and expensive resin kit of a small and relatively obscure airliner. Lots of small resin detail parts. A few fixes needed, but easy to deal with. The model is let down with a few inaccuracies, especially the windows. The build was a lesson in checking references before starting a build.
It is interesting to compare to other
aircraft, in the general class of Dragon Rapide / Beech 18 replacements, like
the Beech King Air, DHC Twin Otter and the Britten-Norman Islander. All very
similar except for the minor matter of sales figures. This plane has a local
connection for me, I can see the factory it was built in from my kitchen window,
and I watched them test flying in the 70's.
Recommended for all, especially those who enjoy filling and sanding.
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