Anigrand 1/144 C-17 Export Version (RAF)

KIT #: 4004
PRICE: $116.00 SRP
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Greg Ewald
NOTES: Invest in putty. And sandpaper. And patience

HISTORY

 The Globemaster III is one of the largest aircraft to ever fly the friendly (and unfriendly) skies.  The massive guts of the airframe can haul just about everything you can think of, from light armored vehicles to an entire squad of armed personnel. Supplies for those in need, a jeep or two, perhaps a LAV?

The Royal Air Force leased a number of these lumbering beast to haul their treacle, tea, sausage, beer, chips, and armed forces starting in the beginning of the new millennium.

Capable of hauling 170,000 pounds of stuff, this addition to the Globemaster line is being marketed by Boeing to a number of allied countries, from the land of Oz to the Hockey Hair country above. Just think how much Moosehead you could fit into one!

The lumbering giant can also take off from primitive airfields (think Oklahoma) in the short distance of 3,500 feet, not too shabby for such a jet.  It will be interesting to see if the C-17 Export will be popular, with the fall of the Soviet Union, and the desperate need to sell Antonov’s to keep the Russian jet economy rolling.

THE KIT

 You are going to need some reference material for this build (see links) The directions are a simple diagram, on one page, and you kind of have to figure how things go together by yourself.  The instructions are very grainy, and squinting to try to figure out some stuff will be mandatory.

For the most part, the resin is perfectly cast. Problem areas on my sample were on the nacelles, the tail, and a warp in the fuselage.  Test fitting is mandatory, as in with every resin kit, and a lot of cutting and sanding is going to be necessary. If you decide to dry sand, make sure you wear a good mask, or you are going to have a bloody nose for a few days (if not even worse things!).  There are thousands, yes, thousands of pinholes on the surface that will need to be taken care of, so be sure to prime with a paint that you can level out with some 200-600 grit paper.

The C-17 and the little jets that come along with it are fairly simple, but do build up into good representations of the craft (s).

The wheels and landing gear are unusable, you need to find metal gear, or make your own with some wire and a soldering gun. This may only be true of my copy, I have talked to others who had no problems at all with their moldings.

Enough of my whining, the resin is nice and hard, no soft bits anywhere. The wings of the 17 aren’t warped at all, which is absolutely amazing, considering the size : 13.5” span!   It is too bad the fuselage isn’t as straight.

The smaller jets go together in a few minutes, with a bit of putty, sanding, etc.  There are a number of slices and vents in the resin, which, as Daboss noted in his preview, you will have to replace with plastic stock card.

As has been noted elsewhere, the nose is a bit off in shape, but in this scale, it is hard to notice. If you do want to correct it, buy even more bondo.

CONSTRUCTION

Break out the sandpaper, glass block, and lots of clamps.  Starting with the main fuselage, glue together the main halves, and clamp together very hard. The warp needs to be taken out !  It took four separate applications of putty to get the seams to lie down with each other, and I ignored the panel lines (in 1/144th they would be tiny).

Much like doing a vac, I like to sand the pieces on a bit of sandpaper glued down to a flat piece of glass or marble, use some spray contact adhesive. Once you use this method of fitting halves, you won’t use another!

Putty, sand, repeat. Over, and over again.  Every time I thought I had gotten rid of the air bubbles, I found another, and another, ad infinitum. (I'm sure that the image of the kit in a roll of TP has some sort of subliminal message.....Ed)

The fuselage is tough, but wait until you get to the nacelles. Oh my.  I spent over twelve hours on just the four engines alone, filling, sanding, filling, sanding, priming, fillingsandingfillingsanding….well, you get the idea.

The vertical tail section fit on perfectly, without a hitch at all, but will snap off with a hard breath. The locating pins for the tail are extremely weak, and are over large, you will need to drill out the holes slightly. Even with using metal pins to replace the uprights, the tail is very easy to break off. Weak spots in the resin lend a new dimension to “having fun modeling”, so get used to swearing a lot.

 I sat back in disbelief, until I tried to attach the upper tail fins. Arrrgggh.  The fin locating pins were also overly large, so I drilled out the reception holes to fit. Do NOT do this with a high speed bit ! Use a pin vise, or do what I like to do when drilling resin: let a battery for your cordless drilling device get almost to the dead point, and then attack. It turns with a little “r-r-rrr-r” sound, so you don’t end up melting the resin.  Gently, like you are a “resin whisperer”.

I like to use a mixture of white glue and talcum powder as a filler in small complex voids, and you are going to need to do something with the mating of the wheel housings to the fuselage (yes, they are supposed to be offset). Apply a 3/10 (talc to glue) mix and smooth with a wet finger or large brush. Viola !

As you can guess, I didn’t care for the landing gear too much, so I did this build “wheels up”, the kit gear is far to weak to hold the weight of the finished jet. This model is a tail sitter too, so you would need to add even more weight to the nose.

Keep up with the sanding, and puttying, and sanding, and priming. Do this for a very, very long time. The panel lines are too deep for me, so any psr doesn’t really effect the look of the finished  1/144 jet.

The canopy is another build on its own. Yikes, even with building up the outer rim using styrene strips, the fit is not that great, and will require putty too. It might be a good idea to just attach the clear bits initially, and paint in the windows, as you can’t see much of the interior anyway.

In a sense, this model reminds me of an ad from an old Mad magazine (“what, me worry?”) selling a scale model of the USS Arizona. You got a chunk of wood, a knife, and a drawing of the Arizona, along with the instructions that said: “Remove anything that doesn’t look like the ship in this picture.”

There are little fins that go on the sides of the engine housing, all of mine were short-shot, so I made some new ones from sheet styrene. Oddly enough, the outboard winglets were perfectly formed, and fit into place quite nicely.

After taking off the masking from the cloudy clear parts, I decided that I did not like the look at all, it was too clunky. The whole canopy was sanded down, rescribed, and the windows painted in, much better!

THE LITTLE JETS

  Well, I don’t know really what to say about this. ‘60’s era aircraft with a brand spankin’ new lifter? Hmmm. I guess they could be being transferred to an airshow?

For the size, these little guys go together like sausage and pizza, no sweat, and just a little bit of psr to make them roadworthy. I built the “spider crab” (Vampire) easily, and the parts just about snapped together.  They snap apart just as easily.

The other jets remain in their little plastic bags, I can only take so much agony.

COLORS & MARKINGS

 Hey !  How about another drab gray aircraft ?  Yeeeha!  God, I really wish the powers that be would change the camo patterns of stuff now and again. Ah well. Here, you have a large and gray bloated whale of a jet, with a few tiny markings.

The exhaust nacelles were painted with Testor’s metalizer, and then given a light oil-based wood stain to give them that “worn in” look. The intakes, after a lot of filling, were painted black and highlighted with a silver pencil. Detail on these pieces is so-so, once again, a superdetailer will want to remake them.

One of the engine housings is so differently formed that the exhaust sticks out like a sore thumb, unless one of the engines is supposed to be larger? Looking at the walk-around photos, I could not see a difference, but I may be incorrect. (We have Russian airlift jets at the nearby airport, but no C-17’s. Hmmm.)

The insignia for the tail need to be cut along dotted lines to fit either the port or the starboard, remember, red in front and blue in back.

The decals go on without a fuss, and lay down well. The colours are vibrant, even over the drab gray paint job.  I did screw up and get decals 10 and 11 mixed up, 10 is shorter, and goes on the outside of the winglets, 11 goes on the fuselage.

Smaller side windows are mere dimples in the kit, so fill them and paint, or use a clear compound such as Krystal Kleer.

The jet was mounted on a simple brass strip, bent into a gentle S-shape, and affixed to a heavy chunk of oak stained black.  The Vampire was mounted on a piece of copper wire, flying just below, perhaps in an escort role for the aforementioned air show over Leeds?

CONCLUSIONS

Not the easiest resin kit to put together, but it is an unusual item. I am curious to see how the almost as expensive Revell injection molded run comes off.

If you are into large cargo craft, this might be the kit for you. I would recommend getting or making metal landing gear if you want to have it on the tarmac.

The thing is, once you are done, you look at the plane, and you say… “holy cow, that jet looks huge!”  It makes all of the time and effort worth while, if you are into this sort of thing. Metal landing gear would be a nice aftermarket item. Hint, hint. ( did I mention metal landing gear?) 

My thanks to www.NostalgicPlastic.com for the review kit.

REFERENCES

Other sods who have built the kit.

Be sure to check out this link for a good walk around: http://www.bdomke.de/AviationImages/Globemaster.html

 http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C-17_Globemaster_III

Greg Ewald

October 2008

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