Caracal Models CD 144019: C-9 Nightingale/Skytrain II

Units: See review




Scott Van Aken

I am particularly pleased to see this particular Caracal Models sheet being released for personal reasons. One is that I live near Scott AFB, home of the 375th AAW/AW where the majority of C-9As were based so saw these planes all the time. The other is because I was in VR-30, the first USN squadron to get the C-9B, so worked on these planes. Naturally I'm a bit disappointed my squadron isn't included on this sheet, but basically it is just a serial and code change so should be fairly easy to replicate. The plane name, however, is another thing. Below is an image of a C-9A. Note the left side window arrangement. To my knowledge all C-9As were so equipped so the seventh option shown above is probably in error.


The original batch of special built C-9Bs were in the 159/160xxx serial number range and each squadron had three planes. Note that both the USN and USAF planes are combis so have a cargo door on the left side behind the main entrance door. The later 161/162/163/164xxx planes are ex airliners so don't have this door. All C-9Bs had a crash locator beacon on fairing behind the horizontal stab. Early C-9As did not have this but were later retrofit with it. That will have to scratch built by the modeler as the Airfix kit for which this sheet is designed does not have that. I have included several photos, one of which shows the beacon (which on Navy planes was international orange on the right side, though white on the USAF versions) and another the cargo door.

The sheet provides options for seven aircraft:  

C-9B Skytrain II "City of Roswell" BuNo.161530, VR-46, US Navy

C-9B Skytrain II "City of Virginia Beach" BuNo.159120, VR-56, US Navy

C-9B Skytrain II "City of Seattle" BuNo.159116, VR-61, US Navy

C-9B Skytrain II "City of Dublin" BuNo.164607, VR-57, US Navy

C-9A Nightingale 67-22584, 375th AMAW, USAF

C-9A Nightingale 71-10875, 374th TAW, USAF

C-9A Nightingale 71-10879, 375 AAW, USAF

C-9A Nightingale 71-10876, Operation Homecoming '73, 375th AAW, USAF

The grey is a Douglas color, but seems fairly close to ADC grey for practical purposes. The instructions state that 16515 is also pretty close, but I'm unaware of any ready to go paint in this shade.  The sheet provides sufficient markings to do one aircraft. You are given cheat lines for both USAF and USN planes along with a goodly selection of window decals. Alternate serial numbers are also provided.  This will mean filling in those on the Airfix kit. There is a short run kit by Fly of the DC-9 that you might also consider, especially as the Airfix kit has become scarce and is pricey when you do locate one. Hopefully Airfix will reissue it.  This set of markings is superbly printed by Microscale so you know you are getting the best.

July 2019

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