Iliad Designs 48033: Beechcraft C-45s

Units: See review




Scott Van Aken

The C-45 'bugsmasher' was a derivative of the Beechcraft model 18 that was developed for the USAAF during WWII and became so popular and usefull that it was upgraded and used extensively post war with both the USAF and the USN.

Fans of the type were quite pleased with ICM released this kit in 1/48. However, that enthusiasm has been tampered by the realization that only wartime plane could be built right from the box. Most of the really interesting schemes seem to be post war and several sheets, including this one, have markings for those later types.

However, not all is lost as the resin people have come to the rescue with conversion sets that include the longer upper wing engine nacelles and the enlarged section that fits between the engines and fuselage. This sheet suggests the Belcher Bits set, though there are others.

There are three options on this sheet. First up is a war-time SNB-2H hospital aircraft in overall unpainted metal  with black anti-glare panel. This and one other option will need some minor modification to add the proper shaped astrodome. Instructions have several good photos and it looks easy enough for any experienced modeler.

The second is a post-war UC-45J used as a hack at NAS Atsugi in the mid-1960. This one is painted overall white and does not have the astrodome. The modeler will need to drill two more circular holes in the fuselage opposite the ones shown. The upgrade set will be needed for this option.

Finally an immediate post-war AT-7C from 1946. Unlike the other options, this one has spinners on the prop hub. It will also need the astrodome built. The large buzz numbers are of interest and this unpainted metal plane had no de-icer boots save on the horizontal stabilizers.

There are sufficient insignia to do all three options. All of the options will need a bit of modification to properly portray the aircraft on the sheet. None of these are particularly difficult and will result in a neat looking model.

December 2017

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