Roden 1/144 C-124C Globemaster II
|Scott Van Aken
The Douglas C-124 Globemaster II, nicknamed "Old Shaky", was a heavy-lift cargo aircraft built by the Douglas Aircraft Company in Long Beach, California.
The C-124 was the primary heavy-lift transport for United States Air Force Military Air Transport Service (MATS) during the 1950s and early 1960s until the C-141 Starlifter entered service. It served in MATS, later Military Airlift Command (MAC), gained units of the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard until 1974.
There is a ton more on the aircraft at the reference link below.
This Roden kit builds the later and more frequently seen C-124C. This version uses the wing tip heaters and has the nose radome in with the kit. This latter piece was loose in the bag and not attached to a sprue. The other major change from the earlier kit is that this one has different engine cowlings.
Like all Roden kits of the last few years, the molding detail is very nicely done engraved lines. The kit has clear bits for the cockpit and what looks like a landing light lens, but it is not shown as being installed in the instructions. There is a fair cockpit with a pair of seats and instrument panel, but with the cockpit being painted black, you could easily paint the inside of the cockpit windows as nothing will be seen through the somewhat thick clear plastic.
One does need to treat this kit as an upper level short run kit. No alignment pegs or holes and a few holes need to be drilled. Such as for the outer flap hinges and the front of the engines for the prop shaft. The engine nacelles are a left and right side with just the forward row of cylinders, which is attached to a blanking plate. I appreciate that the entire forward cowling is a single piece as trying to fill forward cowling seams is a real chore in any scale. Landing gear is well done with all the wheels being in two halves.
The kit has a myriad of antennas, and Roden provides measurements from known points for you to attach these items. This time the instructions show nose weight and it will require 30 grams, not a small amount. Items that are cast and not used are a one piece lower nose hatch and a pair of wing spars along with the no longer needed early engine cowlings. The wing to fuselage join has some protruding attachment points which look to be sturdy enough.
There is a full color painting and markings guide using Model Master paint references. The lone markings option is the box art plane. No unit is provided. The kit has no side windows, with decals being used for this purpose. The decals are fairly well printed with no registration issues and are glossy. The 'last four' serial hexagon on the nose should probably be with a yellow background rather than white. As many of you know, Roden decals can be problematical. Not sure what the odds are of aftermarket as this is such a new kit, but they would be welcome.
I know this one will be welcomed by those who are into doing very big aircraft in 1/144 scale. Before this, the only option was Anigrand in this scale, and it was at least twice as expensive as this one is, with little chance to get it at discount. If you like the subject and are more comfortable with injected plastic, then this is one you should seriously consider. One thing I would have liked to have seen was a choice of markings options. This plane flew with many ANG and Reserve units and while most of us should be able to cobble up what we need from various letter/number sheets, it would have been nice to have had one or two of those included.
Thanks to Squadron Products for the preview kit. Get yours today at your local shop or other retailer.
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