|Hasegawa 1/200 C-130 Hercules|
What can one say about the Herc that hasn't already been said.Superlatives seem to follow the aircraft throughout its long and continuinghistory. When Lockheed first designed this aircraft in the early 1950s, theycouldn't have foreseen the huge success that this aircraft has become. There areprobably as many countries flying the C-130 as there were flying the T-6 Texan.Any world Air Force with the ability to maintain an aircraft of this size has atleast one of them.
The market for 'used' C-130s is large and many of the earlyC-130A and B models built in the mid-1950s have found a new lease in life in themilitary forces of many smaller countries and with civil operators. Theyare particularly useful for fighting fires as a paletted system has beendeveloped that is quite effective. Many of the ANG units in the Western US havethis capability and have been used with much success in the huge number of firesthat have plagued the US this summer.
They are also used by civilian fire fighting operations, whofind the relatively low maintenance cost attractive after years of flying largeround motored aircraft. The civilian hauling business also uses quite a fewC-130s. The Hercules has the ability to use unimproved surfaces like dirt orgravel. It is capable of lifting quite a substantial load from these shortstrips so is widely used to supply isolated areas. They are particularly usefulin supplying mining operations with heavy equipment.
Though it is nearing 50 years of operation, the C-130 is stillbeing built. The current C-130J is really a vastly different aircraft from theC-130A of 1953, but still is unmistakably a Hercules. There is no real end insight for the Herc as there will always be a market for an aircraft of its type.
Hasegawa is the company that started building airliners in 1/200scale and it isn't unexpected that they would produce kits of other aircraft inthe same scale. The C-130 is dated 1987, and unlike the earlier 'Love Liners',it has engraved panel lines. There really isn't that much to the kit as onewould expect of such a small scale. The sprue containing the engines, props andfuel tanks has been repeated. The cockpit glass has been made into one largetransparency. This should make it easier to blend into the surrounding nose andis the only transparency included. There is also a stand should you wish todisplay your Herc in flight.
One would almost thing that Hasegawawas planning other versions of the herc due to the way that the kit is molded.For instance, having separate forward sections of the landing gear sponsonswould make sense as other versions have these different. The kit also has aseparate rear ramp section, though there is no real need in building it open asthere is nothing in the aft cargo area.
Instructions are typicalof Hasegawa and are very easy to follow. There are markings for two Air NationalGuard C-130H aircraft. One is from the Oklahoma ANG in the European I scheme of34092/34102/36118 with the underside in 36118. This is a bit unusual as mostEuro I Hercs are in a wrap-around scheme. Also missing is the title 'OklahomaANG' that is usually on the sponson.
The other scheme is avery early one in SEA markings of 34102/34079/30219 upper with 36622 lowersurfaces with the Mississippi ANG. Again, most C-130H models were not deliveredin this scheme and there is also no state identifier on the aircraft. This onehas a yellow tail band common before the switch to Euro I.
Thedecal sheet also includes full upper surface wing walk markings and otherstencils. It is unfortunate that there are no aftermarket decals for thisaircraft as the ones provided in the kit are really a bit dull. It should not betoo difficult to fashion something else from the spares box. All ANG aircraftunderwent a change to AMC grey about 10 years ago which is a MUCH easier topaint scheme. For a time, they were also blessed with large tail codes, whichadded some interest to the aircraft.
As to what this kit looks like built, I cannottell as I have never seen it built! However, it does not look too complicatedand should make a nice model. Don't forget to add a lot of nose weight!!
Review kit courtesy of me and my wallet!
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