Hasegawa 1/200 KC-10A






2 aircraft of 4th Wing


Scott Van Aken


'Nose Art 2'


Back in the mid-1970s, there was seen a need for additionaltanker aircraft in the USAF. The KC-135s had been out of production for over 15years and there was little likelihood of the production line being reopened.Searching around for another aircraft that could combine cargo and tankingmissions, proposals were requested and the winning design was a modification ofthe civil DC-10.  

First entering service in 1980 or so, the KC-10 fleet has been areal workhorse for the Air Force. In addition to being able to hold prodigiousamounts of fuel, it also has a very large cargo-carrying capability. So far, ofall the KC-10s delivered, only one has been lost, and that was due to a groundfire in 1986. When the first aircraft entered service, they were all assigned toSAC and painted in a very attractive scheme of white upper, grey lower with alarge blue cheatline that wrapped over the cockpit section. This eventually gaveway to the upper color being camouflaged in a dark grey that not only lookedugly, but faded rapidly and was a pain to maintain. This is the 'shamu' schemeshown on the box art. The current scheme is an overall AMC grey which will notas dark, still fades rapidly and is difficult to keep clean

During the Air Force reorganization of the mid-late 1980's, SACand TAC were disbanded and combined into the new ACC. Overnight, tail codessprouted on a number of former SAC assets such as B-1s, B-52s, and the tankerfleet. A huge number of C-130s were also transferred from AMC to ACC and begansprouting codes as well. After years of juggling these assets, all the tankersand most of the cargo birds were retransferred to AMC. Tail codes have left allthe non-combat big aircraft, to be replaced by rather boring tail stripes.


If you have built any of the DC-10 1/200 airliners, then this willlook quite familiar. All the panel lines are raised with only hatches, doors andcontrol surface hinges engraved. Different from the airliner kit are newfuselage halves and the tail boom assembly. All other bits and pieces arestraight from the airliner kit. The only transparency is the cockpit window.There is no interior as none is really needed in this scale.

The decal sheet is new giving two aircraft from the 4th Wing with SJtailcodes and a red fin tip as on the box art. The sheet is quite complete andwhile not having the color of the airliners, is well done.  The instruction sheet is from theinitial release of this kit back in 1987. It is typical Hasegawa being quitecomplete and giving good detail to the assembly sequence. Unlike most kits nowadays,a display stand is included, but it does not have the nice, big nameplate decalto go on it that the original issue did.

Having built several of the airliner DC-10s, I can tell you that fit is verygood and assembly should move quite quickly once you get underway.   

Review copy courtesy of Marco PoloImporters.

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