Hasegawa 1/200 KDC-10 'Royal Netherlands Air Force'
|PRICE:||$11.45 on sale at GreatModels|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Includes metal piece|
A need for new transport aircraft for the Royal Netherlands Air Force was first identified in 1984. In 1991 four categories of transport requirements were established. Category A required a large cargo aircraft with a range of at least 4500 km and the capability to refuel F-16s. In 1992, 2 DC-10-30CFs were acquired from Martinair in a buy/leaseback contract. When one of the bought aircraft was lost in theMartinair Flight 495 crash, a third aircraft was bought from Martinair.
The conversion was handled via the United States foreign military sales program, which in turn contracted McDonnell Douglas, the designer of both the DC-10 and the KC-10 tanker. Costs for the conversion were initially estimated at $89.5 million (FY 1994). The aircraft was to be equipped with both a boom and a probe and drogue system. However, because McDonnell Douglas did not have any experience with the requested Remote Aerial Refueling Operator (RARO) system, and because the third aircraft differed from the original two, the program could not be completed at budget. By omitting the probe and drogue system and a fixed partition wall between the cargo and passenger, the cost could be limited at $96 million. To make up for the cost increase McDonnell Douglas hired Dutch companies to do part of the work. The actual converting of the aircraft for instance was done by KLM. Conversion of the aircraft was done from October 1994 to September 1995 for the first aircraft and from February to December 1995 for the second. This was much longer than planned, mostly because McDonnell Douglas did not deliver the parts in time. This would have again increased the cost, but in the contract for the AH-64 Apaches which the Royal Netherlands Air Force also bought from McDonnell Douglas, the price was agreed to be kept at $96 million.
While Hasegawa doesn't do a dedicated KDC-10, one of their first 'Love Liner' 1/200 airliner kits was a DC-10-30, and that is what most of this kit is. This kit is not the newest around as it has raised panel lines for the majority of the kit. However, despite what has to be a hundred thousand pressings, the molds are still in very good shape. Only a bit of flash and most of that on the sprues and not the parts. The kit itself is well known so I've only shown the unique bits.
One wonders why the KC-10 fuselage molding wasn't used on this and I guess it has something to do with the KC-10 fuselage that made it unusable (probably the large cargo doors or perhaps fuselage length). Anyway, the builder has the option on this of either keeping the existing windows and filling in those that are not part of this version, or filling them all in and using decals (or perhaps both).
The kit will provide no surprises to anyone who has built these early offerings. One thing is that it cannot be built gear up without some surgery as it was designed for gear down. Seems a tad odd, especially as there is a display stand provided, but there you go. If you want to see what's needed to do gear up, visit myMD-11 article. To make it a proper KDC-10, the kit includes a metal piece that fits just forward of the boom. Those hoping this might be made into a KC-10 will be disappointed. It is hoped that Hasegawa will reissue the KC-10 as I get quite a few inquiries about that.
Instructions are fine and have the usual Gunze references. This 2003 boxing has the old style decals that will need very hot water for the best results. It includes all you'll need and the two different serial numbers used on Dutch KDC-10s. I'm assuming these are the last three digits of the constructor's number.
The end result is a model that should be pleasing to both the military and the airliner modeler. For sure it should be a pretty easy build as these things go and one that I can easily recommend (if you can find one).
You can (perhaps) find this and many other neat kits and accessories atGreatModels
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