Airfix 1/72 C-130H Hercules
Carmel J. Attard
Airmodel AM-59 conversion set
used along with Flavo decals FD72008
need of replacement of ageing
and Beverley transport aircraft gave rise for a decision by the RAF to order
66 aircraft known as C-130K. Further more in order to cater for the
requirement in the Royal Air Force the Lockheed Company have modified
Hercules C-130K XV223 to form the prototype Hercules C Mk3 and this made
first flight on the 3rd of December 1979.
The fuselage was
stretched by 15 feet in order to increase capacity from 92 to 129
infantrymen or from 64 to 92 paratroopers. There were 29 other Hercules C
Mk1s, which were modified to Mk3 standard by Marshall of
who completed the modification programme in November 1985. Commencing during
the following year C Mk3s (XV176/177, 183/184, 188/190, 193, 197,199, 202,
207, 209, 212, 214, 217, 219/223, 290,249, 200, 301/305 and 307 were all
fitted with the air refuelling probe as Hercules C Mk3Ps.
Several air forces around the world received the stretched version of the
Hercules. Among there were the air forces of Canada, Algeria, Zaire, Spain,
Portugal, and Kuwait, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Holland etc. Dutch Air Force
has two C-130H-30 Hercules aircraft, these bear the names Ben Swagerman
(G-273) and Joop Mulder (G-275), which are assigned to 336 Squadron at
Air Base. There was also the civil version of the stretched Hercules known
as L-100-20 and L-100-30. The difference between the latter two is in the
difference of length of stretch in fuselage sections at forward and aft
sections. The L-100-20 had shorter stretch lengths.
early Airfix kit was used for this modification. Besides, there are at the
moment two more kits at 1/72 scale, which can just as easily be converted to
I have favoured in building a Dutch aircraft being aware of a recently
release of FLEVO DECALS FD-72-008 which contains complete sets of decals for
a C-130H and a C-130H-30 Hercules which also includes the minute stencil
instructions printed on the aircraft.
Using the early Airfix kit or the reboxed kit C-130E/H that is practically
the same Italeri E/H, this is not entirely correct for a C-130H. The C-130H
in the left main landing gear spons. Because of this the gear sponses on
both sides are larger. On the right side of the C-130H are different
air-cooling intakes while the C-130E (Airfix kit) has the triangular shaped
intakes. The C-130H has an air scoop n the outside of the airframe
on forward fuselage section. There is an air scoop on the front of the main
landing gear. After modifying the kit into a true H version the next step
was to stretch the fuselage to produce a C-130H-30 version. There are three
ways to go about it. One can opt to use the stretch pieces from an old
scrapped C-130 fuselage. If you have an old scrapped C-130 do not throw it
away. A second method is to use the ‘Flightpath’ conversion set, which
consists of a forward and aft resin plug to stretch the fuselage to the
correct length. Being a resin conversion kit this may prove to be pricey. It
can be ordered directly from their site www.djparkins.com. Lastly one can go
about lengthening the fuselage utilising the vac form plastic plugs provided
by AM-59 set. This Airmodel conversion set has the great advantage as it is
relatively less expensive and also has parts for no less than 13 different
C-130 versions. So far I have used this set to make a JC-130A besides the
plugs for the C-130H-30. This can be obtained from www.airmodel.de.
Applying plugs from AM-59 set is easier than any modellers imagine. Anyone
with average skill and experience can complete this job successfully and the
end result will be very pleasing. The plugs are made of soft white plastic
and needs to be reinforced effectively to avoid disappointments at a later
stage and experience cracking at joining areas.
The kit fuselage is first cut in two places. A masking tape wrapped around
each fuselage section will serve as a guide during cutting. For the front
plug the fuselage is cut straight along a panel line located next to the
front porthole. This plug is 35.2 mm long. The rear extension can be
obtained in same way and its length now must be 28.2mm.
The vac-form plugs are first cut to the required lengths, smoothened
at the joints, each half glued together to form the same circumference as
the C-130 kit fuselage section diameter. The two plugs are each reinforced
with cross bulkheads and longitudinal brackets. One can use balsa wood
inserted in the plugs as an alternative method and I went for the first one.
The assembly of the kit then followed the instructions…. building the
cockpit, install body gear wells and apply the conversion details mentioned
earlier. When it comes to insert the plugs, a steel rule is used to check
the alignment of the section to ensure that the plugs are properly aligned
and permanently glued. A small amount of filler will be required followed by
smooth sanding at the joining areas. Ample of time was allowed to set and
obtain a strong long fuselage. Having said that the rest of assembly is that
of a standard kit. Extra work to follow was detailing the forward wheel well
and main well, reshaping top and bottom Pinocchio nose of the Airfix kit,
reshape rear of tail plane bringing it shorter by 1/16”, add two port holes
each side of the fuselage, blank sponsor intakes, extend front of sponsors
by ½” and add sponsor air intake to front. These were all scratch built
items making reference to photos. All panel lines on all wings were scribed
since the ones on the kit were all raised type.
A countermeasures pod designed to provide full dimensional protection against
radar directed weapons was added under the outer wing pylons. The pod provides
self protection jamming against pulse doppler or The AN/ALQ-131,
originally developed by Westinghouse, is an external electronic CW
jamming threats. The ALQ-131 accomplishes this by responding with a combination
of noise, repeater or transponder electronic jamming techniques. The pod weighs
600 pounds, with modular design for multiple frequency band capability. It has
an ability to be quickly re-programmed against changing threats.
Although no longer in production, the AN/ALQ-131 is still operational on A-10,
F-16 and C-130 aircraft in the US Air Force and 11 other countries. With More
than 1,600 units produced, it is one of the most successful ECM systems ever
built. Operational Flight Program (OFP) Block software up-dates are expected
about every two years, or as tactically required based on the continuum of
threat evaluation to support theater tailored User Data Files (UDF), and jammer
technique optimization. The AN/ALQ-131 is gradually being replaced by the more
can get a couple of these pods from any A-10 or F-16 kit and fix it under wings.
I preferred to scratch build mine, as I had none readily available.
R Netherlands A.F. Lockheed C-130H-30 Hercules of 336 squadron could be
assembled as G-275 ‘Joop Mulder’ or as G-273 ‘Ben Swagerman’. Both landed at
Hal-Luqa airfield, Malta on occasions during the past years. The aircraft was
finished in overall mid gray MM FS 36375 (light Gull Gray). This also had a dark
gray protective coating on the underside of the aircraft and runs up to the
front fuselage. The overall gray varied in different tints from the weather.
Both versions of the Dutch Hercules have been seen flying with the Electronic
Countermeasure Pods AN/ALQ-131. These were light gull gray FS 36440 with an
off-white or medium–gray nose. Engine air intakes were silver, prop spinners
were black and the blades were a mix of silver and gray with a small band on
blade in light ghost gray. Prop tips were insignia yellow FS 33538. The wings
walkways were given a slightly darker shad of grey. In the end the completed
model was given two coats of Klear (Future).
After applying decals the completed model was given a semi flat coat of
Model Master lacquer.
was another big project I enjoyed building. I used parts such as the twin dorsal
antennae which I acquired from the Revell C-130J that were surplus, so never
throw away such items. I have now the longest kit in my collection; fitting in
existing showcase is another thing. The same method can also be used to produce
a C-130J-30 Hercules, the one with 6-bladed prop using the Revell C-130J kit.
Carmel J. Attard
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