Home     What's New     Showcase     Workshop     Products     About Testor     Search     Links

C-130E Hercules
Part Two

by David W. Aungst




This was my fourth time building the Testors kit. This was a contract job for a C-130 crew person, a loadmaster. This was one of several models this guy had me build (mostly C-130's) so they could hang over the wet-bar in his basement. This one was his prize, though.


The Kit

In a previous posting, I discussed the exterior details of this huge kit. This posting will discuss the interior portions of the kit.

Unlike the previous Testors C-130's I had been building, this one actually got the interior built. What a chore! The interior pieces mostly fit, and most of the major shapes are present, but they lack detail. The original advertisements for this kit boasted it being so complete that "even the broom used to sweep the cargo bay interior was provided". Yeah, right... That broom is the only minor detail present in the cargo bay, and it is attached to a frame member I have never been able to locate in all the C-130 tours and photo sessions that I have taken.

All the major shapes are there, but they lack real definition. The large air conditioning ducts and some of the more prominent pipes are molded into a couple of pieces that fit into the roof of the cargo bay, but a lot of the overhead wiring and plumbing is not present. The boxes that form the wheel wells are present with their quilted fabric covering molded onto them. The floor has lots of relief molded into it to represent the tie-down lugs and anti-skid panels. None of the web seating running down either side of the cargo bay is present. The insides of the fuselage halves have no details molded into them (like quilting or wiring or anything). The large frame members around the cargo bay doors are provided, but they are too smooth and regular, lacking the look of the quilted fabric that covers them in the real aircraft.


The cockpit is only marginally more complete. All the crew seats are there, but they are much too "clunky" looking. The major instrument panels are present, but only about half the actual instruments are molded on them. As the C-130 is a four engine aircraft, there are a lot of intruments that should come in groupings of four or eight, especially on the center main console. About half of the instruments are missing with most of the groupings coming in sixes. Which engine was not present in the aircraft Testors used for their research?

The instrument layout of the overhead engineer's panel is just plain wrong. Like the main instrument panel, the molded instruments and gauges on the engineer's panel reflect a three-engine aircraft. The only thing right about the panel is its location on the ceiling.

The navigator's position has all the instruments molded into the inside of the fuselage right half. Most of the large scopes are represented, but they lack bulk. As surface moldings on the inside of the fuselage half, they are nothing more than the faces of the instruments without the boxes that the instruments go with.

In defense of Testors I have to admit that most of this detailing is not even visible in the completed model. The view through the cockpit windscreen panels and through the lowered cargo door in the back is rather limited. Painting just the details that are there so things look busy is more than enough to make a presentable C-130, even to someone the crews the real thing.


With the exception of the eyelets I mounted in the wings and fuselage to allow for hanging the model, I build it completely out-of-the-box. Someday I hope to do another C-130 with a truely complete (read "mostly scratch built") interior. I have around 200 pictures of the interior to support that project, but the person contracting for me to build this model was not interested in paying for all that work.


Camouflage and Markings

The aircraft is painted mostly in Testors Model Master enamel paints. At the request of the person contracting for me to build the model, I painted it in the standard European I scheme (for the C-130) with European Green (F.S.34092), Medium Green (F.S.34102), and Gunship Gray (F.S.36118). While I prefered the European II scheme, personally, only two of the unit's aircraft were painted in that scheme with the rest in European I. The person contracting for me to build the model wanted the model to represent one of the European I aircraft that he most frequently seemed to get assigned to.

It took some research and comparisons with pictures to determine the interior color of the C-130 (and most of the Lockheed airlifters). I have not found any official documentation and I have seen a few variations, but the closest match looks like it is Blue (F.S.35414). I have seen some more olive colored interiors, but most appear to be close to this blue. This is interspersed with areas of Dark Gull Gray (F.S.36231) depending on which area of the interior you are looking at.



For markings, I used the kit decals and added the AFRES titles on the vertical tail so the aircraft could be interpreted as a locally based 913th Tactical Airlist Group aircraft. I also revised the serial number on the tail to be the exact aircraft from the 913th TAG specified by the person contracting for me to build the model. To complete the markings, I hand painted a low-vis rendition of the unit badge on the forward fuselage.

For weathering, I used my typical style of thinned down enamel paint washes and air brush shading. I followed this with some silver dry-brushing to pop out detailing. For a more complete discussion of what I do to weather my models, see my posting on HyperScale, "Weathering Aircraft".


More Pictures

Click the thumbnails below to view larger pictures:

Home     What's New     Showcase     Workshop     Products     About Testor     Search     Links

Photographs and Text Copyright 2002 by David W. Aungst