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  1. In 1971, while stationed at Nha Trang AB, Vietnam, I was fortunate to work on the C-130E Rivet Clamp aircraft (later upgraded and designated "Combat Talon"). I was an ECM technician assigned to First Flight Detachment which was, at that time, part of the 90th SOS. These were specially modified C-130 aircraft that were painted in a black and green camouflage scheme. This gave them a very sinister look. Their many unique modifications included terrain-following radar, ECM sensors. Low Light Level TV, and a ground sensor for locating vehicles on the Ho Chi Min trail. They were also equipped with the Fulton aerial pickup system (made famous in the movie "The Green Berets"). Many of the sensors they carried would later be used on the AC-130 gunship, but the Rivet Clamp aircraft carried no weapons. The aircraft I've decided to model is aircraft 64-0555 ("Triple Nickel," shown above) using Italeri's 1/72 C-130E/H kit. I'll be adding the nose from a Flightpath C-130E-1/HC-130H/HC130P Conversion set and PE detail from Flightpath's C-130 Hercules Detail Set. I started off detailing the main landing gear wheel wells. The kit wells were pretty inaccurate so I made my own. I modified the gear struts and added some cables and piping. I also wanted to detail the crew cabin and the cargo hold. The Rivet Clamp cargo hold included a Special Operations compartment that I'll call the "Talon" compartment, where the ground sensors, ECM equipment and some special radio equipment consoles were located. In the model so far, I've detailed the lower deck equipment bay, the galley and the navigator's position. I modified the kit supplied navigator's seat and added seat belts. I also added the circuit breaker panels along the sides of the flight deck. The kit's flight deck was incorrect, as was the rear cabin bulkhead so I made my own versions of both. The picture below shows the raised deck for the pilot,co-pilot and engineer's seats temporarily in place. I also went ahead and built and detailed the center console. It was necessary to get the raised deck and console in place to accurately position the main instrument panel which I'll add next. Once the crew cabin is finished, I'll start on the Talon compartment. In order to be able to see the detail in the crew cabin and cargo hold, I've cut out a section of the top of the aircraft that will be removable, as shown below. Thanks for looking and I welcome any comments,criticisms or suggestions.
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