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1/48 AC-130U - back on the road.


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Hi all,

I've just registered on here after browsing the forums for a few years. Seeing the amount of info on here about the AC-130 kit made me want to join, after just going and getting hold of one (thats a pretty hard thing to do in the UK, no where stocks them any more!).

Now I am by no means a modelling expert (far from it!), but from what I have seen from reviews and discussions about this kit, it seems there are a lot of shortcomings and various bits and bobs that need to be changed. I am looking at building 89-0510 ("Gunslinger", I think), which transited through RAF Mildenhall 02-06/08/09. I dont have too many reference pictures of this particular aircraft, apart from the ones I took on the day.

So looking at these pictures, a few questions came into my mind (and excuse any loose terminology here, Im not very knowledgeable on AC-130s!)

ModelAC2.jpg

In the above picture, does the aerial (No.1) come in the kit? What about the window pointed out by No.2 (I assume this is an observers window).

Also, is there anywhere one could get hold of a set of 1/48 DIRCM turrets (No.3) or are there still none available.

Looking closer at the sensor on the front onderside of the aircraft:

ModelAC1.jpg

What are the two bits denoted by the blue arrows, are they just aerodynamic attachments - I cant find pictures of them on any other pictures of AC-130s, and they dont seem to be in the kit?

Also, could anyone advise me about the colour of the nose cone (its a bluey-gray, photo is not in very good light)

This is all just research so when the kit turns up in the post I can crack on. I've bought a set of the WolfPak decals, so thats sorted (will just need to change the number from 0154 to 0510), and Im looking at the flightpath set for the cockpit area).

Thanks in advance for any help,

Ben

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It may be possible to use the parts provided in the Hasegawa Weapons Set D for the LANTIRN AAQ-14 Targeting Pod as your DIRCM. The whole forward portion of that pod is separate from the main pod body which makes for less cutting to modify the thing. The only other issue would be on what the optical ports look like on the DIRCM in comparison to the LANTIRN Targeting Pod.

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Hi all,

I've just registered on here after browsing the forums for a few years. Seeing the amount of info on here about the AC-130 kit made me want to join, after just going and getting hold of one (thats a pretty hard thing to do in the UK, no where stocks them any more!).

Now I am by no means a modelling expert (far from it!), but from what I have seen from reviews and discussions about this kit, it seems there are a lot of shortcomings and various bits and bobs that need to be changed. I am looking at building 89-0510 ("Gunslinger", I think), which transited through RAF Mildenhall 02-06/08/09. I dont have too many reference pictures of this particular aircraft, apart from the ones I took on the day.

So looking at these pictures, a few questions came into my mind (and excuse any loose terminology here, Im not very knowledgeable on AC-130s!)

In the above picture, does the aerial (No.1) come in the kit? What about the window pointed out by No.2 (I assume this is an observers window).

Also, is there anywhere one could get hold of a set of 1/48 DIRCM turrets (No.3) or are there still none available.

#1, no it doesn't come with the kit. Instead it has the large air data probe thingy that the H model gunship has up on the right side of the nose. #2, it's an observer's window, and yes it is included. #3, you're on your own. I made some for my MC-130H, and you can see the process and results in the link terryt provided. They're not hard.

Looking closer at the sensor on the front underside of the aircraft:

What are the two bits denoted by the blue arrows, are they just aerodynamic attachments - I cant find pictures of them on any other pictures of AC-130s, and they dont seem to be in the kit?

Also, could anyone advise me about the colour of the nose cone (its a bluey-gray, photo is not in very good light)

This is all just research so when the kit turns up in the post I can crack on. I've bought a set of the WolfPak decals, so thats sorted (will just need to change the number from 0154 to 0510), and Im looking at the flightpath set for the cockpit area).

Thanks in advance for any help,

Ben

Yeah, those are just fairings. The sensor is in the kit, but mounted in the original not-so-aerodynamic "block" the first U boats had. As for the color, any of the guys around here that have worked around any of the birds done up in the shamu paint job can tell you that it fades fast. The color is whatever you want it to be. The wolfpak decals are awesome, they'll let you do it up right when all the painting is finished.

Here's a link showing a finished 1/48th U boat straight OOB, it should be helpful.

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Cheers for the links guys, much appreciated.

Dez, I've been following your MC-130 with interest, if I could get my AC anywhere near that standard I'd be over the moon!

I'll have a look at the Hasegawa Weapons set to see if I can steal a LANTIRN head - thanks for that Jeffry!

Just waiting for the thing to turn up in the post now!

Ben

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Hello,

Excuse me but the photo does not look like an AC 130U but the AC 130 H SOFI mod I worked on at Lockheed Ontario in 1989-90. . The AC 130 U has the CT II type nose and other features.

Unless I am mistaken.

I will post osme pics od and AC 130 U i took at edwards in 1997.

Tim

Hi all,

I've just registered on here after browsing the forums for a few years. Seeing the amount of info on here about the AC-130 kit made me want to join, after just going and getting hold of one (thats a pretty hard thing to do in the UK, no where stocks them any more!).

Now I am by no means a modelling expert (far from it!), but from what I have seen from reviews and discussions about this kit, it seems there are a lot of shortcomings and various bits and bobs that need to be changed. I am looking at building 89-0510 ("Gunslinger", I think), which transited through RAF Mildenhall 02-06/08/09. I dont have too many reference pictures of this particular aircraft, apart from the ones I took on the day.

So looking at these pictures, a few questions came into my mind (and excuse any loose terminology here, Im not very knowledgeable on AC-130s!)

ModelAC2.jpg

In the above picture, does the aerial (No.1) come in the kit? What about the window pointed out by No.2 (I assume this is an observers window).

Also, is there anywhere one could get hold of a set of 1/48 DIRCM turrets (No.3) or are there still none available.

Looking closer at the sensor on the front onderside of the aircraft:

ModelAC1.jpg

What are the two bits denoted by the blue arrows, are they just aerodynamic attachments - I cant find pictures of them on any other pictures of AC-130s, and they dont seem to be in the kit?

Also, could anyone advise me about the colour of the nose cone (its a bluey-gray, photo is not in very good light)

This is all just research so when the kit turns up in the post I can crack on. I've bought a set of the WolfPak decals, so thats sorted (will just need to change the number from 0154 to 0510), and Im looking at the flightpath set for the cockpit area).

Thanks in advance for any help,

Ben

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Here are photos of the prototype AC 130 U At Edwards in 1997. I was mistaken about the Ct 2 Nose Radome.

I also found my complete set of Ac 130H interior pics. I took of one of the birds I worked on at Lockheed. Very detailed interior shots.

ac130uprototype105mmcannonc.jpg

ac130uprototypels40mmcannon.jpg

ac130uprototypenose1.jpg

ac130uprototypercuircm.jpg

ac130uprototyperearbeaverta.jpg

ac130uprototyperhsvfar.jpg

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Here are photos of the prototype AC 130 U At Edwards in 1997. I was mistaken about the Ct 2 Nose Radome.

I also found my complete set of Ac 130H interior pics. I took of one of the birds I worked on at Lockheed. Very detailed interior shots.

IMG]http://i232.photobucket.com/albums/ee297/crediblesport/ac130uprototypetail.jpg[/img]

ac130uprototypersobserwin.jpg

ac130uprototypersobservorwi.jpg

ac130uprototypersobservorw1.jpg

ac130uprototypersobserlhsp.jpg

ac130uprototypersensorsand4.jpg

ac130uprototyperrhsideprobe.jpg

ac130uprototypewingprobe.jpg

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Those are some cool pics! Beware though... That is the prototype U model. The current one has had many, many, many, mods. For example, the air data probe on the right side of the nose was not installed on the production U-boats. The H model Gunpigs don't even have it any more. I worked H model Gunpigs for a few years in the late 90's and I tell you having that boom heading at you like a spear when you are marshaling was intimidating at first...lol

Just check your Reffs and try to keep to the time frame you want to build. It is really easy to mix and match with these birds if you are not careful!

I'm interested in the interrior shots of the H model. Maybe you can start a thread in the research forum....

Curt

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Thanks Curt,

Im mainly going to be using the shots of 0510 at the top of the page that I took at Mildenhall this month. Only downside is I havnt got any shots of the other side so thats what Im using other pictures for. I know the AC-130s are always being upgraded with lumps and bumps, so its going to be a long process with the kit - which ones to remove and which to add? The probe on the nose for example, I might try to mate with an outboard pylon to form the probe that is under the wing in my shots.

Cheers

Ben

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The kit turned up yesterday, and it really is HUGE! I didn't realise quite how big... :monkeydance:

Anyway, first update! Worked all day on the panel lines, because I think they are the biggest downside to the kit, and something I really wanted to get right.

Very simple process once I got the hang of it. Trace along the raised line with the scalpel, then flip it over onto its back, and use the back of the blade to score along the thin groove guideline. Increase the pressure on each pass (I did about 9 per line) to get a nice deep panel line. Then use very fine grade sandpaper (I used 1200 grade) to sand off the onld surface detail (once you have done ALL the lines). Use the scalpel again to get rid of sandpapered plastic "dust" that has gone into the panel lines. Give it a wash under running water and rub with a cloth, and done!

Done both forward fuselage pieces, both tail sides and the rear fuselage gun side. Hopefully get more done tomorrow evening!

IMG_3088.jpg

IMG_3089.jpg

And the rather lovely WolfPak decal sheet:

IMG_3092.jpg

IMG_3090.jpg

C & C welcomed!

Ben

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Just so you know..."The Handsome, Sleek, High Performance C-130" has been around since 1953 and even the brand new C-130J coming off the assembly line today in Georgia still has the overlapping panels and big rivets along the tail aft of the troop door. So the raised panel lines are more real than engraved on that airplane. Granted my L100-30 stretch requires a lot of sanding and will have to be rescribed but I will add all the external fuselage stiffeners and rivet rows on the tail to give it that "beasty" look. Most gunships and MC-130's have the drag index of a cinder block anyway with all the "add-ons" for the SOF mission. It is good to see another Herk being built though! :)

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Watching with interest. Keep up the good work!

Aircommando is right about the rivets and panels also. Also there are steps and gaps all over the place so don't stress. The aft wingbox has a huge sealent filled step on the real thing! The skin aft of the ramp also has some oil canning and dimpling around the rivets on alot of herks. The tail is very flexable.

Curt

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Hey Curt...talking about gaps...our MC-130's at Kadena would leak more water inside during a rainstorm than if you were out in it! We had one airplane that had a sea marker dye pack that had opened in the airplane and for a long time when it rained that bright green dye would leak out around the ramp area on the ground. It was very weird to see those green streaks running down the ramp! :monkeydance:

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Looking great so far! If I had much in the way of u-boat pics I'd have 'em out here for you.

Looks like I'd better get back to work on mine...

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Todays update - got the weapon side fuselage built, and have spent most of the day playing with Milliput epoxy putty and Plasticard. Building aerodynamic fairings around the forward FLIR turret and using the card to make structural braces on the fuselage (stole that idea from your MC-130 build Dez!).

Here she is at the moment, still trying to get the forward part of the fairing to look right :

ac2.jpg

ac3.jpg

ac1.jpg

Turret putty looks a little rough because I havn't finished sanding yet

Ben

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