Jump to content

Fire Bomber C-130s

Recommended Posts

Not really much to do, just slap some fluorescent paint on over the standard unit markings. That is all they do on the real thing.



I haven't seen the C-130s up close, but the UH-60s look like they use children's non-toxic water based paint and a big brush.


Edited by Aaronw
Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not Greg, but I do some of his artwork so maybe can shed a little light on it.

The fluorescent colors used would not be possible to reproduce on the printer used for Draw Decals. Since they are crudely done usually, I would think they could be hand painted on the model.


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

There are 4 x U S Air Force C-130 units that keep crews trained for aerial fire-fighting: 3 x Air National Guard units and 1 x Air Force Reserve Unit.

They use the Modular Airborne Fire-Fighting System Two (MAFFS II) to dispense the retardant. It's a modular system can fit into any C-130 so the tail numbers will vary. The only mod required is to replace the left troop door with a MAFFS II specific one that allows for the outlet pipe. Replacing the troop door is extremely easy and takes no more than 15 minutes at the most. If you see a pic of one with twin pipes protruding from the cargo ramp and door area, that is the old MAAFS I system that is no longer used.

Each unit has 2 x MAFFS II systems stored at their location but the US Forestry Service actually owns and maintains them. Each MAFFS II system is assigned a number and it is that number which is displayed on the aircraft.

The Wyoming ANG flies C-130H3s and is assigned MAFFS II system #s 1 & 3

The California ANG flies C-130Js and is assigned MAFFS II system #s 4 & 6

The North Carolina ANG flies C-130H3s and is assigned MAFFS II system #s 7 & 8

The AFRC unit is the 302AW out of Peterson AFB, CO. They fly C-130H3s and are assigned MAFFS II system #s 2 & 5

So, if you see a USAF C-130 performing a fire-fighting mission and it has the number 5 displayed on it, it's 99.99% probability it's a Peterson bird. The tail number might vary but it will be a tail number that belongs to that unit. Only in a rare case would it be different. An example was when the CA ANG was converting from the "E" to the "J" model. There were some initial interface issues with the MAFFS II system and they couldn't use them. One of the other 3 units "borrowed" them to fight fires until the "J" model bugs were worked out.

As for the numbers themselves, they're usually not painted on the C-130s anymore. They're appliques applied at home station before they deploy to fight the fires. Check the web and you'll find a variety of fonts used: even one that looks like Times New Roman LINK.

Anyway I hope this helps,

Edited by Jay Barfoot
Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are the 1/72 Warbird decals selling on eBay:


I know they are the wrong scale for you, but you could ask Warbird decals if they will scale them to 1/144.

Thanks for that Scooby, just found Warbird Decals still has them on their website. So I ordered a set along with a nice KC-135A sheet!

Now I need to figure out how to scratch build the pipe coming out the para door.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...