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This is the 1/72 scale Heller E-3 Sentry kit I built for a former squadron-mate and friend. He was a member of the mission crew in the back, flying many missions during the Second Iraq war. He had seen some of my previous builds and requested that I build an AWACS for him. After discussing what he wanted and what options were available, he provided a photo of the A/C that he flew the majority of his missions on. I suggested that adding some AGE and maintenance personnel would provide scale reference. The kit was supplemented with Flight Path resin engines. The Flight Path set included photo-etch parts for the engines, landing gear, roto-dome and air-frame. Also added was a resin antenna upgrade set from Contrail Models. This consisted of the phased array antenna on the fuselage sides, along with the chin array and the tail sensor. Hasegawa maintenance personnel and AGE equipment kits were used. I created the tail markings on my computer. I used Model Master Voodoo Gray (which I am told is the closest match to the Boeing gray paint used on the real thing).

 

The flight line base was created using artists paper glued to ¾ inch thick plywood. I used Google Earth to look at the flightline at Tinker to determine the correct size of the concrete sections, proper markings and staining. I drew the lines for the concrete sections with a pencil and used artists acrylic paints to create shadows and depth, along with stains. And for all you former USAF aircraft maintenance folks, note that all personnel are wearing reflective belts and double hearing protection. You’re just going to have to trust me on the last item.

 

All in all a very challenging, yet enjoyable project. The best part of the build was the reveal to my friend, who was extremely pleased with the end result. A win/win.

 

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That is superb, you did your friend proud.

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Very cool, even reflective belts for the ground crews!

 

 

HAJO

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Quite nice. Ground crew adds much life to the model and begins to tell the story of all the people involved in and affected by the airplane's mission. 

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Amazing work, the E-3 looks like it is real. I always thought the 707 was a beautiful plane.

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Looks great Ross, this is one on my to do list with the assorted extras you added.

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Wowza that came out beautiful. I built that AWACS when it was first released so many years ago and I enjoyed it. At the time there was not much aftermarket for it and now it sounds like there is a lot more. I have another one in my stash and I want to redo it as the one I built is somewhere else. All I had add were DB engines as that was all there was. I do have a set of side array pods produced by a German modeller and will add that. 

 

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That came out nice! I like the engine covers and yes the "disco" belts on the maintenance folks! I was at Altus in the C-5 program and I'd go up to Tinker and get the 552nd "ELF ONE" deployment package ready for airlift and then help get it loaded on the C-141 for the trip to Saudi Arabia. I've got that same kit on the shelf along with a 72nd KC-135A "Steam Jet" tanker to build giving gas to the E-3A. Great job! I'm sure the guy you built it for loved it...I know I would!

 

Cheers...Ron

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To all who have this kit in their stash, check the decals for the correct national markings, i.e. "Stars and Bars".  The kit I received had no red bar on the US national insignia.  I contacted Heller and they were aware of the problem and were supposedly ordering corrected decals.  I did not wait for them, I purchased aftermarket decals so I could complete the build.  Again thanks for all the complements.

Ross

 

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Wow, nice build!

 

And definitely a win-win!!! :salute:

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