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1/144 KC-10A Barksdale AFB, 1993

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A couple of years ago I ran across the "International Color and Camouflage" article in the July 1992 issue of FineScale Modeler describing the then-recent paint changes to the USAF tanker/transport fleet.  An interesting tidbit caught my eye: some months before Air Mobility Command established FS 36173 as the standard finish, SAC painted one KC-10 in FS 36320 as an experiment.  The author (Dana Bell) was kind enough to include the tail number for this one-off, so after a quick Google search I found several good photos of 83-0082 wearing a noticeably lighter shade of overall gray than the 36173 I've been accustomed to seeing on the Extender fleet for the last 30+ years.  A couple other details make this scheme stand out compared to the standard AMC treatment: no black radome, and painted engine inlets (vice natural metal).


In addition to the unique Dark Ghost Gray finish, this model also represents the transition of the KC-10 fleet from SAC to AMC.  When the post-Cold War USAF restructuring took effect June 1, 1992, Barksdale's two KC-10 squadrons were reassigned to Air Mobility Command, while the base's B-52s and KC-135s remained assigned to the 2d Wing under Air Combat Command.  The 458th Operations Group was activated to oversee KC-10 operations at Barksdale on AMC's behalf until both squadrons transferred to McGuire AFB in 1994.


AMP kit...fought me every step of the way, but it's done!  Reminded me of the old joke: "What do you call the person who graduates last in their class at medical school?  Doctor."


Surface detail is good, and the engines are probably the single biggest improvement over the Revell KC-10 kit, though the compressor blades for the #2 engine are significantly too large and require some carving/grinding to get the cowling halves to properly join.  AMP missed several of the tanker details, as no cargo door is provided, the fuselage-mounted drogue housing is missing, as are the lights on the upper leading edge of the fin.  I cut up one of the wing-mounted drogue pods to represent the fuselage-mounted drogue.  The boom is well done, though the boom operator housing seems too narrow and doesn't fully represent the profile of the real thing.  The prominent antenna fairings on the upper fuselage are also missing; a friend designed/printed a pair for me (Thanks Shaun!).  The aft/lower fuselage joint was the toughest, as the alignment is quite tricky and there is little mating surface to work with.  The precut paint masks for the windscreen were great.  I broke the nose gear strut early on; in the unlikely event I tackle another AMP Extender, I'll figure out how to add it last.  I added a brace between the nose gear well and the cockpit floor to hold the gear well firmly in place.


Decals are a mix of kit (pretty nice!), custom, Caracal, and Draw.  Paint is Model Master enamel FS 36320.


(edit--I should have taken a photo of it alongside my FS 36173 KC-135 to better show the paint contrast...will do that next time I'm set up for photos)














Thanks for looking,




Edited by Gator52
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Terrific work, Chris!  Looks perfect for a well used KC-10 and the scheme is distinctive!  You are just cranking out the tankers and bombers now!   Thanks for all the tips on the AMP KC-10 kit build.  I will definitely keep those in mind.   

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Outstanding!  Even in the small scale it looks like the large jet that it is.  Well done!  Just zoom it around the room a couple times and back to the Shelf of Satisfaction.


Rick L.

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Wow!  Very very nice Chris.   I've wondered how this kit looked.   You knocked it out of the park.

I was just looking at my Revell KC-10 kit on the shelf of doom last night, wondering what I needed to finish it off.  Motivation is what I need.   Motivation!

Don :salute:

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Great job on the KC-10...When I was at Altus in the C-5 Barksdale 

had converted to the KC-10 and we'd fly down to the AR track 

for heavyweight AR training. We'd put 100,000 pound of cargo 

on the C-5 and go spend 4 hours up behind the KC-10 for fuel

offload and dry plugs. Was a big airplane to look at from the C-5 

cockpit windows. Again...great job and thanks for bringing back




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