Jump to content

Minicraft 1/144 NC-135B SATCOM TESTBED


Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

To say I build slow would be a major understatement! This project started life in a different state, and in a different decade! It went through two other abandoned conversions (EC-135E ARIA and WC-135B) before finally becoming what you see here… the sole NC-135B. It was a test bed for the emerging satellite technology of the late ‘60s through the early ‘80s. (In 1982 the airframe became an RC-135S Cobra Ball.)
 

The 1/144 Minicraft KC-135E kit (now Academy) had some improvements added including:

 

*Fisher resin nose

*Details added to the main wheel wells

*Reinforcing bands sanded off and re-done using thin tape and paint

*Added visible rib detail to cargo door

*Refueling boom deleted and pod modified

*Engine cowls and blades replaced with resin copies of the Minicraft 707 parts.

*Removal of the turbo compressors on the engine pylons

*Added faired “bulge” below HF antenna at top of tail

*Large SATCOM antenna fairing 

*Antenna on left wingtip

*Filled and re-scribed most of the fuselage, and deleted some panel lines on the wings, and re-scribed others

*Added the additional A/C intake under the forward wing root area

 

Paints were enamels (Model Master, Xtracolor and Testors). Decals are kit, aftermarket, spares box and custom. 
 

And lastly, a BIG thank you to Chris (Gator52), Don (Drifterdon), and Paul (Dutch) for their help with decals, parts, info and motivation!

 

 

IMG_3274.jpeg

IMG_5621.jpeg

IMG_5596.jpeg

IMG_5595.jpeg

IMG_5614.jpeg

IMG_5612.jpeg

IMG_5607.jpeg

IMG_5624.jpeg

IMG_5604.jpeg

IMG_5606.jpeg

IMG_5631.jpeg

Edited by bluedot25
Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, what a unique -135. It look fantastic. So many extra bits. 
What am I seeing in the windows? Did you detail the cockpit or are they decals?

-Jeff

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, ST0RM said:

Wow, what a unique -135. It look fantastic. So many extra bits. 
What am I seeing in the windows? Did you detail the cockpit or are they decals?

-Jeff


Thanks very much Jeff… Those windows are decals and are made by Authentic Airliners Decals. They make a whole line of civilian airliner window decals and ONE set for a military aircraft… the KC-135.  The only difference from their 707 windows is the pilots are wearing green flight suits instead of white uniform shirts. (And yes, you can see the difference even in this small scale!)

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Tom,  Just gorgeous!  Love it!  I really like those Authentic windshield decals!   They look 3D.  Right now, I am building even slower than you.  Spent the weekend in TN building a 1:1 scale tree house for one set of grandkids.  K/r, Dutch

Edited by Dutch
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Out-friggin-standing Tom!   This is such an amazing build.   Way better than my Shell 77 build and so far, way better than any of my RC builds.   You've given me inspiration to get back in the 135 groove.

On a side note, 2662 was eventually converted into one of the RC-135S Cobra Balls.  (Edit....Reading is fundamental.  You mentioned this became a Cobra Ball.   I was so blown away by your workmanship I just glossed over the text)

Edited by Drifterdon
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/29/2024 at 10:46 AM, Dutch said:

Tom,  Just gorgeous!  Love it!  I really like those Authentic windshield decals!   They look 3D.  Right now, I am building even slower than you.  Spent the weekend in TN building a 1:1 scale tree house for one set of grandkids.  K/r, Dutch


Thanks Dutch! Yeah, the windshield decals are great… They’re thin and not too difficult to work with.  They make a whole range of civil airliner stuff, but just the one set of military. You could use a set of say, DC-10 cockpit decals on a KC-10, but you’d be able to see the pilots have on white shirts! I really wish they’d expand their line to include more military stuff.  BTW, the landing lights on the inner wing leading edge are also their decals. They make a sheet with several sets of different Boeing landing lights. The 3D effect is nice…

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 5/31/2024 at 5:17 PM, Drifterdon said:

Out-friggin-standing Tom!   This is such an amazing build.   Way better than my Shell 77 build and so far, way better than any of my RC builds.   You've given me inspiration to get back in the 135 groove.

On a side note, 2662 was eventually converted into one of the RC-135S Cobra Balls.  (Edit....Reading is fundamental.  You mentioned this became a Cobra Ball.   I was so blown away by your workmanship I just glossed over the text)


Thank you Don… coming from a -135 expert like you, thats high praise indeed! I’m very flattered. But please don’t discount your own work! Its amazing!  I took alot of inspiration and motivation from your “in progress” posts. (And, look forward to seeing some completions!)  Such an amazing airplane the -135… and seemingly endless possibilities for conversions to us modelers… thanks again!

Edited by bluedot25
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.

Guest
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...