by: Matthew Quiroz [ ]
Originally published on:
Lately it seems that Revell is bound and determined to command attention with their recent releases. Kits such as their 1/32 scale Ju-88 A1, 1/350 Bismarck and 1/144 scale Fletcher Class Destroyer, to name just a few, are making headlines just about everywhere this modeler looks. Although it may referred to as “small scale” by some in the modeling community, Revell’s new 1/144 scale C-17A Globemaster III is anything but small. Considering it has a wingspan of 14.25” and almost a 14” fuselage length, this new model is easily larger than some 1/72 kits and really grabs your attention.
This particular subject has a special place in this builder’s heart as I made some rather interesting and down right hairy parachute jumps from them and it is also the aircraft that carried my soldiers and me home from Iraq after 12 months of combat operations in the Al-Anbar province.
In the 1970s, the US Air Force began looking for a replacement for the C-130 Hercules (Another aircraft I’ve jumped from heavily). The Advanced Medium STOL Transport (AMST) competition was held, with the YC-14 being proposed by Boeing, and McDonnell Douglas the YC-15. Despite both airframes exceeding specified requirements, the competition was canceled before a winner had been selected. Fast forward to the early 1980’s, where the USAF would find itself with a large and aging fleet of C-141 Starlifter aircraft with some 141s having major structural problems due to heavy usage. (I know I have more than my fair share of flight time in them) Picking up where the competition had left off, McDonald Douglas was awarded a contract to continue with its production based on their YC-15 design, by then designated the C-17A Globemaster III, on 28 August 1981. The name refers back to its predecessors; the C-74 Globemaster and the C-124 Globemaster II. The new aircraft would differ in having more powerful engines, increased size, and swept wings allowing it to perform the same work performed by the C-141, but to also fulfill some of the duties of the C-5 Galaxy, freeing up the C-5 fleet for moving larger cargo. Primary users of the C-17A are the U.S., Canada, Royal Australian Air Force, and the Royal Air Force.
The KitRevell’s 1/144 scale C-17A Globemaster consists of 124 parts in medium grey styrene on ten sprues with thirteen parts in clear found on an additional single sprue. The parts are exceptionally well molded showing just minimal flash on my sample and also just a few knock out marks on the interior surfaces. The finish is smooth and well executed with no imperfections on any of the outer surfaces. Surface details are a combination of nicely recessed panel lines with raised features where appropriate. The engines and engine faces are especially well done.
The interior of this small scale kit is surprisingly well equipped as the main fuselage is lined with a full length interior shell with two sidewalls and the floor extending almost the entire length of the fuselage. The fuselage sidewalls have corresponding structural detail and straps molded in, while tie-downs cover the textured floor. Speaking of the floor, the decal sheet provides a plethora of decals for this which should look really cool when applied. The two forward bulkheads are also supplied, along with the interior staircase which leads to the cockpit. The cockpit features four basic seats, but that is about it. Even if more was offered it would be hard to view thru the small cockpit windows.
The clear parts are just that, clear and very thin.
The kit can be built into one of three options; Gear up, gear down, and gear down with rear ramp and forward crew door opened. There is enough detail inside that doing the latter will result in a viewable nicely detailed interior. Even entry stairs with handrails are included. Now if I could just find some 1/144 paratroopers and a jumpmaster team to go with my flight crew…. Hmmmm.
The highly detailed construction takes place over 38 steps in a 12 page booklet which is well laid out and easy to follow. Painting is simple and straight forward with the vast majority of the airframe being painted in FS 26173 AMC Proud Gray and smaller areas such as leading edge slat gloves, lower surface flap sections, and hot sections of the engines, being picked out in aluminum. This is the only other color used on this overall gray beast besides the colorful unit markings.
And speaking of markings; Markings are for two USAF C-17A Globemaster IIIs and include wing walks, door outlines, and stencils.
•“The Spirit of Berlin” 437th Airlift Wing, Charleston AFB, South Carolina. Circa 2008.
•“The Spirit of the Wright Brothers” 62nd Airlift Wing, McChord AFB Washington. Circa 2008.
As well a detailed and appointed as this kit is, I would anticipate some cross over between military modelers and airliner modelers looking to expand their horizons. It is an exceptional piece of work and highly recommended.
Xtradecals #44005 “C-17A USAF”Anticipating the release of Revells C-17A Globemaster III Kit, I actually bought my Xtradecal sheet X44005 before I purchased my kit and I’m happy I did. These decals are awesome and will allow the builder to build any one of NINE C-17’s including one of which is included with the kit decals. The markings are clear, in perfect register and are loaded with bright opaque colors. I bought the USAF sheet, and there is yet another sheet for Foreign marked aircraft. Markings include:
•412th Test Wing, Air Force Material Command. Edwards AFB, California. Circa 2008
•“Spirit of Imua Kamehameha” 15th Airlift Wing/ 154th Wing Hickham AFB, Hawaii. Circa 2008
•“Spirit of Constitution” 436th Airlift Wing/512th Airlift Wing. Dover AFB, Delaware. Circa 2008
•“Spirit of Thomas McGuire” 305th Air Mobility Wing/ 514th AMW McGuire AFB, New Jersey. Circa 2005
•“Spirit of the Aleutians” 3rd Wing/176th Wing, Elmendorf AFB, Alaska. Circa 2007
•“Spirit of Solano” 60th Air Mobility Wing/349th Air Mobility Wing, Air Mobility Command. Travis AFB, California. Circa 2008
•“City of Altus” 97th Air Mobility Wing Air Education & Training Command. Altus AFB, Oklahoma. Circa 2008
•“Spirit of California” 452nd Air Mobility Wing, Air Force Reserve Command, March AFB, California. Circa 2008
•“Spirit of the Purple Heart” 172nd Airlift Wing, Mississippi ANG. Allen C. Thompson Field, Jackson Mississippi. Circa 2007.
Per the sheet instructions, there are enough extra numbers provided to build just about any plane in the fleet! However, full markings for aircraft based at Charleston and McChord are not provided as those are found in the kit. Antenna arrangements vary widely so it is suggested that the builder consult specific references in regards to the plane that he/she is building.
ConclusionCoupled with Revell’s new C-17A kit, these decals are sure to make this grey beast shine. I purchased both my C-17A kit and the Xtradecals sheet thru Hannants. Thanks to my minister of household finance for the purchase.
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