Anigrand Craftswork 1/72 C-124 Globemaster II Kit First Look
By Fotios Rouch
|Date of Review
|C-124 Globemaster II
|Major improvement over the vac kits previously the only choice for the 'Shakey'
The C-124 Globmaster II was the evolution of the C-74 Globemaster and it retained the tail and the wings of the C-74. The first flight of a YC-124 took place on November 27, 1949.
The airplane nicknamed "Shaky" started being delivered by Douglas in May 1950 and 448 production aircraft were manufactured (204 C-124As and 243 C-124Cs) until 1955. The Globemaster II take off gross weight was 175,000 pounds. Its cavernous fuselage and the clamshell loading doors could accommodate heavy objects such us tanks, bulldozers, etc. It could carry 200 fully equipped troops and it could be configured to transport 127 patients in their stacked litters.
The C-124A was succeeded by the C-124C, which featured P&W R-4360-35A 3,800 horsepower engines as well as wingtip combustion heaters that provided heating for the cabin and deicing for the wings and tail surfaces. It also featured an APS-42 weather radar in the nose thimble. Later the C-124As also received these upgrades.
The C-124 was used extensively during the Korean war and all the way to Vietnam war.
News about the development of a new resin kit of the C-124 started surfacing three months ago. It was a big and very welcomed surprise. Many of the heavy transport fans had in their possession the difficult Airmodel and later Combats Model 72nd scale vacuform kit. I also have the very nice 144th scale Welsh Models vacuform kit but never got around to building any of them.
The new Anigrand kit arrived in its big cardboard box and was all safely bubble wrapped with its parts individually packed in plastic. No damaged parts were noted due to transportation.
The model is very big almost 21 and a quarter inches long without the thimble nose so Anigrand decided to mold the fuselage in 4 parts. The wings too are very big and are molded in the traditional top and bottom configuration which makes them lighter than if they were cast as one solid piece.
Let's look at the model by breaking it down to its logical groups.
This is a very simple and rather sparse setup with four crew member seats, a center console, a flight engineer's console and two control yokes. No instrument panel is provided. This is a generic affair and it does look very much like the real thing. For the modeler that needs more detail and accuracy the Steve Ginter book (No 206 in the Air Force Legend series) will be a very valuable resource.
The Landing Gear
Photos show that the C-124 had a few different wheel patterns and the ones included in this kit look pretty close to a ten spoke pattern for the mains and the simpler pattern for the front wheels seen in many pictures. Another option would be to use the resin wheels from the very nice Cobra set for the KC-97. The main struts are reasonable representations of the real thing with both bungees present and the torque link. The front strut could have used a little more detail and will need scratch-built drag links. A little sprucing up with brake lines and such will also help the look of the landing gear. One important thing to note here is that the landing gear is reinforced with metal pins which are slightly showing in a few places in my example. The landing gear doors will need to be cut in the middle as they come joined. There is no detail on the inside of the landing gear doors.
The engine cowlings are molded in top and bottom halves. The details looks good and the orange-peel cowling panels are shown to good effect with scribed panel lines. The multiple exhausts will need a little attention with a small file to make them look are coming out of the cowling and not like they are pieces of plastic rod stuck on the side of the cowling. The cowl flaps are just scribed in the closed position. They could have been scribed a bit better since they are not just parallelograms but they rather leave triangular slits even when closed. The engine cylinder fronts look ok with the correct number of cylinders. The props will need work to put together and maybe the construction of a simple jig will be necessary. The props are of the C-124C configuration and the modeler that needs a C-124A will need to figure out another way to get the rounded and different looking prop blades.
Each fuselage side comes in two parts that lock together with two pins and a tab with two holes on the inside of the fuselage surface. Also you can see that the cockpit space and floor is defined by bulkheads that will make it a bit easier to place your scratch-built cockpit interior. The fuselage is reasonably light with fairly thin walls for a resin kit. The scribing is not very heavy and the panel lines match the real ones well.
What I am not very happy about is the shape of the side windows. They are perfectly round as opposed to oval. Some fuselage windows need to be oval some have a section of the window filled. I understand well that it is much easier for a pattern maker to rather drill round windows but is going to be very tough fixing all that. However, the windows for the crew compartment are oval as they should be.
The interlocking mechanism for the fuselage parts worked well when I test fitted the fuselage front and rear parts. Some sanding and putty will probably be required but the lock seems strong enough to keep the fuselage parts together.
The thimble nose looks good and with a little work it should fit well on the nose
The wings are scribed a little heavier than the fuselage and they are a bit rougher in surface texture. All the surfaces will need to be polished in the end anyway to receive the natural metal finish so this should not be a big deal to fix. Also some pinholes and rough trailing edges will need attention on the wing surfaces.
The flap hinge fairings look ok but Anigrand in the interest of quick production has molded some huge pouring links between the parts making it time consuming to properly separate and clean up the parts. The heating pods look ok in overall shape but the fronts will need to be drilled out to represent the intakes.
Wingtips are provided for the C-124A.
The wheel wells are not very deep and the structural detail inside is fictitious. Not much will show once the model is on its "feet" so you might elect to skip reconstruction.
The tail wings are looking good (the hinges are on the bottom surface of the tail wings) and the scribed details are not heavy.
The tail looks good in outline. The rudder/tail separation though is depicted with just a heavy panel line. It would have been much better if Anigrand had done this is two separate parts so they could have shown the airfoil rounded rudder design rather than this simplistic approach. I am not sure yet how I am going to fix this.
Only one set of vacuformed parts is provided. No mistakes allowed here! Is it really that expensive to provide two sets of clear parts?
The parts are very clear and the frames are light so be careful when masking them out for painting. Lots of small round windows are provided in the vacuform plastic sheet but it will be an amazing task to cut them and fit them on the fuselage in a clean fashion! I will use my true and tried clear resin method here one more time.
Only one aircraft can be made from the decals and it is a C-124C. The scheme provided is for a simple natural metal MATS bird. No stencils are provided in the set. No propeller warning stripes either. The modeler will have to paint the blue and yellow stripe for the MATS logo on the tail.
The good news for me is that 0-90258 later in life received a beautiful NMF with white top and a blue cheat line and dayglo nose and fuselage band. So I am planning to make my C-124C in this scheme as it looked when it served with the 1602nd Air Transport Wing (MATS) at Hickam AFB in 1964.
This is a huge leap ahead from the old and tired vacuform releases of the Old Shaky. As the kit comes in the box it is really a C-124C with no propeller parts for an A variant. The kit needs some improvements and work on the modeler's part but this is what modeling is all about.
Recommended to modelers with some experience in resin kits.
The kit was purchased from Nostalgic Plastic.