Roden 1/144 C-124A Globemaster II Kit First Look
|Date of Review||August 2012||Manufacturer||Roden|
|Subject||C-124A Globemaster II||Scale||1/144|
|Kit Number||0306||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Unique subject now in plastic||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$35.98|
The C-124 Globemaster II was a heavy-lift cargo aircraft developed from the C-74 Globemaster produced during World War 2 as a long-range heavylift transport. Produced by Douglas Aircraft in Long Beach, CA, the Globemaster series as provided essential airlift services from the C-74 Globemaster (I) to the C-17 Globemaster III. The C-124, nicknamed 'Old Shaky' was first flown in late 1949, entered service in 1950, and was finally retired out of the US Air Force in 1974. Powered by four Pratt & Whitney R-4360 radial engines each rated at 3800 horsepower, the C-124 had a cargo load of 68,500 pounds (31,100 kg).
The aircraft was so large that it had two stories inside the fuselage that could accommodate 200 fully-equipped troops or 127 litter patients in an air ambulance configuration. The C-124A was the first military aircraft to be equipped with an auxiliary power unit (APU) to allow for ground operations of the hydraulic clamshell doors, internal lighting, and other services without the need for external power or one (or more) engines running to provide electrical power. The C-124C introduced the thimble radome on the top of the nose that housed a weather radar which enhanced all-weather flight operations.
Roden has released their first installment in their C-124 series with this C-124A. The kit is the first kit of this huge aircraft in 1/144th scale in plastic, while Anigrand Craftswork produced the first kit of this aircraft in this scale using resin. The kit is molded in gray styrene, and is presented on eight parts trees plus two fuselage halves and a single tree of clear parts. The layout appears straightforward and should be a simple build, but we still list the skill level as experienced due to the butt-joints between wings and fuselage as well as tail and fuselage. The exterior surfaces are smooth which will make the task of bare metal finish a simple job of polishing out the assembly marks/fills before Alclad II.
The kit takes a simple approach to the Shaky with the use of butt joints with basic alignment stubs which means you'll need to keep an eye on the wing dihedral and the square angles between the horizontal and vertical stabilizers. The kit includes a basic flight deck with pilot/copilot seats in front of an instrument panel which is really all that will be seen inside the clear cockpit enclosure.
While the fuselage has the numerous port holes molded as scribed circles on the airframe, the kit provides numerous decals for those port holes once you've completed your bare metal finish on the airframe.
The kit also provides separately molded engine faces for the four cowlings which will facilitate easier painting of the details before assembly and masking off the front of the cowls.
The more tedious task will be to place each of the 16 flap and aileron hinges that are each a slightly different shape but are called out clearly on the instructions.
The only area of concern I'd have with this kit is the instructions. There is no callout for ballast though it will clearly need some in the nose to keep the model from being a tail-sitter. Since the kit is laid out as more-or-less a limited run style of engineering as shown by the wing/fuselage joins, clear guidance is needed and there are a few spots, most notably Part 2F that mounts between a wingspar insert and the bottom of the cowling somewhere to represent a structural beam in each main wheel well. Another example are the 1.2mm holes needed to be drilled into each of the engine faces for the propeller shafts but these holes are not called out for drilling until final assembly, not during cowling assembly.
Markings are provided for one example:
- C-124A, 50-083, Continental Division, MATS, USAF, early 1950s
This is a nice looking kit that should build up into a beautiful model of Old Shaky. The kit sprues have several extra parts that are not used here and are definitely going to be used for the C-124C that will be released sometime in the future.
My sincere thanks to Squadron Mail Order for this review sample!