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RC-135V/W Rivet Joint

Roden 1/144 RC-135V/W Rivet Joint Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review July 2022 Manufacturer Roden
Subject RC-135V/W Rivet Joint Scale 1/144
Kit Number 0349 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nice details Cons See text
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $62.99

First Look

RC-135V/W Rivet Joint
RC-135V/W Rivet Joint
RC-135V/W Rivet Joint
RC-135V/W Rivet Joint

The RC-135 has a long and distinguished career as an intelligence collection platform that spans from the early 1960s to present day. The first RC-135s began as photo-reconnaissance plaforms before that mission was taken over by satellites. Shortly after the photo-reconnaissance variants took to the skies, a number of different configurations were developed to support electronic sensing equipment, radar, dara, and voice. These missions were improved over time until the development of the RC-135V and RC-135W configurations, which are essentially the same aircraft these days. The RC-135V/W airframes are periodically updated to keep them abreast of new technologies as well as new threats.

Roden has taken a liking to the C-135 family in 1/144 scale, starting with this release of the RC-135V/W. The fuselage is molded for the RC-135V/W series, but a sprue swap will render other -135 variants including the KC-135 series. The kit is molded in gray styrene and presented on seven parts trees plus a single tree of clear parts. Among the features and options in this kit:

  • Long-nosed RC-135 fuselage
  • Cockpit is not included though cockpit cover is molded in clear
  • Cheek pods are molded separately
  • 4 x CFM-56 engines
  • Landing gear can be posed up or down
  • Nice array of antennas for the top and underside of the fuselage

The decal sheet provides marking options for one aircraft:

  • RC-135V, 61-14845, deployed to RAF Mildenhall in early 2022

The decals are not up to their usual standards as my example had the yellow layer out of regirster with the rest of the colors, plus the US flag only has 12 stripes on them.

One hint in the sprues of kit variants to come as an unused air refueling boom.

Despite the errant decals, this is a nice kit of a much overlooked aircraft (though ESCI/ERTL did one in 1/72 years ago). Hopefully we'll see an aftermarket company provide the right markings in register.

Grab one of these for your stash! I don't know if they are available in the US market yet, I ordered mine through an online retailer in the Ukraine and the kit arrived in perfect condition. It will be nice one the Russians are out of the Ukraine so kits like this can ship globally once again!