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C-130H Hercules

Zvezda 1/72 C-130H Hercules Kit Sneak Preview

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review August 2020 Manufacturer Zvezda
Subject C-130H Hercules Scale 1/72
Kit Number 7321 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nice detail options Cons See text
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $TBA

Sneak Preview

C-130H Hercules
C-130H Hercules
C-130H Hercules
C-130H Hercules
C-130H Hercules
C-130H Hercules
C-130H Hercules
C-130H Hercules

With thanks to Fotios Rouch and Jennings Heilig for finding these preview photos on Zvezda's Facebook page, we're able to take a look at the first new-tool C-130 kit in 1/72 kit in a decade or three. Please note that these are test shots and not production ready yet which is why they used whatever color styrene they had available for each mold shot. When Zvezda first announced this kit, they said it would be a C-130H.

After pouring over these photos, I've observed the following features and options:

  • Scribed surface details
  • Three optional seated crew figures for the flight deck
  • Nice flight deck from what I can see
  • Nice galley between the flight deck and Stn 245 (forward main bulkhead)
  • Main cabin/cargo area detailed nicely, better than the benchmark interior for the Testor/Italeri 1/48 C-130 kits
  • Can't find the honey bucket, but given the other details, it is probably there as well
  • Positionable crew entry door
  • Positionable paratroop doors
  • Choice of paratroop doors (rectangular or port hole windows)
  • Positionable ramp and door
  • Includes refueling boom so RAF version may be included in this release
  • Optional starboard nose insert for avionics cooling (used in late-production C-130H)
  • SKE domes - dorsal and ventral - so USAF trash haulers can be done (finally)
  • Optional countermeasure fairings behind the paratroop doors (a first in any C-130 kit)
  • Fuselage inserts for forward fuselage for different port hole configurations
  • Beautiful main wheel well details!
  • Weighted wheels
  • -15 engine nacelles (the Airfix and Testor/Italeri kits all retained the short nacelles out of their C-130A kits
  • The prop hubs are molded separately from the blades which means you can build them in low pitch (ground ops) or feathered. Lord knows we came home with one or more props caged in flight
  • Two styles of beavertail provided
  • Three radomes included, standard airlifter, what looks to be a FLIR mount type radome and an unknown third option
  • Choice of sponsons: long sponsons w/APU for the C-130H, or short sponsons w/GTC for the C-130B-E
  • External tanks have provisions for countermeasure-equipped or normal pylons
  • Notice that the undersides of the wings have the external tank mounts flashed over. It makes me wonder if there are outboard mounts also flashed over to signal one of many special mission configurations coming in our future.

I'm sure I'm missing a few other details, but given the modular nature of the molds, I can see Zvezda producing a wide variety of Herc variants in the future.

One of the concerns I have with C-130 kits is keeping the wings on the model. If you look at the sprue tree with horizontal stabs, there is the wing/fuselage center section. The lower wing halves will overlap the center section giving some additional strength there, and you should be able to put your own mainspar inside there for further strength.

While I don't normally build 1/72 kits, I don't have anywhere to park a 1/48 C-130 (and I have two of them in kit form) and even the finished 1/72 kit will require some room on the shelf. I want to build a vanilla airlifter when this kit is first available here, then follow up with some extra work to render one of the special mission Hercs I used to crew back in the 'old days'.

Congratulations Zvezda, this is looking very good so far!