1/72 Italeri C-119G

Gallery Article by Ivan Pliopas on Sept 27 2003


The Brazilian Air Force (FAB) used the Fairchild C-119G from 1962 to 1975. About a dozen planes were received and operated by FAB until they were eventually replaced by the C-130H Hercules. Only one squadron (2/1 GTT) used the type, mainly for transport duties and paratroop drops. 

The model I've built represents the C-119G currently on display at the Brazilian Aerospace Museum (MUSAL), located in the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. It is the Italeri 1/72nd C-119G built almost out-of-the-box. The only improvements that I've made on the basic kit were rescribing the panel lines and polishing the canopy and side windows. Markings came from the FCM sheet number 72-04. Unfortunately, the decals and the painting instructions on that sheet are not very accurate. So, when finishing the model, I had to rely on pictures and notes that I took during a visit I've made to the museum few years ago. Some of these pictures are included at the end of this article.


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Construction of this kit was fairly straightforward, although some putty had to be used in the joints between the two booms and the engine nacelles. A lot of sanding was needed to make those joints invisible, specially because part of that area is painted natural metal. Care was also taken when aligning the booms to the rest of plane, as it is normally the case with this configuration.

I also wanted to make the joints between the canopy, side windows and the fuselage as smooth as possible, so that the model would look more realistic. In order to achieve that, I've first dipped the transparencies in a local equivalent of Future floor wax and, after they had dried, attached them to the fuselage using small amounts of superglue. The wax protects the transparencies against fogging caused by the superglue.

After the transparencies had been glued in position, I removed all raised frames and smoothed all joints with the fuselage using increasing grades of wet sandpaper (from 400 to 2000 grit). A final polishing was done using Blue Magic metal polishing cream

The most difficult part of this project was actually masking and painting the model, particularly around the wing root area. The curved black cheatlines require careful masking and painting to ensure that they have a constant width. Also, because the model is partly natural metal, one needs to be careful with the paint choice and the sequence that the colors are applied. In my case, I've made the mistake of initially painting the whole model with Testors Aluminum Metalizer, masking the other areas and then airbrushing the remaining colors. However, when I pulled the masking tape, most of the Metalizer paint came out with the tape, and I had to redo the whole  work in a different sequence. Before doing that, I had to remove all the dried paint from the model with thinner. Once this was done, I've started the painting sequence again, this time leaving the Aluminum to the end. I also changed the Aluminium paint to Xtracolor enamel (X500 Duralumin), which I find more resistant to masking. Well, living and learning, as they say...

The FCM decal sheet suggests Light Grey FS36622 for the fuselage side, but based on my observations of the real airplane, that Grey is actually closer to FS26473, although slightly bluer. Also, the Italeri instructions recommend to paint the propeller BlackBut I've found RAF Extra Dark Sea Grey (Xtracolor X4) to be a better match. The interior of the cockpit should also be US Interior Green and not Zinc Chromate Green, as suggested in the instructions

This could have been a more enjoyable project, had I not made the mistake with the aluminum paint. But, who knows, maybe some day I decide to build the camouflaged AC-119K Stinger version used in Vietnam.

Ivan Pliopas

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Photos and text by Ivan Pliopas