1/220 Lodela Transall AC-160

by Dave The Rat Bailey


Silly Week 2009


After the hard-won French victory over the Viet Minh in the 1950s the power struggle between France and China led to the formation of various ethnic states each trying to curry favour with either or both. This led to a long period of instability, with insurgencies rising in many areas. Neither regional superpower could afford to enforce peace everywhere, at least not at the risk of all out war.

As a result piracy was rampant from the Indian Ocean, throughout the Andaman Sea and all the way to the Pacific Ocean. The booming world economy of the times meant that the pirates were rich and therefore well equipped and highly mobile, and countermeasures were required that were far-ranging and powerful.

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Beginning in 1968 the Aeronavale patrolled these roiling seas with their latest acquisition, the Transall AC-160. Without an official name its crews often called it the Scorpion, named for the powerful sting it could inflict. At the front a 20mm cannon was used for either ranging or small targets. Beside them were a pair of 20mm Vulcan Gatling guns, fully rated at 6,000 rounds per minute, enough to shred most small ships. For land-based fortifications a Bofors gun was mounted at the rear, and two large and powerful missiles were carried under the wings for long range attacks. 

The Model

Well, call me stupid, but once again I tackled one of these beasties. Members who have been here for a few years might remember the first one, which was whiffed into the Transall Calais flying boat (
http://www.aircraftresourcecenter.com/Gal5/4301-4400/gal4321_TransallShorts_Bailey/00.shtm). That was the Lodela mold, a Mexican company, and this was the original Heller job. Same crap, different plastic. Okay, let's be charitable, in a small scale like this, 1/220th, you don't expect much detail. What I do expect is a quick build, and this satisfies that purpose somewhat. It isn't foolproof however, and I probably made more mistakes on this one than on the first. The main gear blisters have no locating pins, just outlines on the fuselage, and if you're not careful they may not line up perfectly. Mine has a slight list to starboard that wasn't noticed until the glue dried. Another fluff was with the highly raised surface detail. I should have just sanded it all flat because once the Future gave it a gloss the stuff sticks out like pimples on a drum. The Carpena decals are thick and don't adhere well, but I'm not going to bother waiting for ages to get quality Aeronavale markings, they're hard enough to obtain as it is. Some markings came from the sheet Captain Canada sent me for the Calais project, thanks again Toad! Anyway, I would build another one of these if I found it, maybe as an air cushioned landing vehicle.
Dave "The Rat" Bailey

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Photos and text by Dave The Rat Bailey