16th SOS, 8th TFW, US Air Force, Thailand 1969
This is the BIG one. The SR-71A and TR-1A/TR-1B were pretty big, but this model is bigger: the Italeri AC-130A Spectre gunship. Really, this kit goes beyond the limits of what can be done with injection moulded plastic kits. It goes together fine, although I constructed the fuselage into two longitudinally split halves, rather than following the instructions and building separate front and rear fuselage sections, and the only poor areas are the engine joints. The kit has raised detailing, and I rescribed the wings — this was my first rescribing effort and I used an Olfa P-cutter. The finish is acrylic I think, and the decals were from the kit. This was a hard kit to finish: it’s so big that I lost motivation. I accidentally stood on the front windscreen, hence that looks rubbish, and snapped the nosegear leg, which needs to be attached early on in the build sequence. The overall finish is pretty poor as I only used Klear in patches and didn’t overcoat with a matt or satin varnish. Since finishing the model the fuselage seam has cracked open due to the weight of the wings, despite a spar being provided with the kit. I probably wouldn’t attempt to build a kit like this again — it’s just too big and flimsy.
Year bought: 1996 (Antics, Guildford)
Year built: 1996 (Send Marsh, Surrey, UK)