D-704 Buddy Pod - Aerial Refueling Store
The D-704 Buddy Pod was an aerial refueling pod used for many aircraft to refuel others in addition to the purpose built tankers of today. The military still uses an updated version of this pod to provide in-flight refueling. It contains approximately 300 gallons of fuel. Scale Aircraft Conversions has produced one in 1/32 scale for use with the kits listed above.
The kit is simple as it consists of two parts- the body of the pod in resin and the spinner in white metal. There are engraved panels lines a set of decals too. Prep work is minimal and here is where I screwed up. In the in-package shots, you can see a ring that is shown on the back of the pod. The instructions do not show this there, so I trimmed it off and sanded it smooth. Wrong. This represents the drogue and refueling receptacle which unwinds from the back. Nuts. I scrounged some parts to duplicate it but it is not as nice as the resin parts. The resin itself will need cleaned up as there are seam lines on both sides that need to be addressed. I used glazing putty and a polishing stick, and a few applications finished them off. The spinner was bent into place and polished, first with a sanding stick and then with a Dremel buffer. I kept the parts separate and added a handle to the resin for painting.
I primed the kit with Alclad gray and when dry, I sprayed the entire resin body white. This took several coats of Tamiya gloss white thinned with lacquer thinner to build acceptable opacity. Once dry, the decals were added. They reacted well and settled nicely. I used a flat coat and then a little weathering and another flat coat. I painted the connector point and the lights last to maintain their shine. The front spinner was added and we’re done.
This is a big hunk of resin (see the picture with the Xacto knife) which is well made and fills a need. I could not find and other example of this pod in any 1/32 scale kit. If you need some in-flight refueling, this will take care of that need in spades.
My thanks to Ross and Scale Aircraft Conversions for the opportunity to review this item.