Lockheed Martin C-130J C5 Hercules, Part I – What’s in the Box

Published on
February 3, 2020
Review Author(s)
Product / Stock #
Company: Italeri - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: MRC - Website: Visit Site
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What aviation enthusiast doesn’t have a soft spot for Lockheed Martin’s “Herky Bird”? This successful airframe has been around for decades, and will likely be in production for many years to come, despite recent competition from Airbus and other manufacturers. The aircraft’s history is well known and extensively documented, so, let’s get on with impressions of this plastic version.

Italeri has updated and reissued an exciting new packaging of its C-130 family. This issue (#2746) is based on previously issued fuselage, flying surfaces and interior molding sprues, with a new, updated engine and prop sprue. A new instrument panel reflecting the J model’s glass cockpit is also included on this sprue. This kit will take some time to build, so I’ll give you my initial impressions in case you’re considering a purchase sooner, rather than later.

Box cover art is a photo of a completed kit wearing the unusual two tone green colors of a current Royal Air Force C-130J C5 from 30 Squadron, RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire UK. Side panels reveal that kit decals are included for four different aircraft; the aforementioned 30 Squadron example, another 30 Squadron gray bird from Lyneham, 2009, an Italian Air Force example in two-tone gray from 46a Brugata Aerea, Pisa 2014, and a USMC aircraft from VMGR-352 stationed in Afghanistan in 2010. Noteworthy in this boxing is the inclusion of a permanently fixed refueling probe, applicable to the RAF and Italian examples.

Upon opening the sizable package, a large cardboard brace that protects the contents from being top-crushed is removed to reveal seven sprues of medium gray plastic in two plastic bags, and one clear sprue for windscreen and windows in a separate plastic bag. Also included are the HUGE decal sheet, and Italeri’s relatively easy to follow pictorial 12 page instruction sheet. Excellent COLOR painting and decaling illustrations are included.

Surface detail on the plastic is raised, reflecting the age of the moulds for the base kit. However, the styrene feels a little softer and more “oily” then Italeri’s previous offering of these mouldings. My example of the previous kit issue seems very brittle in comparison. AMS superdetailers will have a much easier go at re-scribing panel lines and surface detailing with this material, than the old plastic. A quick review of the individual sprues reveals crisp moldings and very little flash from what must be tired, but well-made molds. The new sprue parts look to be a good fit for the current larger engines onto the wing-mount locations, and the six-bladed props are a pretty good representation of the updated propulsion system. The rest of the kit sprues are identical mouldings to those from my #246 Italeri boxing, and my old Testors issue of this kit as a C-130E/H.

So much for the initial impressions … I’m off to the hobby store for a couple of extra bottles of extra thin cement, and on to the build. Herc lovers, please stay tuned.

Thanks to the IPMS Reviewer Corps and Italeri for the opportunity to review this item.


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