Stretched Herk

C-130J-30 Heavy Transport Plane

Zvezda 1/72, Ref. 7324

Given some of the parts included in their 2020-released 1/72 C-130H kit, Zvezda have duly released a stretched Hercules. I was a little surprised (and I will admit, a bit disappointed too) to see the kit feature the 6-bladed props of the J variant. I had been expecting the stretched ‘early‘ Hercules with civilian markings… But I expect that commercial considerations made it better for Zvezda to release the ‘late‘ Hercules instead.

Never mind. This is still a most welcome new kit and the quality shown by the most recent Zvezda kits (and obviously by the earlier Hercules release) is there.

This is a big box that contains this stretched Hercules, and Zvezda even have provided a handle to help you carry, effortlesly, this awesome kit back home.

Many parts of this new kit are of course common to the earlier Hercules. This means that the more modern-looking cockpit is not provided (apart from decals for two types of main instrument panels). The three multipose-like crew members are still there too. But little of all that will be visible once the clear parts are on. Same for all the cargo bay details, the longer fuselage not helping at all in terms of bringing in light in there.

The decal sheet offers five options, including a fairly eye-catching D-Day celebration scheme worn by a USAF machine in 2019, along with Australian, French, Italian and British birds (the latter equipped with a refueling probe and other bumps). Indeed Zvezda have included a number of other optional parts that will help some modellers in modelling particular planes, but probably not all, given the number of variants and adds-on seen on this or that aircraft. All those markings are included on three large decal sheets (one of them curiously not individually wrapped). A large number of stencils are included, along with the thin ‘no step‘ wings and fuselage markings. One thing, though, the ‘step’ areas those lines are marking off are all painted in a different colour than the rest of the aircraft (for the five offered options) and this will require some careful painting/masking/thinking…

Frankly, this is a very nice-looking kit opening up lots of possibilities. Indeed, with this kit and its earlier sibbling, there should be a way to model one of those long-fuselaged early Herks… 😉

I am curious to see what other Hercules variants Zvezda will release next. Stopping now would be shameful and wasteful.

Review by Domi Jadoul; pictures by Zvezda and Domi Jadoul

http://www.zvezda.org.ru

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