Design a site like this with
Get started

Upgraded Herk

American Heavy Transport Plane C-130J

Zvezda 1/72, Ref. 7325

Third Hercules variant in Zvezda’s drive to get modellers to switch to bigger, larger workbenches is this C-130J. A large sturdy cardboard box holds 335 plastic parts spread over 13 sprues, one of which in clear plastic.

Having built the first Zvezda C-130 kit, the content of the box obviously looked pretty familiar, the main differences being of course found in the new engine nacelles and 6-bladed props.

The inside detail furnishing the cockpit and the cabin is all in all pretty good and accurate. Some of those parts must be cut off to fit the ‘standard‘ Herk fuselage (Zvezda did, you will remember, release the long-fuselaged variant of the aircraft, for which those longer parts are needed). It is not a difficult job and it is well illustrated and explained in the instructions. Even with the ‘standard-lenght’ fuselage, little of all that detail will be visible once the fuselage halves are put together, unless some lighting is installed. The cockpit furnishing will be, given the large glazed area, a little bit more visible, but not that much. Seatbelts would still be a nice addition to your model. Zvezda provided 3 members of the crew in the original boxing but the fourth one is still missing here. Each is a multi-part affair that looks quite convicing though.

Quite a few ejection marks are to be found inside the fuselage halves but most will be hidden by the cleverly-designed furnishing. Beware that those visible nearer the cockpit area and those located a the end of the fuselage can however be seen once the kit is completed; if those at the front are easy to make disappear, those are the other end of the fuselage a lot more difficult to deal with.

All the seating in the cabin is provided ‘folded‘, which was the easy option for Zvezda (and us, given all the extra detailing opening up those seats would require, all in all for just about nothing since so little can be seen..). The cabin floor is sufficiently detailled but that of the ramp could have been better, in particular requiring some anti-slip areas to be added on.

The wing is cleverly split into 5 large parts for added strength. I must warn you that the joint swith the top of the fuselage are a little on the poor side. The engines are really cleverly designed too. Resin turbine exhausts are available on the market if you feel like ‘upgrading‘ Zvezda’s. In fact quite a few companies have released sets to detail further this (or those) Herk(s), some of which could be considered to jazz-up this large kit (radar, flaps, electronic bays, engines), though of course some may not be suitable for this particular variant.

Each prop is made up of 8 parts with each blade ‘equipped‘ with two recesses that will allow for exact positioning, either feathered or not.

An in-flight refuelling probe is provided. The clear parts oare thin and transparent. Mask sets can be found to help with the neat painting of the windshield frames (and the rest of the aircraft).

The wheels are decently detailled, and weighted. Resin alternatives exist, but frankly, little of those wheels are to be seen once the model is completed.

The decals include a large sheet of, mostly, ‘no step areas’ and stencils. Three options are offered with this release in terms of markings: USAF, Italian Air Force and RAF. The first two options require the ‘no-step areas‘ to be painted in a different shade than the rest of the airframe, which will seriously complicate things in terms of masking and decalling…

There’s no denying Zvezda id now offering the best Herks ever released in 1/72, it would be a shame to to indulge, but some care and some work will still be needed during the build.

Review by Domi Jadoul; photos by Zvezda and Domi Jadoul.

Review kit generously provided by Zvezda’s European importers, Hobby Pro Marketing GmbH.

%d bloggers like this: