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Roden Lockheed C-141B Starlifter

RELATED TOPICS: AIRCRAFT
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Like many modelers, I had been hoping for a kit of a C-141 in 1/144 scale to add to my ever-growing collection — and now Roden has released a new tooling of a C-141B! The eye-catching box art shows a Starlifter in its landing configuration.

I was a little surprised by the low parts count when I opened the box (not that that’s a bad thing). Molded in medium gray plastic, the kit comprises only 62 parts. 

Surface detail is finely engraved and consistent. Engine detail consists of a tailpipe trapped between two halves which include the molded-on pylons and a separate intake piece. Each engine is molded on a separate sprue; on one of mine, the tailpipe was “short shot” and missing most inner detail.

Landing-gear struts are typical of the scale, but the gear-bay interiors lack any detail. The cockpit glass was molded with some of the fuselage to make it easier to attach and blend in.

Due to the simplicity of the kit, construction was straightforward and fast. I added some lead fishing sinkers to the nose before closing the fuselage halves to make sure it would not be a tail-sitter.

Overall, fit was really good. I did not have to use any filler, just a nail-polishing file to dress the seams. I did leave out the handful of fuselage portholes, preferring to use Micro Kristal Klear to make new windows when painting was complete. I used Tamiya spray-can gunship gray II for the exterior color; when that was dry, I over-coated with GSI Creos Mr. Super Clear from the spray can for a gloss coat.

Once the gloss coat was dry, I attached the landing gear and tires. I found the attachment for the main gear somewhat weak — just a butt joint at a right angle. Hopefully, it will hold the weight of the model. Only time will tell.

Another issue was that the nose-gear wheel holes were too big for the pins on the gear. I had to use super glue with accelerator to get them attached and aligned.

The decals are nicely printed, thin and in perfect register, although some of the colors seemed a little off. However, there are markings for only one aircraft. Decals applied over gloss coat silvered badly. I used a hair dryer on high to get them to settle into panel lines. (I have used this trick before on other Roden decals and it works.) I then over-coated the model with Testors Model Master clear flat.

The Roden C-141B Starlifter was an enjoyable 15-hour build, and it scales out on the money. With its great fit, few parts, and monochromatic paint scheme, the model should appeal to builders at all skill levels. I cannot wait to see what Roden releases next in this scale.


Note: A version of this review appeared in the March 2017 issue.

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