1/72 scale model of Heller
review / modelling report
The North American Aviation company developed a piston-engined military trainer aircraft to be used by the USAF and US Navy in the nineteen fifties. It was known as the T-28 Trojan. The main versions were initially the T-28A with a 2 bladed prop and high canopy hoods, the T-28B with new engine and slightly lower canopy hoods, 3-bladed prop and another cowling and retained air speed brake followed by the T-28C being a US NAVY trainer with tailhook.
In 1958/ 1959, the "Armée de l'Air Française" was involved in the war in Algeria, a French colony. The French needed a better ground attack capability and decided to get T-28's. But only second hand surplus T-28A's could be delivered and these were modified to a mere T-28B standard by Sud-Aviation in France and some 148 aircraft were modified and were called the Fennec ("desert fox"). The Fennecs got the T-28B style engine cowling and the Wright R-1820-76A engine of 1425 hp with a 3 bladed propeller was used. The cowling got also an additional smaller air intake on the cowling top for cockpit cooling. They also got different six underwing hardpoints so 250 lbs bombs could be dropped or two pods French type .50 machine guns or rocket pods. The seats got armoured headrests and inside the cockpit some instruments and a different engine "reversed" throttle was installed. The total costs of these modifications were quite high once all French aircraft had been modified.
Finally the T-28D version was developed based on the T-28B and to be used for ground attack and the counter insurgency (COIN) role. It got extra hardpoints/ pylons and armament as well as armoured seats. Planes were used in the South Vietnam war and also delivered to Laos in 1963 and also South Vietnam. The Vietnam war saw that the type was used for scouting and light ground attack operations.
Over 1,900 T-28
aircraft were manufactured and also delivered to foreign countries like
the Phillipines, Bolivia, Honduras and the French with the Fennec program
(and later Haiti).
Also check out the Kitty Hawk 1/32 T-28 model made here...
The 1/72 kit used here is the old kit for a FENNEC from HELLER of France. It will be converted "back" into a T-28D USAF Vietnam aircraft. Not having decals, I simply used some photos from the well known "Squadron Signal" book series, see references below.
Kit decals are for 2 schemes:
1/ French EALA Fennec of 2/72 in Algeria in 1960.
2/ Vietnam Air Force T-28D / 1st Air Commando in 1963; but these markings are only be used on a T-28 and not a Fennec. Also as seen above with this kit release the "yellow" of the SVAF markings were not printed so makes these useless. In later kit releases this print has been corrected though slightly off register as seen here:
for the T-28D model work was:
This old kit has the typical raised panellines with nice rivets and is quite nice. The rivets capture those as on the real aircraft. Parts are in grey/metal aluminium coloured very soft plastic typical of HELLER.
I opted to open up the lower brake so the well was opened up and an air brake made from card with holes drilled open.
The cockpit is OK and has nice detail.
Here seen are also the "lower wing stabs" , a sort of pylon for various stores. I retained these.
The kit required minimal amounts of filler, but still you need to check all seams and gaps. I wanted to retain the moulded surface detaisls of the kit as much as possible. To avoid sanding scratches as much as possible, apply tape to protect surfaces....
As noted above, the T-28D Trojan
has no cockpit cooling air intake on the upper cowling. The Heller kit
has one (which is correct but for a Fennec) so the air intake was cut off
and the gap filled and sanded as seen below. Also, filling the smaller
gaps was now done.
As noted before, the scheme picked
for the model was for a T-28D Trojan plane of the USAF as used in Vietnam.
After decalling, details like the
undercarriage were set on the model.
Overall a semi-matt coat was sprayed onto the model, through a mix of Johnson Future/Pledge varnish with say 10% Tamiya X-21 flat base acrylic matting agent.
That completed the North American
T-28D Trojan model after laying more than 25 years in the stack.
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Squadron Signal Publications, USA series:
- T-28 Trojan, Squadron Signal publications , In action series #1089,
- Air War over South East Asia, Squadron Signal, Lou Drendel, 1984
- TAC, pictorial history of USAF forces 1970-1977, Lou Drendel, 1978
- VNAF, South Vietnam Air Force, author Jim Mesko, 1987
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Created this page
August 16, 2013