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Italeri AC-130H Spectre 1/72 Scale
Topic Started: Jun 20 2015, 09:25 PM (3,079 Views)
tc2324
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LCDR Tony `Banana's` Clay
Italeri AC-130H Spectre

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The Lockheed AC-130 gunship is a heavily armed ground-attack aircraft variant of the C-130 Hercules transport plane. The basic airframe is manufactured by Lockheed, while Boeing is responsible for the conversion into a gunship and for aircraft support. The AC-130A Gunship II superseded the AC-47 Gunship I during the Vietnam War.

Only 8 aircraft of the `H` variant were built with the last one retired on May 26th 2015. The AC-130J Ghostrider is replacing the type with 16 `J`s going into operation.

Prior to 2000, the `H`s standard weapons fit were two 20 mm M61 Vulcan cannon, one 40 mm (1.58 in) L/60 Bofors cannon and one 105 mm (4.13 in) M102 howitzer. This is the weapons set up you will find in this kit.

After 2000 it would seem that most of the fleet removed the two M61 Vulcan cannons.


The Kit

For ages 14+, this really is a big and good looking kit. Certainly not for the beginner, this kit could be made into an absolute stunner if attention and detail is applying to the interior by an advanced modeller.

You have three options from the decal sheet. These being two from the 711st S.O.S., (one is from Desert Storm 1991, the other from the year before). The third option is the 16th S.O.S. from 1991 at Hurlbert Field, Florida.

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The Instructions are your usual Italeri standard being very clear and concise and using plenty of space.

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On the front of the box it clearly states `Recessed Panel Lines` in big bold letters. In 2011 this was obviously a selling point for the kit and I have to say, that by all accounts, they have done a fine job.

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Over all the sprues and layout look great and for just over £30, it worth the money.

But there are a couple of draw backs in my mind.

Firstly you may of noticed that there are a couple of pictures of the clear sprue cockpit area. The last one showing the window panels and the first one showing the overall size of the thing. Blending this all in so that it looks seamless will be a job in itself so I can`t help wonder why it`s like this when fully moulded fuselage half's and clear window parts may be a simpler solution?

Secondly, although not technically a major issue, I would of liked to see photo etch or perhaps even brass parts supplied for the weapon barrels/muzzles. The plastic parts look...., plastic. These enhancements could really bring out the potential of this kit.

Conclusion

Admittedly I`m a big AC-130 gunship fan and I have built Italeri`s AC-130A kit some time back. I can`t see how anyone would not like to have one of these in their collection. But then again I suppose it depends how big your display case/cabinet is...??

Out of 10, this kit gets a very credible 8 from me.



Italeri model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For details visit www.italeri.com

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Olde Farte
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Lt. Derek 'Smurfy' Reeve
Nice review and I like the wording on the box, Recessed Panel Lines, isn't this the norm now or is it an old kit just revised.
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Cimmerian
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Lt. Ken 'Albatros' Jeffrey
Good review, wish my cabinet was a bit bigger.
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Martin @ Ram Models
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Lt. Martin 'Thunderbird' Garrett
For those that are thinking of purchasing an Italeri Herc 1/72nd E/H Hercules (and maybe other variants) I suggest if possible have a look in the box before you walk out the model shop.

I tried to purchase the kit three times a couple of weeks ago. Each had the same problem in that there was only two sets of port side sprues contained in the box. Got to say Italeri didn't seem overly concerned when I contacted them either. So buyer beware.
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