T-6 Texan (Harvard)

Revell 1/48 T-6 Texan

© By Jeremy KING

 

Introduction

Desert Harvard

Here is Revell's 1/48 T-6 Texan.

Being a modeller of Australian subjects the kit is finished as a Harvard operated by 3 Sqn RAAF as part of the Desert Air Force in 1942. A Harvard used by an operational Sqn I hear you say.

For a short period in 1942 three Harvards were issued to 239 Wing (3 & 450 Sqn RAAF and 112 & 250 Sqn RAF (P-40 Kittyhawk)) for what is described as ‘Wing Training’. This training encompassed check out flights for new pilots, ferrying pilots to pick up replacement aircraft and converting RAF trained “3 pointer” pilots to “wheel landings” more commonly used in US aircraft. All 3 aircraft carried RAF serials, being AJ944, AJ844 and AJ845. Other than a few photos of 845 and 944, and some personal log book entrys from personalities such as Bobby Gibbes not much more is known of the history of these aircraft, particularly after they left the Sqn.

The Kit

A Revell reissue of the old Monogram AT-6 the kit is cheap, does show signs of age, but is probably one of the most accurate and detailed Monogram ever produced. It is moulded in bright yellow plastic with little flash. It does though have raised panel lines and surface details, including rivets. Built straight from the box a very acceptable finish can be achieved, but I still did some work.

The kit cockpit was simply enhanced with some scratch built plumbing and wiring along with some masking tape harnesses and PE buckles. The seats were also thinned to scale and the rear seat had its top reshaped to a more accurate outline. The entire exterior was sanded and rescribed. The boarding steps were made from styrene, as were all of the control surface actuators. Fuel tank caps were drilled out, and the moulded tail wheel assembly was replaced with brass rod and a wheel from the spares box. The extended exhaust is brass tube and the pito is hypodermic tubing. Main wheels were replaced with resin ones from a long since demised LTD Boomerang. Finally monofilament was used to create the HF antennae and some careful painting and dry brushing completed the kit engine.

Painting and finishing

Finished as AJ845 the kit was painted using Modelmaster and Humbrol enamels and sealed with Future. Decals are all from the spares box and the final flat coat comes from the Floquil Railroad Colours line.

Postscript

Australia’s Warbird scene has a flying example of AJ944. Based in Melbourne and owned by John Rayner its appearance in the stunning desert livery in 1998 certainly turned a few heads. Many photos of this aircraft and ones of the original can be found in the references.

References

Classing Wings Downunder Magazine Vol 4 No 1 Jan-Mar 1997 pp 28-35,

Classing Wings Downunder Magazine Vol 5 No 3 1998 pp 55-57 (article on flying aircraft),

Flightpath Magazine Vol 10 No 1 Aug-Oct 1998 pp26-37 (aircraft on cover),

Flypast Magizine May 2001 pp 46-48.

Further Images


Images and text © Jeremy King

 


 

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