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neil foster
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Nord 2501 Noratlas 1/72 Heller

October 22, 2017 · in Aviation · · 37 · 3.3K

Well as always I am good to my word, I said I'd build the kit my peers picked and so here it is and it has not been easy.

Because of the way the kit is constructed it is possible to build the fuselage completely before moving on to the wings and tail booms and that is how I went about it and that is why I didn't notice that half the parts to build the tail booms were missing !,so a good ten hours into the build I found myself completely stuffed,had this been a normal build I would have slung it in the bin ,cursed the guy who gave me the thing and moved on but not this time ,Oh no ,I've made a commitment ,a promise, so I have no choice but to buy another kit just to get the missing bits.

So second kit sourced it was on with phase two the tail booms and wings, I won't kid you- this is a tricky kit, the tail fins have flat mating faces and no locating pegs ,so you are required to glue them in place on your completed tail booms and hold them steady until the glue goes off , you then have to fill the gap on either side of the fin on both booms without destroying the raised panel lines and when the time comes to add the wings you also have to add the booms and horizontal tail surface at the same time which requires securing the whole thing with tape and any other means to keep it all square while the glue goes off.It is at this point that you realise one of the tails fins you took so long over is not quite vertical and requires gentle force to bring it into line ,Sheesh!.

O.K. at least now she was starting to look like a ,When I started to build this I was going to make it more interesting by having all the doors open including the large clam shell loading bay but as I Iooked more closely I decided that would spoil the nice lines of the aircraft and went for the closed up option the downside is that although I had stuffed as much lead shot under the floor and everywhere else I could without it being seen through the open doors she is now a tail sitter and has to be propped up with a little piece of clear dinking straw.

There is far more masking than I am comfortable with on this kit,I used maskol on the portholes and Tamiya masking tape on the cockpit windows and it turned out not too bad though far from perfect,finally the decals,one of the good things about building early IAF aircraft is that they had very little in the way of markings just the identification codes on the booms and under one wing and the star of David roundels.

Well here she is,finished, did I enjoy the process ? yes definitely ,would I build another ? probably not but it has re-ignited my interest in early IAF aircraft ,next one for me in this series will be the new Airfix Meteor .

Thanks for looking and your comments are welcome. N.

Reader reactions:
8  Awesome

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37 responses

  1. Well, Neil, it's ended up as a very neat looking plane, your masking worked really well, something I have yet to master. The Airfix Meteor, well, I'm really tempted as well. That's three "wells" in one reply, is this a record?

  2. Well could be, thanks for looking George.
    P.S. hope you are well.

  3. I would say it certainly shows off quite nicely after all the shortcomings and fit issues. Nice persistence in not chucking it in the trash. Worth the effort.

  4. Nice, clean build, Neil...turned out WELL. 🙂

  5. You did it! Nice work Neil! That is the first one I've ever seen completed.

  6. Great looking Noratlas, Neil. It is very well-come here! I've never seen one of these planes before, or if I did, I thought it was a C-119.

  7. Yes, the first of these I have ever seen completed. Very nice work, persistence counts.

  8. Looks good Neil, nice and clean, shame about the tail sitting, what size lead shot did you use ? I try to use solid lumps of lead and even make a plaster mold and cast a weight, you could build the the other fuselage with doors open as a load-master training aid !

  9. Great work on this Heller Noratlas Neil. You don't see them that much build. The older Heller kits can be a challenge but subjects like this are a great addition to the build collection. Super!

  10. Hello Neil,
    Blood, sweat and tears, but finished to high standards. A model you do not see very often (Sites-Model shows) But is has character.
    Job well done.
    Regards, Dirk / The Netherlands.

  11. Looks really good considering all the work you have put in, Great job, well done.

  12. Ok - so it almost seemed like you were trying to scare me off from building mine! However, seeing the final product, I plan to forge ahead! Very nice build, and an interesting scheme I wouldn't have thought of. I still think I'm going to go for one of the colorful camo schemes for mine (when I get around to it...).

    • Hey Greg don't let me put you off have a go,I've got a couple of spare canopies and a decal sheet which may or may not be useable if you need them.
      Thanks for looking and commenting.

  13. Great build! Tricky plane with a tricky paint scheme! Hat off!

  14. She's a beauty, Neil! Great job on an unusual and interesting subject. Looking forward to seeing your next IAF build...

  15. Neil, this is simply beautiful work. Clean, crisp, and no apparent flaws as it meets the eye--and all in 1/72. Extremely well done.

  16. Neil, first one I've seen built. She's a beauty!

  17. Very well done for persevering and keeping your promise. Your Noratlas turned out real good.

  18. Thankyou Julian, she aint a competition winner but turned out O.K. I think.

  19. Great looking aircraft Neil. I'm glad you stuck with it

  20. Nice work, Neil. Aside from all the assembly difficulty's, that is a very hard paint job. (The only thing harder is to add day-glo to the scheme.) All three colors are tough. I guess you're left with enough parts to do that "Flight of the Phoenix" diorama you've always wanted... Persistence has paid off well ! Congrats !

    • Thanks for looking Joe ,glad to see your still checking in, it was a tricky kit to get all lined up ,a C-119 Flying boxcar would look good next to her...
      Cheers N.

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