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T-34C Turbo Mentor

This is the 1/48th scale Beechcraft T-34C Turbo Mentor by Czech Model, done in kit markings. This kit originally came out in 2002, but it has taken me this long to finish it; I have had the major part of the assembly done for quite awhile, but other things came up and this lovely little kit got put on the back burner.

The model is done in kit markings, representing one of the US Navy trainers assigned to Training Air Wing Five (TAW-5), complete with TAW-5’s familiar sharkmouth. One of the interesting things of the T-34C is how the engine exhaust covers are connected to the top propellor blade with straps; this setup is apparently dual-purpose by providing FOD protection for the jet exhausts, as well as a means to keep the propellor from moving when the aircraft is shutdown. I used epoxy putty and tape to represent this arrangement.

Another interesting thing about this T-34C is that that prop blades are painted white/red/white on the front of the blades, whereas the back prop tips are painted yellow (There must be a USN regulation somewhere that spells out this color marking of the propellor).

The paint is Tamiya white primer, along with Model Master enamel for the red/orange (unfortunately, I have forgotten which specific MM paint color I used, but I think it may have been Chevy Engine Red).

Overall this is a pretty simple, short-run, injection-molded kit, that benefits from some TLC. I used some Eduard seatbelts, after first removing the molded-in seatbelts from the kit seats (which I used). I also added some static dissapators, made from fishing line (6 lb test, IIRC). Everything else, including resin tires/wheels, are provided in the kit. The one-piece canopy is vacu-form, which Czech Model provides two of (thankfully!). I managed to scratch the canopy somehow, so I will paint the scond canopy and replace the one that is currently installed.

Overall, this little Czech Model T-34C is a nice little kit, that is an easy build, and fills a colorful spot on the shelf amongst the other USN trainer aircraft. I don’t know if this kit is still available or not, but pick one up, if you happen to come across one.

3 additional images. Click to enlarge.


30 responses to T-34C Turbo Mentor

  1. just fantastic Marvin

  2. Nice work, Marvin. I’ve never seen one built before.

  3. Love this plane and logged some hours flying one.

  4. Beautiful build! Love the trainer colors.

  5. Nice job, sir….I especially like the prop/exhaust covers (nice touch). 🙂

  6. Excellent work Marvin…………… it really looks great !!!

  7. Marvin, a really nice bit of modeling, and another well executed paint scheme as I always expect, with something coming off your work bench. Well done !

  8. Wow, looking at this, you’d never know this kit has a reputation for being “not easy.” Very nice work and a realistic result.

  9. Tom: Thanks, Tom. Your kind words are very much appreciated.

  10. Looks great! I wish I could find a better kit in 1/72 – my dad flew the 34 during training, and the old Hasegawa kit is all I can find. Doesn’t look quite as nice in USAF markings though – kinda boring…

  11. Great lookin’ Mentor, Marvin. Those trainer colors are very nice and definitely “eye catching!” I saw one of these at an Indy airport oce. They look like pretty cool machines. I’d love to fly in one!

  12. Nice job, Marvin!! A lot of less-than-flattering things have been said about Czech Model kits, so its nice to hear some good news.

    I used to see those all the time, at Signature in Savannah. Every year around St Patricks Day, swarms of these would come up from Pensacola for the holiday festivities, along with a share of T-38s, Beechjets, and maybe a KC-130 from Cherry Point.

    We used similar FOD covers on the Beech 99s at Ameriflight.

  13. David: Czech Model kits can be a bit challenging, but this one is so small that there’s little opportunity for Czech Model to throw some curve balls, like usual. On this T-34C kit, Czech Model failed to add the rather prominent clear lens for the wingtip lights, so I had to made some out of clear epoxy (unfortunately, the epoxy turned yellow over time, so the lenses aren’t clear like they are supposed to be!)

    Thanks for checking in, Dave.

  14. Great looking aircraft. I fell in love with these aircraft when I first saw the in “The Official Monogram U.S. Navy & Marine Corps Aircraft Color Guide 1960-1993

  15. Marvin, awesome job on your Mentor. A little trivia about the shark mouth, the aircraft got the shark mouth after in has made a wheels up landing as part of a tradition. That is why not all of them have the shark mouth painted on them. Well done!

    Andy

  16. Nice work!!

    …and, yes of course there is a “reg” regarding the painting of the prop blades. From the Navy’s MIL-STD-2161:

    5.2.2.10.3.5 Propeller blades – warning markings. Propeller blades on single engine planes shall be painted on the front side in the same manner as for multi-engine blades; the rear face, however, shall be colored black, FED-STD-595, color number 37038, with a 4-inch band of orange-yellow, FED-STD-595 color number 33538, at the tip for blades of less than 15 feet basic diameter or in a 6-inch band, orange-yellow, FED-STD-595, color number 33538, for larger diameter blades.”

    • I’m not surprised that there is a USN reg for painting propellors. I’m doing an Airfix Shackleton MR2 right now, that has contra-rotating propellors (6 blades per engine!) and has red/white/red prop tips. Some Shackletons have props painted with the usual yellow tips, but I’m not sure what caused the change…I’m sure the RAF has a reg for this.

      Thanks for the info…it’s always good to have official references.

  17. Wow. Great job on one of my favorite trainers. Very nicely done.

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