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.