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Neill Roos
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1/72 SAAF Harvard / T-6 Texan

October 6, 2021 · in Aviation · · 15 · 2.8K

The South African Air Force operated over 1250 's from 1942 to 1995.

received their first Harvard's in October 1942. By July 1944, 633 Harvard Mk IIA's and III's had been shipped to South Africa with another 555 (379 MkIIA's and 176 Mk III's) to arrive by October 1945..

As the Harvards had been supplied on lend-lease by the US, 300 were shipped back to the UK from 1946, with the remainder being purchased by South Africa, 65 AT-6Ds (7634 to 7698) and 30 T-6Gs (7699 to 7728) were purchased from the USA during 1952-1956.

The Harvard remained in service until 1995 as a basic trainer.

Attached is a build depicting the later colour scheme of orange day glow, grey and natural mental with the Castle/Springbok roundels. The orange used on this model is actual "Day Glow" which was used on SAAF Harvards, my grandfather brought a pot from Langebaan AFB.

Last pic is myself sitting in one after a flight, many moons ago. I plan to build #7024 in 1/48 scale as the custom decals have just arrived.

Reader reactions:
9  Awesome

4 additional images. Click to enlarge.

15 responses

  1. Beautiful build on this tiny 1/72 kit, Neill @neillroos
    What a great idea to build the same as shown on the picture with you behind the stick.

  2. This is a great looking Harvard, Neil! I just love the scheme!
    SAAF planes look absolutely cool, with your model being one of them. Thanks for the additional info regarding SAAF Harvards.
    That's a great pic with you piloting; looking forward to see your quarter scale #7024!

  3. Very nice Scheme and work Neill.
    Great info on the lend lease Program south of the equator on this historic aircraft.
    Old planes don’t die. They just fade a way.
    Great job.

  4. Those Harvards/Texans show up everywhere! Nicely done - always cool to have a personal connection to a modeling project.

  5. Nice looking Harvard and great shot of you in the cockpit. Looking forward on your 1/48th build.

  6. I love the paint scheme on this T-6, Neill (@neillroos). How cool is it that you have some of the actual paint? Texans in all countries seem to have some really cool paint schemes, but this one is one of the best. In the late 1970s I used to fly C-141s into Johannesburg, but never got to see any T-6s.

    • Cheers, George. Agree with you there! The Harvards always looked great in all the schemes! The paint is a little too thick for a model and does take some of the detail away but I still think it's pretty cool. Those Starlifters were gorgeous! Most of the Harvards were based on the Coast at Langebaan Weg unfortunately. Hopefully you got to see some fighters though?

  7. The paint scheme really stands out, nice work.I have a soft spot for the T-6, I got to misuse and abuse the ones we had at the school I went to learn aircraft mechanics.

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

  8. Beautiful work Niell, you've done an amazing job on this Texan, love the scheme, especially it being South African, so cool that you have a personal link to it like that. Can't wait to see more of your SAAF builds.

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