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John Healy
155 articles

1/144 TWA C-54.

June 7, 2024 · in Aviation · · 22 · 181

This started life as a Berlin Airlift boxing of the kit. I picked it up at a swap meet for $3. A deal too good to refuse! This is also how stashes grow exponentially, lol. Anyways, I was going to build it using the kit supplied USAF decals until I realized they were unusable. The inks and carrier film were wildly offset on the decal sheet. Fortunately, Draw decal has a nice selection of / aftermarket sheets and I ordered their TWA set. We truly live in a golden age of modeling in which stuff like this can be easily purchased on the internet. TWA operated 15 of these on cargo routes mostly from New York to the Middle East between 1946 and 1958. New York-London-Paris-Athens-Cairo being the most common. This particular plane, ship 605, was named “The Acropolis”.

The model is very well molded in a weird silver/metallic flake plastic. There was zero drama assembling it and it is one of Minicraft's better airliner kits. Not as nice as the DC-8 and MD-80, but much better than the DC-6 and Stratocruiser.

I finished it with the newish Mr. Color Super Metallic 2 Duraluminum lacquer paint. It really is good stuff. Sprayed 1:1 with Mr. Color levelling thinner it produced a smooth and shiny real metal looking finish. The paint is very forgiving and seems impossible to apply too thickly when sprayed at around 18psi. It covered a few areas of Tamiya filler, Mr.Surfacer, and CA with ease. While very durable, I did have a couple small areas peel off when I masked to paint the de icing boots. A quick shot of the Duraluminum fixed these in minutes. The kit, decals, and paints all are highly recommended.

Now to try this paint on a larger subject with panel variations. Hmmm, P-47, P-51, F-84, EE Lightning, Starfighter……..

Reader reactions:
17  Awesome

11 additional images. Click to enlarge.

22 responses

  1. Beautiful, John @j-healy. That Mr. Color Super Metallic seems to be super great for metal finishes. I have a few bottles myself and can't wait to put them to use.

  2. Fantastic NMF!

  3. Ooh Shiny! Very sharp DC-4

  4. another convert!

    And the model looks great.

    • Yes, Tom. Your use of this caught my eye. Testors chrome, SNJ, Testors metalizer, Alclad, AK Extreme, Tamiya lacquers. I’ve tried them all and think this Mr. Color is the best all around metal finish. I’m going to try using some AK Extreme metals over it to do some panel variations on one of my upcoming projects. I also want to try to see how it reacts with a little dullcote to replicate an oxidized finish.

  5. Ahoy John. Super neat job on one of my favorite airplanes. Gotta love that lacquer aluminum. I've been looking for a go-to paint for NMFs and this may be the one.

  6. A real beauty. Build and finish are super.

  7. Excellent job and superb result, John!

  8. Excellent build and finish, John!

  9. A true gem, John @j-healy
    Your skills together with the duraluminum gave it a perfect shine for the NMF.
    Well done.

  10. Lovely build John. Good to see that you are still willing to experiment even when you produce wonderful models like this. Top stuff 😊

  11. Nice "factory-fresh" airliner!

    • Thanks, Greg. I do like clean models. I was actually surprised how shiny these looked in pics found online. They were all surplus military aircraft but who knows, they may have seen little or even no use in 1945.

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