A Piece of History:

Indonesian Air Force Aviation 1945 – today

Gallery Article by Alex Sidharta on Aug 17 2010

Indonesia Independence Day 2010 


A permanent display at the Indonesian Air Force Museum “Dirgantara Mandala” Yogyakarta

Models by Indonesian Modelers

Text © by Alex Sidharta   Photos © by Akha and Sinang

It was our dream to give contributions to our beloved country, Indonesia in our own way, the modeler’s way. The dream has led us to an idea to visualize each and every aircrafts and helicopters served the Indonesian AF in model forms.

The very first phase was here in ARC exactly 8 years ago, in 2002:


It was when we wrote a special update regarding the Indonesian AF history.

Then we planned to do a much more ambitious program: visualize every Indonesian military aircrafts in miniature. The perfect place for the models would be at the Air Force museum in Yogyakarta. It’s the place where the first air raid of the Indonesian AF conducted and more, it is now the birth place of every Indonesian military pilot.

The path we’ve walked has spanned over 2 years. It was begun when we met Air Marshall (Ret.) F. Djoko Poerwoko who committed to support and shows us the way to finally realizing our dream.

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Photo’s note:

03: Sinang Aribowo prepared the display case with his special treatment

04: Rahman was intensively in discussion with Andreas

05: Sinang and Christianto began to display the models

06: Closing the display.

The first phase was visualized by Sinang Aribowo, Rahman Ramadya, Mario Binsar, Akha Vardhana, Iwan Winarta, Andreas Sunarso, Ivan Gaudart, Nugroho, Peter Nur Asan and Alex Sidharta. We gathered the models from all over the place, from all whom willing to participate. Finally there are 38 models displayed at the museum. All in 1/72 scale.

Above photo: If reference is everything for you, this is how Mario Binsar did it.

We also prepare a mini-catalog can be visited at: http://issuu.com/sinangaribowo/docs/flyer_catalogue_en

This program is still continuing on. There are about 50 more models should be added to the collection.

We’d like to thank Andreas Pramaditya, R Setiawan and Christianto EP. Also to Roland as one of the member of the Preparation Committee.

It’s only a humble devotion to our country and to the man and woman serving our Air Force on this special day: the Indonesian Air Force Remembrance Day on July 29 and Indonesia’s 65th Independence Day.

The models are:

07: K5Y1 Willow (Indonesian name: Churen). Considered as the first Indonesian military aircraft, Churen was used on the first air-raid against Dutch in 1947. The model is ARII with own-printed decal by Sinang Aribowo

08: Ki-55 Ida (Indonesian name: Cukiu). Rahman built this little trainer/liaison aircraft from Fujimi kit with custom printed decal by Sinang.

09 :Avro Anson. Known as RI-003, this particular aircraft was a civilian version bought from Australia. Ivan Gaudart built and modified the Airfix kit.

10 : Ki-43 Hayabusha. A Japanese fighter which unfortunately never seen action when served the Indonesian. Built by Rahman from old Hasegawa kit with Sinang’s decal.

11 : Ki-51 Sonia (Indonesian name: Guntei). This light attacker was also used on the first Indonesian air raid in 1947. Built from Hasegawa kit by Alex Sidharta, decal by Sinang.

12 : Sakae-Blenheim Mk.IV. Used a Japanese “Sakae” engine on a British airframe made this a hybrid transport. The aircraft did flew once before crashed on its first and only flight. Ivan Gaudart modified the Airfix kit and put Indonesian early insignias on it.

13 : DC-3 Dakota RI-001. Known as “Seulawah” or Golden Mountain, this aircraft was bought by the Aceh people by collecting their golden jewellery. The model is an Italeri kit by Rahman. The marking was created using Sinang’s decal.

14: Noorduyn Norseman. A reissue Revell kit by Andreas Sunarso with self printed decal by him and Sinang.

15 : Ki-48 Lily (Indonesian name : Diponegoro II). Rahman built this Hasegawa model and put Sinang’s decal on it.

16. jpg : Auster Mk.IV. This small aircraft was handed over by the Dutch to the Indonesian in 50s. Iwan built it years ago from an old Airfix kit.

17. jpg : PBY-5A Catalina. Served the Indonesian AF’s 5th Squadron, this amphibian model was built by Akha Vardana with Sinang’s decal.

18 : AT-16 Harvard. Another trainer/attack aircraft supplied by the Dutch. This is an Academy kit with Sinang’s own-printed decal.

19 : P-51D Mustang. This well-known fighter aircraft, often locally called as “Cocor Merah” / Red Nose) was very famous for its shark mouth design. Sinang got it right using Tamiya kit and his own printed decal.

20 : B-25J Mitchell. Indonesia has various versions of this medium bomber, handed over by the Dutch. Peter removed the upper turret of this Hasegawa kit, gave it Alclad paints and put Sinang’s decal on it.

21 : B-26B Invader. Again by Peter, this shark-mouthed bomber was built using Italeri kit and Zotz decal.

22 : Lavochkin La-11. Not many know that Indonesia has several of this fighter. Served in the 60s, the model was built by Andreas Sunarso using SIGA kit and his own printed decal.

23 : Tupolev Tu-2. Indonesia acquired this aircrafts from China in the 60s. Andreas Sunarso built it using ICM kit.

24 : Mi-1/SM-1. Mario Binsar built this using a short-run MPM kit with Sinang’s decal.

25 : L-29 Delphin. This famous Czech trainer served the Indonesian AF in the 65 to 70s era. Rahman built this Bilek kit with Scale Nutz decal.

26 : Mikoyan Guryevich MiG-15UTI. Iwan Winarta built the KP kit to represent one of 30 MiG-15UTIs Indonesia had in the 60s.

27 : Mikoyan Guryevich MiG-17PF. With its radar, this aircraft was an all-weather fighter operated by the 11th Squadron. Iwan built it right using KP kit.

28 : Mikoyan Guryevich MiG-17F. The most numerous fighters Indonesia ever had, this fighter was notorious for its 23mm and 37mm cannon. Nugroho built the Dragon kit and paint it with a bright scheme depicts the 1962’s “MiG-17 aerobatic team”.

29 : Mikoyan Guryevich MiG-19S. Ten of this twin-engine fighters served the Indonesian AF only in a short period of time. KP kit and modified decals was built by Iwan Winarta.

30 : Mikoyan Guryevich MiG-21F-13. More than 20 aircrafts was supplied by the Sovyet Union in 60s made Indonesia was the first user of the Fishbed outside the Warsaw-Pact countries. Sinang built the Revell kit with his own printed decal.

31 : Tupolev Tu-16B. The bomber was one of Indonesia’s deterrent forces during the Indonesian-Malaysian and Indonesian-Dutch conflicts in the 60s. Had both bomber and missile carrier version, Indonesia was the first non Warsaw-Pact operator. Mario built the Trumpeter model with Sinang’s decal.

32 : Ilyushin Il-28 Beagle. Sinang built the kit of this medium bomber from Trumpeter kit and add his own printed decal. Il-28 was delivered to the 21st Squadron of Indonesian AF.

33 : C-130 Hercules. Indonesia operates many variants of this mighty transport since the 60s era. In 2009, Indonesian C-130BT has successfully refueled 2 Russian-built Su-30MK simultaneously. Mario Binsar built the Italeri kit with Sinang’s decal.

34 : T-34C Turbo Mentor. This basic trainer aircraft was delivered and served the 102nd Training Squadron in Yogyakarta. Alex Sidharta used Sky High kit in 1/72, painted using Xtracolor paints and Sinang’s own-printed decal.

35 : Avon Sabre Ca-27 Mk.32. A combination of Tasman limited-run kit and Fujimi, this Australian Sabre model was built by Alex Sidharta. Painted as the TNI AU’s “Spirit 78” aerobatic team, the real aircraft was operated by the 14th Squadron.

36. jpg : Hughes 500C. A small but agile helicopter built by Mario Binsar using Italeri kit.

37 : UH-1. Known as Iroquis, this legendary helicopter model was built by Mario Binsar using Italeri kit and Sinang’s decal.

38 : SA-330J Puma. The Airfix kit was used by Mario Binsar. He added the bigger wheel housing from a Super Puma kit to make a special Indonesian version of this French-design helicopter.

39 : S-58T Twinpack. Re-engined of UH-34, the helicopter has multi-purpose duties from transport to combat SAR. Mario Binsar copped the nose of Italeri Wessex kit, add Cobra Co.’s resin nose and used Sinang’s decal on it.

40 : F-16A Fighting Falcon. The multi-role fighter was selected to join the famous 3rd fighter squadron in the early 90s. In 1995, the world-famous “Elang Biru” aerobatic team was formed using 6 F-16s of Indonesian AF. Alex Sidharta shows the latest camo scheme of the aircraft using Revell kit and Aztec Decal.

41 : Hawk Mk.109. The second generations of British Hawk began its career in the Indonesian AF in the 90s. Along with Hawk 209, two squadrons was equipped with this aircraft. Alex Sidharta used Italeri kit and Scale Nutz decal.

42. jpg : Hawk Mk.53. This most widely-used British jet trainer was acquired by the Indonesian in the 80’s. Now served at the 15th squadron, the model was Italeri kit with Scale Nutz decal by Rahman.

43 : F-5F Tiger II. Italeri kit was used by Alex Sidharta for this sleek fighter-trainer aircraft. Decal for the TNI-AU was supplied by Sinang to make the model looks like the real one in the early 80’s.

44 : Su-27SK Flanker. The latest bird-of-prey of TNI AU (Indonesian AF) was built using Italeri kit by Sinang with Scale-Nutz and own-printed decal.

49 : The TNI AU Museum Chief inspected the new collection.


Alex Sidharta

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Photos and text © by Alex Sidharta