I used to watch
Noratlas's fly slowly and high across the sky over my house when I was a
kid, so when the opportunity arose to build one in special markings for
the types 50th anniversary in 2006, I was enthusiastic. The Heller kit is
everything you would expect - accurate in shape but lacking in detail and
refinement of moulding. However, I built it OOB apart, obviously, for
the decals which are an Alps-printed set from Dipe Decals in France who
provide the special scheme items which you then use in combination with
the kit decals since the airframe is the same (105). The kit also has
optional parts for an earlier Noratlas version with smaller fins and
different cockpit glass layout.
images below to see larger images
can be seen in the photos, I have had some difficulties with this build. A
lot of filler has already been used and still there are obvious miss-fits.
The main problems in fitting were: rear doors of the fuselage, fuselage
halves, clear cockpit part to fuselage, booms to fuselage. Also awkward
were the undercarriage legs.
Typically, despite a load
of weight in the nose, it tail sits so I had to make a support for the
rear from clear plastic - not really a problem.
The whole thing has been
hand-painted with Xtracolor paints in a variety of metallic shades and
Humbrol paints for the non-metallic colours. The Dipe-Decal decals go on
really nicely and I was impressed by the satisfactory opaque white, the
kit decals have too pale a shade of blue for the French national markings,
and neither provided accurate propeller warning markings. This is not a
beginners kit by any means, but it's a lovely old plane and I am
reasonably happy with it.