1/72 Mach 2 NC/AC123K Conversion - The Creep
Gallery Article by Jan Mulder - February 29, 2008
Plane Type: Propeller; Plane Name: C-123; Scale: 1/72; Kit Manufacturer: Mach-2
How to make a correct Nam-era NC /AC 123K.
The kit: Mach 2 C 123, costs appr. € 45,- ( in NL)
The Mach kit is the only kit available to build a NC/AC 123K. Unfortunately it is not worth the amount of money as it lacks lot of details, bad fitting parts and the construction sheet is very very poor. But ok, I sincerely wanted to build this impressive ‘Creep’ and this kit provides the NC/AC nose cone and chin sensor.
Starting with the cockpit you have to be sure it will fit in the fuselage halves, so prefitting here is essential.
The windshield/cockpit housing is of thick ‘glass’, I sanded it and polished it with car cleaner and wax thoroughly to make it thinner but it remains a bad transparency. Make 12 square holes for the cluster bombs in the bottom. The fuselage halves don’t fit at all. I made reinforcements with plasticard inside the halves to force a better fit. And I needed half a tube of Tamiya putty to make it optical smooth. After the two body halves are together you have to position the windshield/cockpit housing. You will discover that the windshield touches the dashboard, so start sanding until there is enough space for a free fit. I drilled the two side windows out of the windshield/cockpit housing as seen on pictures when the plane is static. Prefit and sanding the cockpit housing until the attachment with the body and nose is smooth. Now you can glue it to the body and using putty for a smooth attachment to the body. The landing gear is another problem.
As the AC 123 has a deep sit, be sure to lower it’s position. Appr. 7 mm between body and ground level. Don’t use the pre fits of the kit, make your own fit for the main and nose landing gear. I reinforced the attachments of the landing gears as you can’t see them anyway. I also made my own main landing gear doors of plastic card as the originals look like armor plates. The hydraulic struts I made of stretched sprue.
There is no info about the antenna wire, (for a correct positioning see my photo’s) .
As recourse I had the Sq/Si book C 123 in action, a helpful medium but tough I missed essential info and the ARC site with the walk around pics of the C 123. Only the exact painting of the fuselage is unknown, I couldn't find any pics so I speculated it with a grey scheme.
For the color scheme I used Humbrol colors:
- Matt Medium Green 117 FS34102
- Matt Tan 119 FS30219
- Matt Grey 144 FS35164
- Matt Black 33 FS37038
After I finished the airbrushing I spayed two layers of ‘Pledge coating for wooden floors’ aka in the US as “Future”. After two days drying, I washed the a/c with black and dark brown heavily diluted enamel paint. After drying I airbrushed the a/c with transparent matt. I weathered with black, brown, grey and white pastel. I repeated the sessions above for some areas several times to achieve the correct result.
Aircraft in SEA were suffering from the temperature (40C) and humidity (80%)! So even after short duty the planes looked weathered; dark colors became lighter. (see my photo’s) especial the horizontal and engine area parts.
The decal sheet is poor but acceptable, you only can’t use the roundels: far to large. Check your spares box for smaller ones from a F-5 or F-104. (remark: Seen pictures of these a/c without star roundels so it is not a must)
This kit is definitely not for starters. You will need modelling experience and patience to make this kit in a realistic NC/AC 123K. It needs a lot of prefitting, sanding and putty. Due to the complex camouflage scheme you have to have the skill to achieve this special ‘creepy’ scheme. I did it free hand and it costs a lot of concentrating and corrections of course. After all I was satisfied with my creation as it is such a beautiful impressive aircraft.
In December 2007, this model of mine was the winner at the "modeling Madness site" Vietnam contest. As I got a lot of positive reactions I decided to put it on ARC. Think it's the best way to reach as many Nam modelers as possible and give them some help to build this awesome aircraft.
Greetings from The Netherlands
ARC Air Forum Name: Jan_Mulder
1 Gallery Article
Jan Mulder is here with his awesome 1/72 Mach 2 NC/AC123K Conversion. This started as a limited run kit that would challenge the most skilled modeller. Jan worked long and hard to get the look and details correct and his model pays respect to this aircraft from the Vietnam War and all who flew in them.
Photos and text © by Jan Mulder.