Monday, March 11, 2013

Entex 1/144 Lockheed C-5A Galaxy

I started working on this Entex C-5A Galaxy before Christmas! It was a partially built kit I won on Ebay. The wings had been poorly glued together with some kind of cheap adhesive maybe twenty, thirty years ago. The fuselage halves had pits and stains on them. The right half window piece was cemeted in, but the other two clear pieces were missing. Thankfully, the decal sheet was complete and untainted, so I went about restoring the parts to their original condition before assembly. That took about a whole month of disassembling the wings, filling and sanding the pits and flaws, and polishing the pieces.
Once I got started building, things went pretty smoothly until painting. I used Tamiya gloss white spray for the top fuselage half, but failed to put primer down before that. When I masked the top half to paint the lower half Aircraft Gray, the tape peeled away the white! So I had to start over again using some Testors gloss white. Not exactly what I had planned, but it turned out okay. I debated airbrushing the lower gray versus brush painting, and I chose the latter because I was fed-up with masking. From a foot away, you don't really notice the unevenness of the finish. To try and make the surface look more even, I sprayed the whole thing flat, then gloss again for a semi-gloss look. I was worried about the original decals; vintage Entex decals are notorious for breaking apart into a million pieces when disolved in water. But after testing a couple of the ridiculous Pan Am decals included on the sheet, I happily found them to be quite good, and they applied with no problems. Even if the original decals hadn't worked, I would have bought a set from Draw Decal, which makes an excellent sheet complete with door outlines, windows, and walkway stripes.
When I was a kid I couldn't afford this model, and today it's still way over-priced. I guess that's because no model company since Otaki in 1971 has released an updated 1/144 C-5 - not even Anigrand. Entex marketed the Otaki kit in the early 70s, and when they went out of business in the early 80s, Revell got the molds and released it as part of their modern USAF airplane series which included the excellent KC-10, KC-135, and B-52H, all in constant 1/144 scale. Later on, Testors got the molds and released it as a "B" model in Euro-One paint scheme. I believe that was the last time the kit was released. I wonder where those Otaki molds are today?
My copy here is by no means perfect. I suppose if I wanted perfection, or something close to it, I would have airbrushed the whole thing, and used Draw's detail-enhancing decals. But this one definately has the vintage, early 70s "boy-built" look, which fits in well with the rest of my rebuild collection.


  1. Congratulations! Awesome job

  2. For the last 7 years as a USAF employee, I'd occasionally load or unload C-5's. Frankly, they were a pain, and a bit dangerous, but impressive nevertheless. Great job on the kit.