Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Anigrand 1/144 Lockheed C-141A Starlifter

This Anigrand C-141A is only the second resin model kit I've ever built. The first one was a 1/48 scale Feiseler 103 piloted "Buzz Bomb" back in the mid 1990s, and that was just a single chunk of resin with a clear vacuform canopy. This C-141A is like a traditional injection-molded kit, with many parts and sub assemblies. After having completed it, I can say I prefer regular plastic kits over resin. Resin parts, especially the large flat ones like the wings and fuselage have a strange texture to them, which shows through the paint job. No amount of sanding and buffing seems to smooth them out completely. At any rate, when you look at this model from a foot away or more, the surface texture is hardly noticeable. The reason I bought this model is because I want to build a collection of airplanes I admired in my youth in standard 1/144 scale. The Anigrand C-141A is the only one available in 1/144. Just watch though; it'll be just my luck that Roden, Minicraft, or Amodel will come out with one here in the next few months!
While I admire the classic Aurora C-141A, 1/108 scale just doesn't go with anything else. And painting it in the USAF's gray & white scheme would be difficult due to finding the right decals to go on it. DML's crisp 1/200 C-141A is too diminutive in my opinion. This Anigrand kit is just right!
I won't go into detail about building it. All I can say is I spent a lot of time filling, filing, and sanding. For the aircraft gray, Testors makes the correct color in a bottled gloss enamel and acrylic. But they don't include it in their line of rattle can sprays. I really didn't want to break out the old airbrush, as I'm just too lazy to deal with mixing and cleanup any more. So I found the next best thing: Tamiya spray Luftwaffe Light Blue. It's an exact match to the Testors Aircraft Gray in the bottle. The Tamiya paint is matte, so a coat of clear gloss is needed to bring out that realistic USAF Aircraft Gray (aka. Air Defense Command Gray.) To me it looks fabulous, and sure beats brush painting it like I did earlier on the Otaki C-5A - no streaks! I used Tamiya gloss white spray on the upper fuselage.
Not all the parts lined up correctly on this resin kit, but once everything is painted and adorned with the excellent decals included, you hardly notice the imperfections. I have it in mind to build one more 1/144 scale airplane from Anigrand, and that is the XB-70. Unless of course some fine model company comes out with a styrene one before I get around to buying it.
Oh, and by the way, the reason this model appears on this blog is because C-141As from Norton AFB did touch and go's at Palmdale Air Force Facility
all the time when we moved to Lancaster in '74. It seemed I saw them every day for a year flying overhead with those screaming P&W TF33 turbofans. It's another important airplane to me that fueled my interest in aviation.


  1. I worked at McChord AFB from 1979 to 2010 and we had C-141's for years. I'm not sure if they were A models to start with but they flew B's until we got C-17's, which I worked loading and unloading. Your model looks fantastic to me.

  2. Hi Cap'n Bob,
    Yes, they would have been A models to start with. All but two C-141A's were converted to B's by the mid 80s. The two remaining As are in museums now.

  3. Did you also know that the A became the B because some worker suggested stretching the plane as part of the gov't's suggestion program? People who do this get a percent of the money saved if the suggestion is enacted. This guy made a mint.