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  1. Hi all, one of the great things about working for Airfix Model World is the chance to build some really off-piste subjects that I would never normally attempt. Such is the case with the Basler BT-67 Turbo-Dakota conversion I built for the October 2017 issue. The base kit is the excellent Airfix Dakota III while the conversion set came from Alley Cat. There are several variants to be had in the range but in this case, we chose the single Mauritanian Air Force example, serial 5T-MAH, mainly due to its natty colour scheme. As was to be expected the Alley Cat parts fitted the kit perfectly with only the extra side windows needing to be made from clear acetate. As the BT-67 has a revised semi-glass cockpit the whole nose interior needed to be upgraded and this was done using parts from the Airfix kit, scratch-built panels and bulkheads, instrument panel, revised yokes, dials, via Airscale and the usual throttles, pedals and fire extinguishers. This version also featured a Star SAFIRE FLIR system for surveillance operations, and while the under-nose turret was included, the operator's area, seat, table and FLIR screen had to be scratch-built and fitted. True-Details resin wheels replaced the kit parts as these had a far better level of detail and the rear boarding ladder had railings fitted. The cargo interior also received new bench seats along with all strapping.The top of the forward fuselage was festooned with aerials and sensors that needed to be scratch-built and added along with the new oblong window added above the pilot's position. The model was painted using Lifecolour and AK Interactive Air-Series acrylics and weathering a mix of Abteilung502 oils, AMMO-MIG pastels and AK Interactive oil and grime washes. Good fun and highly recommended. Hope you like it... Cheers Melchie
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