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This is my Heller E-3A Sentry AKA AWACS. I started this back in the beginning of March, but after getting part way through I realized that I had not ordered aftermarket accurate TF-33 engines, so I put it aside and ordered a set of David Parkin's Flightpath engines and worked on the Italeri F-21A kit while I waited for them to arrive. While I was waiting I also ordered the Contrail's antenna upgrade kit. After the upgrades arrived and I finished the F-21A,

I returned to this the beginning of this month and finally finished it. This is the first Heller kit I have worked on in a while and based on this one example I would rank then somewhere between Mach 2 and Italeri as far as fit and finish goes. The fuselage went together well, but there were major fit issues with the wings. If it wasn't that they were the only game in town I would not recommend the Contrail antenna upgrade which includes chin, cheek and tail antennas. The parts were very crude, and they were not shaped to fit against the fuselage well so took a lot of work and filling to get them to blend in. I also think their shape is suspect. On the other hand the Flightpath engines were very good to excellent. My only complaint is that the rear of the forward fan part of the engines are molded solid while they should be open, something the Heller engines got right. I tried to simulate the openness by painting the area black. The shear size of this made construction difficult and I can't count the number of times I broke off the wing tip antennas, including while giving it a final finishing coat, but it is finished and on to the pictures.

 

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Next up is the Italeri AC-119 Stinger.

 

Enjoy

 

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It is, and it is those big swept wings that are a problem. I could only get it to fit on the shelf at all by pointing it towards the wall. No other orientation could keep the landing gear still on the shelf.

 

Thanks

 

Howard

 

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That's one big bird!

 

Really nice job, looks great 👌

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Very nicely done Sentry. It looks very professionally done, I bought an Airfix one many years ago but have yet to attempt it.  I still have not worked out where I would put the finished article.

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That kept me from building it for a while. I was even thinking of hanging it from the ceiling at one point. I finally desided to build it and figure out where to put it later :). It worked out

 

Thanks

 

Howard

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Nicely done H. :thumbsup:

 

I have this conversion to do after the E-3D I am working on. I also have the Contrail set and decals to do as a Kadena based aircraft. Looks like I have some work on my hands to get the contrail parts to fit. I also have the Fligthpath set with engines. I always thought the opening in the 'roof of the nacelle was a moulding problem and of the 2 other E-3 kit based builds I have done I have filled the gap. So I have learnt something there!

 

Was this the recent release of the E-3A? The boxings I have are all older and I suspect I will have issues with the decals I will need to use from the kit sheet.

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According to Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jet_engine#Turbofan and to quote from them" Turbofans differ from turbojets in that they have an additional fan at the front of the engine, which accelerates air in a duct bypassing the core gas turbine engine." So the larger front part is the duct and air is exhausted though it. That is why they get much better "mileage" then a pure jet. 

 

I started out with the 80306 version of the kit that I found on Ebay and which seemed pretty old and came with NATO decals. The decals were in bad shape; they were flat, very yellowed and it looked like the whole sheet had been dunked in water. I sent an email to Heller asking if I could get a new set, eventually they replied that they "don't sell parts overseas" and suggested I expose them to ultra violet light. After taping them to a south facing window for several weeks they yellow did go away, but I was still leery  about using them. So I went back to Ebay and found an 80308 version for a reasonable price and bought it. It came with a set of US decals, that I used, and a 50th anniversary of NATO set. These were glossy, kind of thick and looked like new. So it seems to be the luck of the draw what you'll get

 

Thanks

 

Howard

 

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Brilliant job on that AWACS!

Must say, I think your rating of Heller as "somewhere between Mach2 and Italeri" for fit and finish is quite an accurate assessment.

I am building Heller's L749 Connie presently and it is a similar story.

Anyways, you have built a very impressive replica - and I'm rather glad you didn't hang it from the ceiling.

:winkgrin::goodjob:

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I have their EC-121 on the pile for later this year. Fisher Models makes a whole bunch of upgrades so I hope they help.

 

Thanks

 

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2 hours ago, hsr said:

According to Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jet_engine#Turbofan and to quote from them" Turbofans differ from turbojets in that they have an additional fan at the front of the engine, which accelerates air in a duct bypassing the core gas turbine engine." So the larger front part is the duct and air is exhausted though it. That is why they get much better "mileage" then a pure jet. 

 

I started out with the 80306 version of the kit that I found on Ebay and which seemed pretty old and came with NATO decals. The decals were in bad shape; they were flat, very yellowed and it looked like the whole sheet had been dunked in water. I sent an email to Heller asking if I could get a new set, eventually they replied that they "don't sell parts overseas" and suggested I expose them to ultra violet light. After taping them to a south facing window for several weeks they yellow did go away, but I was still leery  about using them. So I went back to Ebay and found an 80308 version for a reasonable price and bought it. It came with a set of US decals, that I used, and a 50th anniversary of NATO set. These were glossy, kind of thick and looked like new. So it seems to be the luck of the draw what you'll get

 

Thanks

 

Howard

 

Thanks Howard, I got confused with the "rear of the forward nacelle' comment.

 

I was referring to the gaping hole under the pylon on the roof of the intake on the Heller engines, you are talking the about the lip at the rear of the forward cowl. Now I am on the same page, looking forward to seeing the C-121 done (I have one of those as well :) )

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15 hours ago, hsr said:

It … is those big swept wings that are a problem. I could only get it to fit on the shelf at all by pointing it towards the wall. No other orientation could keep the landing gear still on the shelf.

 

Thanks

 

Howard

 

Really impressive model! But I guess you have to get a bespoke glass cabinet for it…

 

Kind regards,

 

Joachim

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5 hours ago, hsr said:

I have their EC-121 on the pile for later this year. Fisher Models makes a whole bunch of upgrades so I hope they help.

 

Thanks

 

For your info, those resin parts are the part and look great on your model.

However the plusmodel parts wich i have for this version are also highley recommended.

Nomatter wich one you buy they are both in the ballpark!

 

Cheers, Jan

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I have the Plusmodel engines. Someone at my local club built one using the Fisher parts and it looked really great.

 

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Hello hsr,

Excellent modelling. Handling "the Big Ones" is stressing. Like you mentioned, constantly bumping into the model by working on it.

But the end result is all worth it. Well done.

Regards, Orion.

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