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USAF MD-1 Towbar "Late" (198032) 1:32

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USAF MD-1 Towbar "Late" (198032)

1:32 VideoAviation




Aircraft are incredibly expensive and their engines require regular maintenance, so when they're on the ground it makes a lot more sense to tow them around rather than wear them out.  They also don't go backwards very well for the most part, so a tractor is usually used, along with a suitable towbar.  The USAF have used the MD-1 towbar for the majority of their fighter aircraft since the 1980s, and are likely to do so for some considerable time, on the basis that it works!


Arriving in a clear rectangular clamshell box, it has a printed header card, the resin parts cocooned in thick bubble-wrap, and the instructions folded into quarters to complete the set's protection.  There are 20 resin parts in the box, plus two lengths of wire and a small length of hexagonal section plastic rod.




Construction begins with the strut clamp, which is built up from four parts and a little winding handle to apply or remove the clamp to the aircraft's axle.  The towbar is made up from two sections, with the plastic rod threaded through the hole in the join, from which the two axle/suspension arms hang.  Two smaller arms stand up and join together at the top of the damper unit and a pair of scrap views show how they should be arranged for towing and transport positions, then it's a case of adding the thin hubs and diamond treaded tyres.  At the towing end, the eye is fitted into the hollow tube, and the metal wire is formed around the supplied template (seen far left above) and then fitted to the top of the eye, through the two holes in the sides.


Although you'll probably be painting things as you go along, the general scheme was olive green initially, changing to grey in the modern USAF.  There are no stencils, so once the painting is out of the way, you can choose whether you want to weather and chip it or leave it fresh and new.  There is a shorter version out there, so check your references if you're depicting a particular incident.


Highly recommended.




Review sample courtesy of


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