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Lift here! Cessna LC-126A

FineScale Modeler reviews the 1/72 scale aircraft kit with a ton of exterior detail
RELATED TOPICS: AIRCRAFT
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The Cessna 195 featured a radial Jacobs R-755 engine and a strut-free cantilevered wing. It could carry four passengers and pilot.  The U.S. Army and USAF bought 83 195s, designating them LC-126 (the L prefix stood for cold weather, the C for cargo). A few were used in Alaska for rescue and light utility duties.

Lift here! Models is a Serbian outfit, producing small kits made in soft light gray resin. The attractive packaging holds a one-piece fuselage, one-piece wing, basic cabin interior details, floats, N struts, tail planes, cowl, engine, prop, and other small details. 

Although listed on the instructions, my kit was missing the oars that were to be attached to the floats. However, beautifully printed decals that provide markings for one LC-126A with Arctic rescue markings.

With such a basic breakdown of parts, one would think that assembly would be a snap. Not so much. 

There are only shallow locators on the fuselage for the N struts, and there are no locators on the floats. The instructions’ diagrams show only a completed aircraft, so it was just guessing and dry-fitting to figure out the mounting points and angles. Since the model must be built with super glue or epoxy, it wasn’t easy to tack parts in place to experiment.

There also is considerable wire bracing between the floats and from the floats to the fuselage, but the diagrams don’t clearly show the attachment points for rigging or suggest material to use for it.

I decided to paint the fuselage and wing separately, then install the basic seats, instrument panel, and control yokes to the topless interior. The vacuum-formed windscreen proved troublesome. Two are provided (and a resin “buck” if you want to vacuum-form more) giving you at least one more chance if you mess up the first two. 

The framing and cut lines are vague. The overhead clear panel that spans the gap in the wing’s leading edge is much too deep and not shaped like the gap in the wing. I messed up the first, but my second try was better, although the fit was still rough. I used silver decal stripes for the framing. 

Lift here! provides only a single strip of clear plastic to cut up and insert for the cabin windows. That appeared to be more trouble than it was worth, so my windows are “pane less.”

Fit of the wing is dependent on the windscreen, too, and when I thought I had the clear part right, the wing’s trailing edge seemed to float above the fuselage. Nuts!
The beautiful color illustrations of the aircraft that grace the cover and bottom of the box are your guide to applying decals. Anticipating trouble, I applied a coat of Microscale Liquid Decal Film to the entire decal sheet to stiffen them a bit and make them easier to apply. Success!

I used .010-inch plastic rod and fishing monofilament to rig the floats. I painted the model with decanted Tamiya spray-can gloss aluminum, and Mr. Color yellow and red for the high-vis Arctic rescue markings.

I spent 26 hours on the Cessna, more than I anticipated due to the uncertain fit of the fuselage/wing/windscreen interface and the rigging.

If you don’t look too closely, it’s an attractive model of an attractive and popular classic plane! 


Note: A version of this review appeared in the April 2019 issue.

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