1/72 scale model of the FMA Pucara from Airfix release
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Another Pucara was made as released by Airfix as kit #A03068 in 2008.
The model was made as an Uruguay Air Force Pucara.
TIP: read a very interesting article at AirPressMan... [external link].
The decals are in the Airfix kit release along with Argentine Grupo 3 decals. The moulds are the same as the Special Hobby kit seen on page 1. So it has the same inaccuracies and again several corrections were done.
First is the kink at the dorsal fillet, newly made with card.
The reduced leading edge sweep of the horizontal stabilizer.
This was done with a card insert and putty.
The lower fuselage belly at the wing is a bit too flat but was kept as per kit as not that obvious.
The last add ons are all 2x24 vortex generators on the wing.
The rest of the kit assembly was done as per instructions. Don't forget to add a LOT OF weight to avoid a tail sitter.
Some sanding is needed and putty particularly at the lower nose section with the separate insert and the nacelles.
The plastic is soft, set clamps to allow it to dry.
A couple of light grey base coats of Revell Aqua #75 steingrau were applied with the airbrush to check for any flaws that needed rework.
The Uruguay Air Force camouflage colours for the Pucara are approx. FS34079 dark green, FS36173 darker grey and FS36495 light grey lower surfaces.
I airbrushed the Gunze Sangyo Mr.Hobby acrylic paints, with H309, H338 and H317 respectively. The last H317 paint resembles the dark grey. Airbrushing was done almost free hand with the Harder Steenbeck Infinity airbrush. Also airbrush a spare decal paper for any repairs when needed.
NOTE: I later found that the stabilizer had no green pattern... this was inaccurately drawn in the Airfix scheme drawing, so this tail stabilizer was airbushed later again in overall darker grey.
The final bits like the undercarriages were installed.
The cockpit tub and interior were painted medium grey with black panels. On the MB mk.8006 kit seats extra details were added (using the nice resin Special Hobby kit seats as example).
As on the first made kit, the 2 propellers need care with all the separate blades, I used a 3 x 120 degree drawing to align these. These have silver spinner, yellow tips and black de-icing strips. Also a blue ring was painted at the nacelle intake.
I used the Airfix kit decals but these tend to "silver". So first airbrush glossy varnish with several coats of Johnson Future/Pledge varnish. Also use Future to set the decals, the varnish will act as a sort of decal glue.
Despite this, after the decals dried, still some silvering was seen. I punctured the decal with a scalpel and with a brush dripped some Future again (or use Microscale Sol). Let dry, it should look better when dried.
At the exhaust, some burned metal panels were painted.
Most Pucara's have a long wire antenna running from the mid fuselage to the tail. Also an antenna wire runs below the fuselage tail. All was made from rod and fishing line. (later when system upgrades were done the long wire antenna was replaced by a small white spine blade antenna).
On top of the vertical tail a red anti-collision light was added as were on the wing tips. Two antenna's were set amidst the tail. Two pairs of static dischargers were set made from very thin sprue on the stabilizer tips and rudder.
Overall a semi-matt transparent coat was airbrushed onto the model (using Johnson Future/Pledge varnish with 20% Tamiya X-21 Flat base mixed in).
I wanted to set the canopy open to show the nice details in the cockpit. It is one piece so with a lot of care with a very fine TIGER razor saw it was cut in two.
Two canopy mirrors were installed from 2 tiny scrap metal bits. The canopy was set onto the model and the Pucara was ready!
[ 176,215 sq.km | 3,5 million inhabitants | capital: Montevideo | GDP US$ 17,800 per capita nominal ]
From mid 1981 the Fuerza Aerea Uruguaya put into service 6 Pucara's manufactured the of the Argentine FMA. They were designated A-58 in the attack role and also used in anti-drug policing. They had four 7.62 mm machine guns in the nose sides and could also on pylons carry 20mm canon pods or small bombs or rockets. Three Pucara's were obtained in 2008 from Colombia for spares and also some system upgrades like GPS were done.
The main operating base was at Durazno but also deployments to Rivera on the border. The Pucara's flew in the FAU for some 37 years and were retired in March 2017.
For more information look at the Uruguay A-37 page here...
Note the overal grey horizontal stabilizer
... at Durazno
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Created this page June 16, 2022