Here we take a look as a lovely release from Zvezda of the C-130 J-30 in 1/72nd scale.


The Hercules family of aircraft have been in service with many countries throughout the world for many years, and due to its wide ranging usage it can be considered as one of the ultimate transport aircraft produced today. The C-130 J is one of the extended body versions of the Hercules and along with others of its type, is one of the few large transport aircraft that can land just about anywhere, or of course do low level drops. It is powered by Rolls Royce AE 2100 engines, driving four six bladed propellers and providing a top speed of 670Kmph. Zvezda has released a 1/72nd scale model of this version of the Hercules. And here we get to take a closer look at what is offered.


This offering from Zvezda of the C-130 J in 1/72nd scale is provided in a robust flip top cardboard box, with nice artwork on the top. Inside are three sealed plastic bags containing the plastic parts for the model, a Ziploc bag containing the clear parts, an instruction booklet and finishing guide and three decal sheets. An examination of the contents reveals no obvious areas of concern, beyond the largest decal sheet having no protection, which may cause issues if damp. Access to the parts on the sprue is good, and is considered another plus by myself.

The cockpit and interior of the model is well catered to for a 1/72nd scale model. The limited view you get of the cockpit interior is more than acceptable, for the limited view that is possible. For those who wish to further dress up the cockpit, I am sure that photo etch will be available, if it isn’t already and I have to commend Zvezda for providing a three man flight crew , which in this scale are exceptional. The loading deck has very good moulded detail on it, but obviously the locating locks on the floor are just moulded on detail. The bulkhead from the loading bay to the flight deck is another well replicated area of the model, but the detail between the deck and the bulkhead will be very difficult to see. There are a number of clear parts that need to be added to the fuselage, both along its length and the flight deck area. I do not know if a masking set is available as yet, but I think it will be a useful addition. The side wall detail of the loading deck is well replicated on the interior sides of the fuselage, and I appreciate that seating detail is added using extra parts. 

The main wing structure is made using five parts, which are fully assembled prior to the addition to the model which with the wing being a flat structure should help prevent wing droop occurring. The engine nacelles have good exhaust detail and intake tunnels represented. The propeller heads can be assembled in a rotatable position, with the six blades of each prop being individually added. The large wing tanks that hang between the engine nacelles are an almost iconic feature, that is well represented here. The horizontal tail surfaces are a simple top and bottom halves, but even in this scale are quite large, and will require careful support when added to the model. The nose cone of the aircraft is provided in three alternate parts, and it is indicated that a 25g weight needs to be added.

The undercarriage of the model is well replicated for this scale, including weighted tyres which ois something often overlooked in other scales. With the underside of this aircraft being so close to the ground, the good level of detail provided by Zvezda will be difficult to appreciate, but I think it is going to be a case of I know it’s there. The ramps at the rear of the aircraft are nicely detailed, and could be displayed open or closed, with the only thing I would have liked to have seen included in the model being the loading ramps that fold down from the ramp itself. External areas and anntenaes are well represented, which should please modellers. Crew access doors along the side of the fuselage are accurately replicated in the model, and can be shown open or closed. 

Where is model is particularly stunning is the effort put into the decal sheets, which offer a very large set of generic decals covering where you can and cannot walk and it is this set that is not protected. Finishing wise the options are:

C-130 J-30, US Air Force, 37 airlift Squadron, Ramstein, 2019

C130 J-30, Royal Australian Air Force, 37th Squadron, Richmond Airbase, 2021

C-130 J-30, Royal Air Force, 24th Squadron, Lyneham Airbase, 2010

C-130 J-30, French Air Force, 62e Escadre de Transport, Orioans, 2018

C-130 J-30, Italian Air Force, 50 gruppo, Air Tattoo Air show, England, July 2014


This offering from Zvezda is another stunning offering of the Hercules. The good selection of finishing options should make this a popular model, and a good size model at that. The details present appear accurate to me and the effort put into the decal sheet I feel will be appreciated. Negatives are limited to some holes needing to be opened up, with no drill size provided. The final positive I wish to cover specifically is the effort put into the interior, which should meet most modeller’s requirements.



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