by: Peter Ganchev [ ]
IntroductionThe MD-3 generator (not to be confused with its NAVY deck tractor namesake) was an AC/DC generator unit. It succeeded the C-26 power cart, and was used by the USAF and allied air forces as a ground power source aircraft ranging from F-86 to F-105, F-4 Phantoms and even C-130s from the 50s till the 80s.
It was powered by a 180 hp, 7,2 l V6 gasoline engine, and was rather noisy. You can often see it on pictures from the Vietnam war era sitting in a revetment between two Phantoms, but it’s hardly available as a modelling accessory.
ContentsThe kit comprises 14 parts in cream colored resin, a length of black vinyl, and an extensive decal sheet. Instructions are printed in a single sheet, with a map diagram, 2 construction steps, and a painting and decaling guide.
Build ObservationsThe kit is easy to put together not only because it has very small part count, but because the part breakdown is simple, needs virtually no cleanup (other from the attachments to the casting stubs) or pins as you would expect from a resin kit. Wheels and tyres being separate will make it easier on those of you who paint their parts before gluing them.
Details are well-cast and defined – you will not need to rescribe or over accentuate it with washes to help it pop. The appearance of the finished product is further enhanced by the quality decal, which is readable despite the minuscule size of the lettering. To the manufacturer’s credit the unit’s dashboard looks to be a perfect match to the prototype.
The tires were a bit elliptical on my example, which meant I had to use filler to get the wheels to fit properly inside them. The second hinged cover on the top of the MD-3 is not provided in the kit, and the area beneath it appears too uneven (perhaps layers from the 3D printing showing through). On the prototype, when the drawbar is stowed upright, two extensions at its root are supposed to lock the front wheels to prevent the unit from moving on its own. In the kit the wheels are too far away for this to be simulated. The bright paintjob shows every imperfection on the casting, and there are a few on the sides.
ConclusionsSimple and easy to assemble, videoaviation.com’s MD-3 kit is a valuable addition to your Cold War era diorama – both detail- and colorwise.
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