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'A gaping silken dragon,/Puffed by the wind, suffices us for God./We, not the City, are the Empire's soul:/A rotten tree lives only in its rind.'

Thursday, 5 December 2013


... disaster.

Not entirely, but I suppose I shouldn't have expected too much from decals that were at least 20 years old. The Heller Nord Noratlas in 1/170 was a funny little construction project: too soft plastic, poor fit, massively over-scale rivets and panel lines. In the end it really became a sort of filler-come-plastic lumps model, but that got round the rivets and panel lines issues, and nearly dealt with the fit problems. But, then the decals...:

It was a case of disintegration time. The 'walk here' markings on the fuselage top were ok, but I struggled, not entirely successfully with the roundels... 

only to be totally defeated by the tail stripes, which just broke into a thousand pieces.

I could, of course, mask and paint them, but I am a 'kit basher' after all.

Overall, as a small project, 6/10; perhaps more, because it is such a fascinating aircraft, just shouts 'Cold War', or 'Bush War'.


  1. I like Stephen. I think you have done justice to the aircraft here. I actually like the German and Israeli schemes better but being a Heller...

    I think the straddle look about it really makes it!

    Well done!

    1. Cheers, Paul. Yes, I wanted to do the Portuguese version - they used them for para drops in their African wars - but I just couldn't source the 1/170 markings, and they're too tricky to paint.

  2. a friend of mine, Jean Houben, once had a problem with the cockpit window of his Noratlas !

    1. Excellent tale! Good lord, who opened the beggar in the first place? How come you know such a distinguished chap ? Mind you, I can claim to be the long term chum of a pilot who flew Shackletons for donkeys - we used to talk Biggles as 11 year olds. He ended up in a four engined a/c. I ended up in a university library....