Late in 2004 DMG was asked to quote on the construction of a large scale model of the AP-3C ORION Maritime Patrol Aircraft for TENIX Aerospace Division. Proving to be cost prohibitive at this stage and with time running out for the model to be constructed in time for the forthcoming Avalon Airshow in March 2005, the idea was shelved.
TENIX had other ideas and with the help of Lockheed Martin in the USA a model approximately half the size was found in storage in the US. The model was old and very basic and depicted a Spanish Air Force old P-3B Orion. We were asked if it was possible to modify this model into an AP-3C version with loads of extra detail and repainted to depict an 11 SQN Aircraft based at RAAF Edinburgh, South Australia.
the original model
The model was delivered to our workshop within 48 hours. The model was unpacked and we discovered that a lot of work was going to be needed to get this model up to a state in which it could be displayed. The model was stripped of all removable parts and sanded smooth removing layers of old paint (This had obviously been several other versions as well!) and chips and cracking in the fibre-glass repaired.
Once we were happy with the new finish all the new details had to be added. This included engraving all the flap, rudder, elevator, bomb-bay and wheel well door detail, adding several dozen new blade aerials on top, below the fuselage and wings, cut off the old wingtips and produce the new wing tips with all their “bumps and fittings” and cast 10 new weapon stations. These were cast in polyurethane resin and were made in a way that at a later date we can attach and detach weapons such as torpedoes, Harpoon Missiles or the new Stand Off Tactical Weapons the RAAF are currently pursuing.
Now that the detailing was completed it was time to paint the model in their new overall medium grey colour scheme. Walkways on the wings were painted and decals produced to represent the last AP-3C Orion modified by TENIX and carried the 11SQN markings on the tail.
Lastly a new modern stand was required to display the model on for the show. A clear acrylic stand was designed and produced by City West Plastics in Sydney. The RAAF Roundel was spray painted on the base of the stand.
The end result was very pleasing. The model and stand brought the model from something probably produced in the early 1970’s into the 21st Century. The model was displayed at Avalon 2005 in Melbourne and the model has received high praise from Lockheed Martin staff in the US where the model will be returned in her new RAAF AP-3C configuration and livery for a conference on the future of the P-3 fleets later in 2005.