As a part of a collection of Aircraft model being done for the RAAF we were asked to build a model of the new AIRBUS KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft. The RAAF have recently taken delivery of 5 of these aircraft to replace the Boeing 707 Tankers that had been used for many years. The KC-30A has been selected by several Air Forces around the world and is a very versatile aircraft. It is based on the AIRBUS A330 aircraft with a large fuel capacity as well as passenger and cargo transport configuration built in. It can refuel aircraft using the boom method such as that used by the new RAAF F-35B, C-17A and E-7A WEDGETAIL on the centre station and the Drogue and Probe system on either outer wing.
The RAAF wanted a model in a scale of 1:144 so a kit of the Airbus A340 was bought. This is very similar in that it has the same fuselage, only stretched, the same wings and horizontal stabiliser. However the KC-30 only has two larger high bypass engines and a slightly different tail. The tail I managed to purchase as an aftermarket accessory. The engines had to be made so a master and mold were made for the engine with the new pylon. The refuelling gear including the boom, drogue pods, which fit into the positions of the outer engines on the A340 kit, ESM pods and ventral camera/control pod were all made up as masters which were molded and cast in polyurethane resin.
The fuselage was shortened by removing sections from forward and aft of the wing and rejoined and panel lines etc re-scribed. Once all the new parts were fitted, aerials were glued in place and the model was painted with a coat of mid grey. Details were painted and decals printed and applied. The 33 SQN tail markings were made by using a photo of the tail of the aircraft and drawn in Corel Draw and printed on our laser printer.
Whilst building the first model for the RAAF I was asked about doing another model so managed to get hold of another kit and quickly put this together so that they could be painted and finished at the same time. Each model was fitted to a clear acrylic stand as in flight. Both models came out very well. One model is now being fitted with stiff wire refuelling hoses into the wing tip drogue pods so that two models of F/A-18F Super Hornets can be suspended from them in a pose of refuelling in flight.