by Boris Krotkov
scale Cessna A-37B is available online at Squadron.com
When I got this kit from my Portuguese friend, it came with some
Portuguese Air Force decals. I therefore decided to convert this kit to
one of the most famous Portuguese T-37 belonging to the "Asas de
Portugal" aerobatic team.
Sad to say there is no aerobatic team in Portugal now, after several
crashes in the T-37's, in 1992 the entire T-37 fleet was grounded, and
after some cracks which were found in the root wings area, the "Ases de
Portugal" team was disbanded. There were rumors that a new team would be
created and that they would use AlphaJet aircraft, but insufficient
funding and availiable aircrafts canceled those dreams.
Another reason that forced me to convert the neat Academy kit
(besides the challenge made by my Portuguese friend about making a PAF
Model) is that I've never seen any Cessna T-37 models in the Internet
modeling pages. T-37s in PAF service had two versions of color schemes
and I preferred to make the "Asas de Portugal" scheme, that was common
to all fleet of T-37s when the "Asas de Portugal" were created, which
was more colorful, but a little more difficult.
kit has a good detailed cockpit, so I've just removed the gunsight and
added some scratchbuilt details and seat belts to the ejection seats.
Some scratchbuilt details were added to the cockpit like a thrust
control stick, etc.
The instrument panel was decorated with punched white MicroScale
TrimFilm disks and with punched gauges Reheat Instrument Panel Decals.
Also some Reheat Control Data Placards were added to sides and
central control panels of the cockpit tube. The windshield and canopy
framing were made of TrimFilm stripes and sealed with two coats of
The exterior needed many more conversions to de[pict an accurate
T-37. Many things were removed - antenna aerials on the stabilizer wings
and vertical tail, many antennas and air intake grids on the bottom of
the fuselage and many others. And also many things were added - wing
tips, air intake shields, nose Pitot tube, nose landing lights,
navigation lights etc.
As the T-37 had different wheels and tires - I've scratchbuilt new
wheels and made openings on the nose wheel disk. Also the antenna was
added behind the canopy and an aerial made of smoke invisible thread to
This was a most difficult task. First the model received several
coats of gloss white. Then I prepared three masking pictures and painted
the red-green arrows. As I had a lot of photos, that was not too
complicated to work. For more neatness I added a narrow strip of
MicroScale white TrimFilm along the wing's red-green stripes. After this
the model got a coat of Future for decaling preparation.
The decaling was much harder work. As I had only old PAF decals
(white round with "Cruz de Cristo" inside it), I needed to make the
circles a bigger diameter, which I painted blue for imitation the blue
circle around the PAF decal. The tail numbers were made using small
decal numbering symbols from an Academy decal sheet. I've prepared the
wing numbers with the computer graphic software and then printed them
out (in proper scale) on the small piece of the same white Trim Film.
After this I cut them carefully (just top paint coat) with the #11 blade
and airbrushed the whole piece with Testors black enamel.
After the paint dried I applied those digits one by one as a plain
decals. Some stencil texts were found on the kit's decal sheet and some
old Italeri's decal pieces. After the entire model got another coat of
Future for decal sealing, I "washed" the panel lines with a pencil. And
finally - the last two coats of Future for the real gloss finish of an
Special thanks to Jose Silva for the kit, PAF decals and LOT of
photos and to Lew Goubanov for his digital camera and Caz Dalton for
that unique multifunctional TrimFilm.
Click the thumbnails below
to view the images full-sized.
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Model, Text and Images Copyright ©
2001 by Boris Krotkov
Page Created 22 August, 2001
04 June, 2007
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