Tag Archive: emergency

Beriev Be-200ChS Altair

Beriev Design Bureau was established in 1934 and is the synonym for the amphibian aircraft not only in Russia but on the world level as well. While most of the amphibians were propeller driven like WW2 era MBR-2 and Cold War Be-6 ‘Madge’ and Be-12 ‘Mail’ aka ‘Chaika’ with the advent of jet age, the constructors soon started to look into application of jet engines on amphibian aircraft. R-1 was the first experimental jet powered amphibian in the early ’50s with the Be-10 entering service later in the decade. Later in the ’70s, Beriev teamed up with Bartini for the experimental futuristic looking VVA-14 of which two prototypes were built. The next Beriev’s jet amphibian project was A-40 Albatros; developed in the ’80s only one prototype was finished with another in the works, when Soviet Union collapsed and the financial crisis shelved further development. To this day, the A-40 is the biggest jet-powered amphibian in the world and the single prototype set 140 world records. It’s current status is unknown as there were some reports of order for the Russian Navy.


Beriev Be-200 is based on the A-40 Albatros design and entered service in 2003. It’s name, ‘Altair’, has two meanings – one is the name of the star in ‘Eagle’ constellation. The other one is the acronym for Al (as Albatros A-40), ta (Taganrog – the place where sea trials take place) and ir (Irkut – the production place). The aircraft is mainly used in firefighting role for which it can carry up to 12 tonnes of water but can also be used as maritime patrol, search and rescue, cargo and passenger roles, seating up to 72 passengers. While the aircraft was built in Irkut, the production line has recently moved to Taganrog.

Be-200s are currently in service with the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations and Azerbaijan with further orders from Russian MoD and China. It’s first operational use was in 2004 on Italian Sardinia, fighting the forest fires with the Italian services. The success of the operations saw the Be-200s used in Italy, Portugal, Indonesia, Greece, Israel, Serbia and Russia.


The kit

EE’s Be-200 kit is a typical short run kit. Inconsistent panel lines (engraved though), clunky details and ill fit on most of the parts were plaguing this build. But I have to admit it is not that bad in the end. Engines, although rather complex to assemble, represent nicely the depth of D-436TP turbofans. While it is certainly not a ‘shake and bake’ kit, with a little bit of putty, sanding sticks and patience, the lump of plastic can be built into a nice miniature of this unique aircraft. Decals, although flat, are really thin and get into the engraved details without the need of setting solutions. The only inaccuracy I noticed were the main gear doors. They are designed to be attached to the sides of the well and close towards each other. Reference photos show, that they are actually hinged at the front of the wells and close backward. There’s also a third small door covering the forward support strut. I’ve scratchbuilt the missing doors and attached the others according to photographs. Oh, and don’t forget to add a lot of nose weight – the more the better. All in all, despite some problems during construction, this was a rather pleasurable build and brought me another unique looking aircraft into my collection.


Model Data
Company: Eastern Express
Scale: 1:144
Aftermarket: /
Paints used: Mr.Paint (MRP-4 White, MRP-41 Red, MRP-45 Dark Blue, MRP-186 Light Grey)



A-10A Thunderbolt II

Revell (Italeri reboxed) 1:72 with Eduard photoetched zoom set, Balkan Models ‘Last Flight over Balkans’ decal sheet, Northstar models LAU-117 with AGM-65 and Mk.82s from Hasegawa weapons set. Check the Work in Progress in the menu above if you are interested in all the work that needed to be done to bring up this model to the 1999 version.


As you are probably wondering about the green engine nacelle – This model represents a bird, that was used in 1999 Operation Allied Force, over Serbia. The incident happened on May 2nd, 1999 and the pilot that day was Major Paul “Goldie” Haun. He was tasked a FAC-A duty over Eastern Kosovo, which was relatively calm those days, with most of the action going on in Western part of it. Lynx 11 was his callsign that day; joining him as his wingman (Lynx 12) was Captain Andy “Buffy” Gebara, an ex-B-52 pilot. The pair worked some 30miles north over Pristina when he spotted a single 2S1 122mm self-propelled artillery piece near a tree line. As AWACS was closing down the East part of Kosovo due to the lack of SEAD assets, Goldie had just one shot of taking out that target. He got an unsteady lock on the targets and decided to test his luck and launched Maverick which hit the target. Retreating South he spotted two tanks in some valley near Gnjilane town and marked their position and proceeded to tanker for aerial refueling. He managed to get 20 minutes of SEAD support and pushed with the attack… Unfortunately he messed up his initial run and broke off the attack and reengaged but couldn’t get a Maverick lock on the targets, while Mk.82s were not accurate enough for such attack. The decision was made that Buffy should drop two Mk.82s on the target while Goldie will follow with a gun straffe. Buffy saw some good gun hits on the targets but momentarily lost view of Goldie. And that’s when Goldie reported “I’m hit!” MANPAD, probably Strela 2 or Igla, hit Goldie’s right engine and he had to struggle to keep the aircraft as stable as possible. To make things even worse, he was now flying at lower altitude, in the reach of bad guys SAM and AAA systems. They headed towards South, towards Macedonia, towards safety. It was later discovered that even left engine was quite damaged from ingesting bits and pieces of the left one and the missile. He had to maintain 1 degree nose down attitude just to keep the airspeed. Finally he managed to reach Skopje in Macedonia and successfully landed. As for the green nacelle. The below photos show you the damaged bird and the progress during replacement of the engine. My best bet would be, that the replacement arrived from Davis-Monthan AFB, from a Euro-1 painted bird.

If you want to read more about this incident as well as A-10 operations in Allied Force, you can get a free e-book A-10s over Kosovo here: http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a421682.pdf

Below photographs were found on the internet, some appear to be stills from the video.

Last Sunday I took part at New Year’s Cup in Belgrade, Serbia and won bronze, silver and gold medals for my models – a tally I didn’t expect to be honest. Although getting medals was nice but meeting old friends and meeting new ones as well as putting faces to internet forum names, was the main prize of the day!


Travelling to Belgrade also enabled me to get my hands on the new Balkan Models decals set – featuring the A-10 I am building here. Over the last few days, decals were set and here’s the Hog at its present state. Deadline is approaching fast but the finish line is in sight as well.


A-10A Thunderbolt II; Pt.5

And she is painted! I’ve used WEM Light and Dark Compass Grey for the main camouflage and ModelMaster’s paints for the Euro-1 painted engine cowling. You have to admit she looks rather interesting with one engine painted in different colours. Reference photos also show the right wing airbrake of darker colour, while all the paint spots on the wings and left engine cowling are patched and over painted light damage parts. Decaling is next!







A-10A Thunderbolt II; Pt.4

It’s been over a month since my last post but fear not, work has been slow but steady and now I’ve got something to show to you as well as something I hope some modellers building A-10s will find useful.


Exhausts were painted Alclad Exhaust Manifold while the compressor faces were painted Alclad Aluminium and washed with the Black Detailer wash – they’re not that bright in reality but since they’re hidden in the dark tubing of the exhaust it’s the only way they will be seen a little from behind. Call it artistic freedom if you will 😉


Insides of the nacelles were heavily washed with Flory’s Dark Wash and wiped… On reference photos they appear to be grey with dark staining but since little of them will be seen I think this effect will be sufficient.


Nacelles to fuselage join appeared good enough not to produce further nightmares. However, I’ve had many problems keeping engine nacelles together – the fit was far from good and the plastic on the sides is so thin that the join breaks at just a little pressure to the surface. This prevented me to rivet the rear conical part of the nacelles. I also tried raised rivets from a HGW company, but they appeared too thin and dissappeared under a test coat of primer while removing the carrier film, removed many of the rivets with it. This forced me to employ my RaduB’s Rivet-R on all the areas.


As I’ve mentioned before, Italeri’s (Revell packaging in this case) A-10A represents an early variant that could be built up to Desert Storm era. Anything newer, including grey camo versions, have to be updated. I was working on photos of the real machine that landed in Skopje on that faithful day, to try and represent mainly the sensor suite she was equipped with.


The kit comes with exposed vents, yet they received the covers later in their lives (and lost them again with C version). They were made of styrene, cut and sanded to shape and exhaust holes carved out. When they were built I noticed that Italeri placed the “grill” panel too high for a few milimeters – causing the smaller cover to be in the center of the bigger one instead of forming sort of a number 7 figure.


Another two circular sensors come attacked at the wingtips, each side of the navigational light.


The two antennas on the tail were made by cutting square pieces of styrene and mounting them on Mr. Surfacer 500 base.



Circular AN/ALR-69 RWR antennas were placed on the nose and tail


Blue arrow shows at the antenna, which was originally there, but there was no circular pedestal for it so both had to be made new. Lower red arrow shows at the position where a bump was removed, which I persume was meant to be a tail light, while the sideways pointing arrow shows the position of the removed boxy AN/ALR-46 RWR antenna (replaced with those smaller circular ones).


Red arrows in the insert show the box RWR antenna, similar to the one on the tail which needs to be removed as well as the antenna on the gun cover, which needs to be moved from there to the side of it, as shown with the blue arrow. There’s also a short long antenna mounted in front of it.


Front wheel bay wired, painted and weathered – looks quite busy, ain’t it?


A view of the other side of wall which would be otherwise bare – better than bare wall, don’t you think?

Red circled sensor of some sort was only present on early model A-10As and since I am doing a ’90s version Hog, this lump has to go. There’s gonna be a few other differences from the early (as Italeri boxed it) to late version along the way which I intend to point out.


Fuselage is glued together (don’t forget to add a huge amount of nose weight – instructions suggest 30 grams – I am keeping instrument panel cover off until wings, engines and tail assembly will be attached just to be on the safe side. No I have to rescribe lost panel lines and start flush riveting the fuselage.

After a while and a couple of finished models, I am back with the Hog!


Since A-10 is covered with rivets, I started with the riveting job and managed to finish the main wings. I will also be using raised rivets later in the build for fuselage and engine nacelles but more on that latter when we get there


Comparing reference photos of A-10 wheel bays with other modern aircraft, I found out they are rather wireless. I guess aircraft survivability is one of the main reasons for, though several wires can be seen in the bays. I’ve used 0.3mm soldering wire to add interest to the forward wheel bay.


Right wall of the front wheel bay is located on the fuselage side and is moulded bare. I know it’ll be hard to see inside when finished, but there are certain angles from which you can see it. I added a few styrene strips and some soldering wire to the area – it is not authentic at all but if you do happen to look inside the well, you’ll something is there and not just bare plastic.

A-10A Thunderbolt II; Pt.1

A-10 Thunderbolt II doesn’t need any special introduction – tank buster that barely escaped budget cuts axe and excelled in Op Desert Storm and every conflict after that. The following project will depict a bird from 74th FS that took part in Operation Allied Force over Kosovo and Serbia and was hit by SA-7 Strela 2 MANPAD and had to divert and emergency land at Skopje, Macedonia. I will be using the following products

  • Revell 1:72 kit (Italeri reissued)
  • Eduard masks
  • Eduard zoom photoetch set
  • Northstar models AGM-65 Maverick
  • Balkan Models decals
  • weapons from Italeri armament set

The cockpit is mainly finished now.