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Elvis has left the building... and is headed straight for a raging wildfire!
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An assortment of well-known aerial firefighting aircraft, all built at a scale of roughly 1:200.
About this creation
My latest group addition in my ongoing series of micro-scale aircraft is a trio of aerial firefighters -- an Erickson S-64 Aircrane, a Canadair/Bombardier CL-415 "Super Scooper", and a Conair Turbo Firecat.

The Erickson S-64 is the civilian version of the C-54 Tarhe, a US Army heavy lift helicopter used during the Vietnam era. In 1992, Erickson purchased the type certificate and manufacturing rights from Sikorsky, and has been producing the S-64 ever since. The S-64 is used for multiple purposes, including heavy-lift construction, heli-logging, and wildland firefighting. In the firefighting configuration, the S-64 is fitted with a 10,000 liter water tank. The tank can be filled from just about any body of water in 45 seconds as the helicopter hovers and lowers a snorkel. The water is then mixed with a small amount of surfactant and the resulting foam mixture can be sprayed directly onto a wildland fire. One of the most famous S-64s operates in Australia and is nicknamed "Elvis".

The Canadair/Bombardier CL-215/CL-415 is the only purpose-built firefighting aircraft in the world (Air Tractor has claimed that the AT-802 "Fire Boss" is a purpose-built aircraft, but it is really just a converted crop duster). The CL-415 has an integrated water tank with a capacity of about 6,000 liters. The tank is filled (in about 45 seconds) as the aircraft skims along the surface of a lake or river. The water is then used to create a foam mixture in much the same way as with the S-64.

The Conair Turbo Firecat is a firefighting airtanker. It is basically a converted Grumman S-2 Tracker that has been fitted with a 1,200 gallon tank and a pair turboprop engines. The Firecat is generally used to drop retardant rather than a water/foam mixture. Retardants have a chemical composition similar to fertilizer and work to slow a fire down by coating the fuel and creating a barrier between it on the oncoming fire. They are usually dropped ahead of a fire rather than directly on top of it.

UPDATE: I realized after posting this that I forgot the elevators on the Firecat -- the perils of working late at night :-(. Fortunately there is a pretty simple solution to get them installed. The re-worked version of the Firecat is in the picture immediately below.














Comments

 I like it 
  March 4, 2014
All of these are perfect models that simply couldn't be improved. Bravo!
 I like it 
  February 28, 2014
Awesome creation! Personally, I like the helicopter the best! You have done a wonderful job on this and on all your other mini-builds! Outstanding! 5/5! :)
 I like it 
  February 27, 2014
Great series of models. Your dioramas are excellent. I love the CL-415: great colour scheme!
 I like it 
  February 27, 2014
Wow - they're all perfect. Great to see you thriving in these types of builds!
 I like it 
  February 27, 2014
As already said they're all great, the Canadair being my favourite!
 I made it 
  February 27, 2014
Quoting Henrik Jensen Great set of micro fire-fighters, lovely photojob. You have just been bitten by these micro-planes, so what about the USCGC Hamilton?
Thanks. Still working on the Hamilton in the background. Expect an update in a few weeks -- it should show some pretty good progress.
 I like it 
  February 27, 2014
Great set of micro fire-fighters, lovely photojob. You have just been bitten by these micro-planes, so what about the USCGC Hamilton?
 I like it 
  February 27, 2014
All the micro planes are amazing, but what baffles me is your photoshopping skills! I don't see any lines along the planes, so it makes it look like they're real planes (made of lego, of course)! Great job dude, and I also can't wait to see that Hamilton finished. It's gonna look beast!
 I like it 
  February 27, 2014
These are amazing!! I love the C-415 - not sure what it looks like in real, but I'm sure your's is pretty accurate!
 I like it 
  February 27, 2014
Fantastic. Lovely designs with some inspired PU.
 I made it 
  February 27, 2014
Thanks, everyone, for your comments. I am in the process of working on my next micro-scale project, but if anyone has something they'd really like to see, let me know. If it is feasible to build it at this scale and I get interested enough in it, I might just build it.
 I made it 
  February 27, 2014
Quoting matt rowntRee Awesome collection Matt! Unfortunately, we get to see them flying about AZ during the early summer quite a bit. Apparently this state is highly flammable. Is the red/white one a variant of the C-130 as I thought that was one they used often? I wasn't sure if they were similar or not. Excellent! @ Clayton Did you just reference Tales of the Golden Monkey? I love you! XD
Thanks. The red/white aircraft is actually a Conair Firecat (a converted Grumman S-2 Tracker), which is quite a bit smaller than a C-130, but, given the scale, it's probably hard to tell them apart. The Firecat and now its American counterpart, the Marsh Turbo Tracker, are used extensively by the California Department of Forestry. I briefly considered building a C-130/MAFFS as part of this collection, but ran out of steam after building these three.
 I made it 
  February 27, 2014
Quoting clayton Marchetti Amazing work Matt! I really like the red and white plane it reminds me of the Grumman goose from tales of the gold monkey. Awesome use of the ice skates.
Thanks. The red and white one represent the Conair Firecat, which, as I described, is a converted Grumman S-2 Tracker, so it's not surprising that there is some resemblance to the Grumman Goose (although the Tracker was not amphibious). I tried a number of different parts, but in the end, the ice skates seemed like a pretty logical choice for both the pontoons on the CL-415 and the tanks on the Firecat.
 I like it 
  February 27, 2014
Awesome collection Matt! Unfortunately, we get to see them flying about AZ during the early summer quite a bit. Apparently this state is highly flammable. Is the red/white one a variant of the C-130 as I thought that was one they used often? I wasn't sure if they were similar or not. Excellent! @ Clayton Did you just reference Tales of the Golden Monkey? I love you! XD
 I like it 
  February 27, 2014
Excellent! Great shape and detailing for such a small scale!
 I like it 
  February 27, 2014
Amazing work Matt! I really like the red and white plane it reminds me of the Grumman goose from tales of the gold monkey. Awesome use of the ice skates.
 I like it 
  February 27, 2014
Great work, fantastic photo edits!
 I like it 
  February 27, 2014
Fantastic creations!
 I like it 
  February 27, 2014
Cool build. I like the yellow one!
 I like it 
  February 27, 2014
Real unbelievable. I love the CL-415 which is fantastic
 
By Matt Bace
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