Argentine Air Force
by Claudio Moura
The FMA IA-58 Pucaraá was developed to meet the requirements of the Argentine Air Force (FAA) of a close support, reconnaissance and counterinsurgency plane. This Pucará is a two-seat turboprop plane, strong and maneuverable, with STOL capacity. These planes were widely used during the Malvinas / Falklands War in 1982, where they participated in close support missions and shot down three British helicopters. Although all 24 planes that took part in this conflict were lost, just 4 of them were lost due to the action of enemy planes, the rest of them were lost due to sabotage, bombing or surface fire.
The first AX-01 prototype powered by a Garrett Air Research TPE-331 engine, made its first flight on August 20, 1969 and the serial production of this model began in 1974. A total of 116 units were manufactured until 1984.
In addition to all this, there was some room left for a 30 mm DEFA 553 gun. Unfortunately, the "Charlie" project was abandoned and this plane was never manufactured in series. Nowadays, these IA-58 operate in the air forces of Argentina, Colombia, Sri Lanka and Uruguay.
I have no pictures available to illustrate this stage of construction, but there were many problems that delayed the completion of the model.
I would not recommend the use of CA to glue big parts since it is not flexible and breaks when the parts are slightly bent. I learnt this after having this problem while trying to use CA. One solution is to use a two-part epoxy resin, with a consistency similar to gel (Editors note: Cascopox in Brazil).
Painting and finishing
I used automotive lacquers mixed with the FS colors provided by my friends Guillermo Gebel and Javier Mosquera and some decals from Aerocalcas and Supermodel.
I also added: Lower antennas, navigation lights and headlights (produced with vac-formed acetate).
For the final weathering I used oil thinned down in white spirit, aluminum ink and wax from candles. I applied a final coat of automotive lacquer and semi-gloss varnish.
I can say that this was a rewarding job. First of all, because I learnt how to work with resin, and second because I had to use different kinds of materials to produce some of the parts and finally because this Pucará is one the planes that I like most.
This work is dedicated to the memory of Nersílio Alves Júnior, a modeler I had to honor to meet some years ago before he died. It was at this home that I saw the first Pucará model that inspired me to build my own model!!
I would also like to thank my friends Carlos Ay, Guillermo Gebel and Javier Mosquera for their contribution (and patience) to the different stages of construction.
As I was about to release this review, I noticed that I had made a mistake in the application of the national badges on the upper part of the wings. In the following pictures you can see this mistake already corrected.
Air Poster No. 1 - Pucará - Carlos Ay - Revisa ALAS
Material provided by the Archives of the Fuerza Aérea Argentina.