avatar_Brian da Basher

1/72 Almuezo Aero "Taco" from a High Planes PT-20

Started by Brian da Basher, March 17, 2009, 02:55:08 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

Brian da Basher

In the fall of 1938, the Mexican firm of Almuezo Aero began license producing the ubiquitous Ryan STA trainer. The original Menasco engines were replaced by the more powerful native Tobasco inlines and the trainer was turned into a single seat light attack fighter by adding two 9 m.m. machine guns in the front cockpit and bomb shackles. Formally known as the Táctico Avión dash 0, it soon became known as the TAC-0 or Taco.

The new light fighter was ordered into production and none too soon because by 1940, the most feared bandit of modern times, Mach Nacho Comacho and his gang, the Burrito Banditos were raiding border towns with impunity, Old El Paso and Pace warehouses being a favorite target.

Fortunately the 10th Border Squadron based at Jalepenós muy Caliente (between Ciudad Juarez and Nogales) under the command of Capitán Jamón de Mayo was on the job. The 10th Border Sqaudron fought a seven month campaign against the raiders which was widely reported both north and south of the border. Pictures of Capitán de Mayo and his plane, No. 5 are still an icon of that era. Called "Cinco de Mayo" in Mexico and "Jamón de Mayo on 5" in the U.S., the el Capitán sent the famous cable "At noon this day we tasted victory against the enemy" to Mexican Air Marshal Bocadillo on October 16th, 1940. Capitán de Mayo led a daring raid on the Cantina la Venganza de Montezuma, which was blown to smithereens along with Macho Nacho Comacho at the height of lunch hour. Capitán de Mayo was promoted and awarded the prestigous Medalla de Valor con Hojas de Lechuga (Medal of Valor with Lettuce Leaves).

TAC-0s were eventually replaced by more modern types and today only "Cinco de Mayo" is left, on display at El Museo Nacional de Aire y Tecnología de la Alimento, across the street from Loco's Mexican/American luch counter which features a ham and mayonnaise on rye sandwich with a taco on the side as the Tuesday special.

Brian da Basher


If I'm not building models, I'm out riding my dirtbike

Brian da Basher

The base kit for this project is the (very) limited-run 1/72 High Planes Ryan PT-20. A rougher kit would be hard to find, but once you spend an evening getting rid of all the flash and put it all together without the benefit of locating pins, it should look something like this:


I modified mine by scratch building machine guns out of sprue to fit in the front 'pit and covering over the gap with plastic card. As luck would have it, I found an oval piece of grillwork which I sanded to fit inside the nose and then I added the exhaust pipes which were also in my spares box. I attached a prop left over from a 1/144 Junkers G38 and a small bomb. This shot shows off the new engine and grillwork.

Brian da Basher

Brian da Basher

Rigging was done with this wonderful plastic wire courtesy of Mr Jeffry Fontaine. This wire is by far the easiest rigging material I've ever used and if you've got some aircraft that need rigging, do yourself a favor and ask Jeff about this stuff. It's easy to cut to length and works great with Gator's Grip glue and CA. The entire model was brush-painted by hand with acrylics, Model Masters Wood and Gulf War Tan and Polly Scale PC 10 on the uppers. The decals were courtesy of Mr Fontaine again and worked well considering they may be older than some of the members here.

This last batch of shots includes one with an American penny (I was fresh out of centavos) for scale.

Brian da Basher

John Howling Mouse

Well, you've gone and done it again: great idea, super execution, and you very nearly made me shoot milk up my nose reading your backstory.

Always a pleasure to see your work, Brian!  Love the paint scheme.   :wub:
Styrene in my blood and an impressive void in my cranium.

Eddie M.

I really enjoy this one BdaB ! Outstanding presentation. ;D
Look behind you!