Category Archives: Helicopters

Academy AH-64D Block II ‘Early Version’

The Boeing AH-64 Apache is a four-blade, twin-turboshaft attack helicopter with a tailwheel-type landing gear arrangement, and a tandem cockpit for a two-man crew. It features a nose-mounted sensor suite for target acquisition and night vision systems. It is armed with a 30 mm (1.18 in) M230 chain gun carried between the main landing gear, under the aircraft’s forward fuselage.

It has four hardpoints mounted on stub-wing pylons, typically carrying a mixture of AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and Hydra 70 rocket pods. The AH-64 has a large amount of systems redundancy to improve combat survivability. The Apache originally started as the Model 77 developed by Hughes Helicopters for the United States Army’s Advanced Attack Helicopter program to replace the AH-1 Cobra.

The Kit:

We recently received the new 1/72 Academy AH-64D at our office and this is definitely not the Academy Apache AH-64A we reviewed back in 2012. To my surprise, the kit features beautiful engraved details. Although the kit is pretty much comprised of 2 gray styrene sprues plus one in clear, those plastic runners are filled with nice details and beautifully molded parts with very minor flash on some random parts.

The Academy 1/72 AH-64D features a well appointed cockpit out-of-the-box for this scale. The clear parts especially the canopy are crystal clear with no injection flowing marks and just the right thickness and frame detail. I wish we had the option of having an open canopy because honestly, OOB this kit is very promising.

Other Features:

  • One-piece main rotor with blades
  • Hydra 70 rocket pods (x2)
  • Rotor with blades is presented as a one piece feature
  • Optional TADS & PNVS to create either an early or late production
  • MFD (Multi Function Displays) for front and rear cockpit.
  • EFAB (Extended Forward Avionics Bays)
  • Maintenance access doors depicting early or late production
  • Nice decal sheet printed by none other than Cartograf
  • MSRP: $32.00 (USD)

Markings are provided for the following aircraft:

  • AH-64D, 07-7029, A-4-2 Attack Helicopter Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, Camp Humphreys, South Korea, 2010
  • AH-64D, 07-7031, C-4-2 Attack Helicopter Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, Camp Humphreys, South Korea, 2010
  • AH-64D, 99-5118, C-1-3 Attack Helicopter Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division, Iraq, 2003
  • AH-64D, 99-5102, B-1-3 Attack Helicopter Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division, Iraq, 2003
  • AH-64D, 02-5289, A-1-227 Attack Helicopter Battalion, Iraq, 2003
  • AH-64D, 01-5241, C-1-4 Attack Helicopter Battalion, 4th Infantry Division, Iraq, 2003
Acknowledgments
My sincere thanks to Model Rectifier for this sample.

1/48 UH-34D Seahorse Operation Deep Freeze

The Sikorsky H-34 (company designation S-58) is a piston-engined military helicopter that was originally designed by American aircraft manufacturer Sikorsky for the United States Navy for service in the anti-submarine warfare (ASW) role. It has seen extended use when adapted to turbine power by the British licensee as the Westland Wessex and Sikorsky as the later S-58T. Various H-34s served, mostly as medium transports, on every continent with the armed forces of twenty-five countries—from combat in Algeria, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and throughout Southeast Asia, in roles such as saving flood victims, recovering astronauts, fighting fires, and carrying presidents.

As one of the last piston-powered helicopter designs before its replacement by turbine-powered types such as the UH-1 Huey and CH-46 Sea Knight, it saw a remarkably long run of 2,108 H-34s produced between 1953 and 1970.
[Source: Wikipedia]


Note from the Author
This model kit includes both types of fuselage, landing gear variations and exhaust manifolds to allow building most UH-34 variants.

Kit Highlights
  • Detailed flight deck
  • Pilot seats have photo-etched restraints
  • Positionable flight deck windows
  • Choice of web seats or canvas seats in main cabin
  • Seats in main cabin have photo-etched seat belts
  • Nose cowling doors are positionable to reveal engine bay
  • Positionable main cabin door
  • Detailed R1820 with cooling shrouds
  • Choice of exhaust manifolds with corresponding nose cowling door
  • Photo-etched grilles around engine compartment
  • Detailed main cabin with cabin sidewalls molded separately from outer fuselage halves
  • Rear of main cabin opens into detailed rear fuselage
  • Rescue winch over starboard main cabin door
  • Vented rear of doghouse is well molded with see-through venting
  • Tail can be posed folded or flight-ready
  • Main rotors molded with gravity sag
  • Choice of bent-legged or later landing gear

Markings for three aircraft:

  • HUS-1L, 657, XO/25, VX-6, Antarctica, ‘King Pin II’
  • UH-34D, 150208, UA/23, VC-1, NAS Barber’s Point
  • HSS-1N, 8569, 69, JMSDF, Japan

The latest incarnation of the already nice UH-34 Seahorse from Gallery Models features all the goodies and beautiful engraved detail we’ve got in the previous versions. The parts from the previous versions are included in the box so if you want to skip the Operation Deep Freeze in Antarctica, all you have to do is pick a nice sheet of after market decals and you’ll be set.

Looking carefully at the instructions, one can notice that the external tank carried on the Antarctic missions slipped away from them. The decal sheet is nicely printed and they look as they almost had no carrier film at all. Colors are called in Mr. Hobby, Vallejo, Model Master, Humbrol and Tamiya.

Out of the box, this is the best UD-34 you can find on the market today.
Highly Recommended!

Acknowledgments
My sincere thanks to Model Rectifier for the review sample.

 

Academy 1/72 Apache AH-64A

The Boeing AH-64 Apache is a four-blade, twin-engine attack helicopter with a tailwheel-type landing gear arrangement, and a tandem cockpit for a two-man crew. Originally, the Apache started life as the Model 77 developed by Hughes Helicopters for the United States Army’s Advanced Attack Helicopter program to replace the AH-1 Cobra, and was first flown on 30 September 1975. The AH-64 was introduced to U.S. Army service in April 1986.

The AH-64 Apache features a nose-mounted sensor suite for target acquisition and night vision systems. It is armed with a 30-millimeter (1.2 in) M230 Chain Gun carried between the main landing gear, under the aircraft’s forward fuselage. It has four hardpoints mounted on stub-wing pylons, typically carrying a mixture of AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and Hydra 70 rocket pods. The AH-64 has a large amount of systems redundancy to improve combat survivability.

barbed-wire-division

The Kit:

  • Detailed 1/72nd scale for static display only.
  • Markings included for one aircraft. 98 parts in olive green and clear with delicate recessed panel lines.
  • Accurately reproduced rotor head and 4-blade rotor system.
  • Detailed tail rotor, landing gear, chain gun, and realistic PVC tires.
  • Cockpit detail: one piece tub with side consoles, seats, instrument panels with raised detail.
  • Full complement of Hellfire missiles. Service History: U.S. Army; from 1983 to present. Description: Two seat, attack helicopter.

MARKING OPTIONS:

  • Single sheet of decals which contains national insignia, unit markings, and stencils.
  • Aircraft is from an unidentified unit of the Israeli armed forces. Overall: Olive Drab.

The 1:72 Apache AH-64A from Academy is very nice subject for a weekend build. It also makes a nice gift to the beginner modeler. The parts count is not really high, the level of detail is great and at $10.99 (USD), you can’t complaint. For the more advanced modeler with the super detail and after market syndrome, I have seen gems made with this kit as a base. The parts a very clean free of flash and notable mold lines to clean off. Enjoy the pictures!

Hasegawa Hughes 500MD Defender ‘IDF’

The successful Hughes 500/MD 500 series began life in response to a US Army requirement for a light observation helicopter.Hughes’ Model 369 won the contest against competition from Bell and Hiller. The OH-6 Cayuse first flew in February 1963.

The 500 series design features shock-absorbing landing skid struts, a turboshaft engine mounted at a 45-degree angle toward the rear of the cabin pod, a fuel tank cell under the floor and the battery in the nose.

The engine exhaust port is located at the end of the cabin pod underneath the tailboom. It has a short-diameter main rotor system and a short tail, giving it an agile control response and is less susceptible to weather-cocking.

Hughes won the US Army’s LOH contest with its OH-6 helicopter by submitting a very low and aggressive price per airframe (without an engine). Due to rising prices, the US Army later re-opened the contest, where Hughes offered the machine at a more realistic price, but was undercut by the redesigned Bell OH-58 Kiowa (military JetRanger). OH-6 helicopters were still ordered by the US Army, though at a much reduced number.

Hasegawa 1/48 Hughes 500MD Defender ‘IDF’

The Kit:
I came across this model kit not too long ago. It was some luck because as fair as I know,  this kit for the moment is out-of-production with the instruction sheet showing a 2004 print date. The Hasegawa 1/48 Hughes MD Defender ‘IDF’ is a little kit compared with other helis and aircraft of the same scale.

It does features a slight mix of receded and raised panel lines with a very nice fit. The cockpit might be a little bit on the bare side for some; in that case there is room to add other scratch built parts especially on the back of the cabin.

I started by the cockpit where the control details are portrayed as decals. No big deal for me, the shape of the windshield on the 500MD will produce distortion and some of your extra stuff will not be clearly visible.

I did a dry fit test, the cockpit can not be slide into the cabin after gluing. The 2 body halves fit is nearly perfect and once they are together, there is little to no gap to fill and sand. A big relief to me, I hate fixing damaged raised panel lines.

Next was the huge windshield which is basically the face of the 500MD helicopter. This is the time to check for your pilot figures posture.

The figure’s helmets are very flush to the clear canopy and you don’t want to commit this clear part to glue without checking that fit. This is to me a very critical step, I don’t use water based glue for clear parts but Tamiya Extra Thin Cement.

Provided with this kit are marking for 2 Israeli versions:

-Israeli Air Force 190 Sqn ”Defender’ 223

-Israeli Air Force 190 Sqn ‘Defender’ 202

Note from the Author

The model kit also comes with 4 pilots, 2 of them which will not be used and would be available for your next build. This kit was tackled in around 6 hours from start to the studio for the final pictures. Street price is around $20 to $25, not bad for the usual high price tag on Hasegawa kits.

The kit looks very nice next to my Kinetic 1:48 F-16i SUFA. The base color is Tamiya XF-49 Khaki airbrushed with a Badger Velocity airbrush.

Highly Recommended!

1/48 AH-1F Cobra from Revell Germany

This is my first helicopter model kit in over 20 years. In fact, this was one of my 1st models back in the 80’s when it was boxed in the under Monogram brand. The mold has held great over the years and compared to other kits from the era, flash is kept at a minimum, something I can not say about the Revell HUEY HOG kit # 85-5201 which is plagued by flash. As I mentioned before, Revell makes the model building hobby affordable and their parts replacement program is a joy to use. What I’d love to see from Revell, in this case Germany is the paint equivalents in Tamiya and Model Master.

There are lots of kits already on the shelves everywhere around the world. So updating what’s in the street is already impossible. Revell -or any other plastic model maker for that matter- can  bring this model kit paint equivalent charts to their official websites and save us model builders a lot of precious time.

The AH-1F 1/48th scale Cobra build into a humble yet great representation of this rotor craft. I chose the Israeli version, the decal set is simply too awesome to settle for the more plain looking USA SAND SHARK version. Although I’ll be getting a second kit to build this version as well. The base color used was Model Master Acryl 4708 (30118) Field Drab.

This kit has a very nice detailed cockpit out-of-the-box which was painted with 4767 Acryl Aircraft Interior Black 1/2 and slightly dusted using Tamiya’s Weathering Master Set ‘A‘ This model kit was a weekend affair thanks to the use of acrylic paints from Testors and Tamiya. Decals are very good but I found a longer wait to slide them of their backing without breaking them. I used Microsol over them to conform to panels and rivets.

Note from the Author
The Revell AH-1F Cobra is a neat affordable kit that has held well the test of time and more advanced tooling from modern times. If you ask me about it, I will highly recommend this kit.