Heli-Kit News #09, 30-Oct-98

News from the IPMS UK Nationals

1. Aircraft in Miniature have released their 1:72 Benson X-25 autogyro kit, #HW02-001. This is in thick etched brass and white metal, and makes either the X-25A powered version 10771, or the X-25B glider version 10772. Price in the UK is 7.95. AIM have posted pictures of a hastily assembled and unpainted build-up (which seems to have ignored their own instructions in that it has elements of both models).

2. Maintrack were selling their newly released 1:72 Westland Whirlwind conversions for the Airfix kit. The HAR.2 #72:45 comprises a single resin moulding of the downward angled tail boom and broad chord tail rotor pylon, and costs 3.99. The HAS.7 set #72:46 has the same tail moulding plus another piece to deepen the belly and accommodate a torpedo (not supplied), and costs 4.99. They have also released as a separate item the set of white metal parts which has formerly been included with the Airways vacform Whirlwind HAR.9/10 kits, cost 2.99. The new tail boom parts will of course also be applicable to some models of the Sikorsky-built S-55/H-19. These sets do not include decals.

3. A new enterprise called Rotorcraft, aka Colin Burgess from South Africa, has produced a resin conversion for the 1:72 Airfix Seasprite to make the earlier HUK2-1/UH-2A. This is kit #01 and consists of 3 resin parts, a new fuselage top/engine compartment, a new tail-boom, and an extra external fuel tank, plus a wire representing the fishing-rod rescue winch, along with a comprehensive instruction sheet. UK price 7.50. No decals here either. Colin also had on display a number of replacement resin noses and other parts for the Italeri and Revell Wessex kits, both to correct problems with the kits and to make new versions. More details on these soon when they are finalised.

4. A bit esoteric this, but I'll include it anyway. White Ensign Models sell a selection of 1:700 resin and etched brass helicopters for the boating fraternity (sorry Caroline - and sorority), made by MDC, at 4.95 per pack.

AS7004 Sea King x3AS7056 Lynx x5AS7078 Sea Stallion x3
AS7029 Huey x5AS7058 Wasp x5AS7107 Merlin x3
AS7030 Chinook x2AS7062 Seahawk x3AS7108 Apache x5
AS7041 H-21 x3AS7066 Dragonfly x5AS7109 Seasprite x5
AS7042 Whirlwind x5AS7067 Mojave x3AS7111 Skycrane x3
AS7043 Cobra x5AS7069 Belvedere x3AS7120 Sea Knight x3
AS7044 Sioux x5AS7070 Huskie x5AS???? Puma x?
AS7049 Wessex x3AS7077 Osprey x3AS???? SuperCobra x?

5. Revell had on display a build-up of their new Sea King Mk.41, #4427, which isn't available yet but will be released in October (yeah, right!). It certainly appears to be an all-new mould and looked very nice. I wonder how many Italeri derivatives we'll see next year ? There was an old Revell SH-3D kit with the same kit number which was a pile of junk even when it was new. Presumably they are just trying to confuse us.

6. Mister Kit from Milan were selling a new monograph entitled "Hughes 500 Family", by Maurizio di Terlizzi, Aviolibri #2, Instituto Bibliographico Napoleone, Rome, ISBN 88-86815-31-X, Lire 18,500, or 7.00. 64 pages in A5 format, 25 colour and many b&w pictures. In reality this is mostly about the Breda-Nardi NH500, and includes detailed kit and conversion information. Italian & quasi-English text.

7. A deliberate surprise on the reference front came from 4+ (Four Plus) in the shape of a most impressive new monograph on the Wessex along the lines of their previous Mi-24 book, but wholly in very good English. The title is "Westland Wessex, HAS.1, HAS.3, HAS.31, HC.2, HAR.2, HCC.4, HU.5, Mk.50 Srs.", published by Mark I Ltd, PO Box 10, 100 31 Prague 10-Strasnice, Czech Rep. ISBN 80-902559-0-6, 40 pages in A4 format, 8 of them in colour, plus a colour A3 centrefold. The value and quality of the many interior and other detail photographs cannot be over-emphasised. Inside the front cover it says 'This publication is the first in a new Rotary Wings Line', which sounds very promising. Cost 7.50.

8. The Italeri 1:48 UH-1D 'Slick' #849 is now released. I don't know what decal options are included because I forgot to look, but the boxart shows a Vietnam era US Army bird of the olive drab variety.
Other News

9. Scott Hemsley from IPMS "Buzz" Beurling tells me that Leading Edge are about to release a number of very exciting decal sheets. First we have the CH-135 in CAF(UN) and Canadian Coast Guard markings; the UN scheme is white, as used on deployment to Haiti, and the CG scheme is red with white markings, the suggested kit being Revell's version because of the flotation equipment supplied. Vac-formed bulged windows will be included along with the decals. Next we have a selection of four different H-34's as flown by the USMC in Vietnam, all will be olive drab, with variations. And lastly, a pair of Rescue H-34's, one from the USMC in overall red/orange, and one from the RCAF in red and blue with the late 'lightning strip'. Great news for H-34 fans. All sheets will be available in both 1:72 and 1:48.

10. The love-affair between Italeri and Zvezda continues. Latest from Zvezda are re-boxings of the Italeri Hind moulds in D and E versions. These are on the Tushino Aviapress email listing, which you can ask for, but they have yet to appear on their web pages.

11. The November issue of Scale Aviation Modeller (watch out, it says October on the front, same as last month), has news from A-model that they will be doing a 1:72 Kamov Ka-60 in 1999. Previous info has suggested that there was a Hog, a Harp, and a Hoodlum in the pipeline as well, but there's been no sign of them so far.

12. Also in the same magazine, Unicraft of the Ukraine say they will be doing some exciting things in the near future, including the Bratukhin B-11, the Kamov Ka-15 Hen, and the Mil V-7 (experimental four-seater with skids and a two-bladed rotor with tip-mounted ramjets, one prototype, first flight 1959), all in 1:72. Unfortunately Unicraft's reputation for quality has been minimal to date, and they've been talking about the Ka-15 since early 1997, so we will have to see....

13. Italeri are jumping onto the bandwagon and releasing their kits in those irritating packages with paints & glue. One assumes they know what they are doing, marketing-wise. This range is called Modelling Sets, and includes the AH-6A Night Fox (only one I've seen so far).

14. Joe Maxwell has posted a preview of the next Max Decals sheet, due for release before Xmas: #7204 International Alouette III's plus Irish Air Corps Update. This new sheet features Alouette helicopters from around the World including Dutch Air Force SAR, Grasshoppers display team, Argentine Navy Hi-Viz and Low-viz schemes, Pakistan Air Force and Navy, Maltese Hi-Viz and camouflaged schemes, Nepalese Air Force, Swiss Air Force standard and experimental schemes, Indian Navy, Danish Navy, Greek Navy, Romanian Air Force, early Irish Air Corps and special anniversary schemes. It also includes various 75th anniversary badges and other unit badges that have been used by the IAC.

15. After over a year of quiescence, it looks like Pete Harlem's ROTORWASH is stirring again.

16. Blue Rider's advert in Scale Aircraft Modelling Nov-98 says their new decal sheet #BR812 has a 1:72 Macedonian Mi-8 Hip on it, along with an An-2 Colt, cost 2.80, and their Insignia magazine issue 10 has an article on Baltic helicopters, cost 5.50 including P&P.

Hopefully the next issue of Heli-Kit News will contain some exciting news from the Chicago trade show, Italeri announced their 1998 plans there last year.