Heli-Kit News #10, 06-Nov-98

The first four items this week come from Guy Holroyd who has just returned from the Model Club Show in Moscow. Guy has posted a fuller report on the Show at Linden Hill Imports.

1. The latest issue of the Russian hobby magazine Aviamaster (4/98) features a superb article, albeit in Russian, with many photos by Victor Markovsky (the premier expert and archivist on the air war in Afghanistan) on Mi-8 gunships in Afghanistan. The photos show scabbed-on armour and gun stations developed in the field in detail. Linden Hill Imports are going to import some copies of this issue. Price will be around $10.

2. A-Model are way behind in their production schedule and we do not expect to see any helicopters from them until the second half of 1999. Lack of money is given as the cause for these delays.

3. Zvezda will be releasing their new Mi-8 in early 1999. It features engraved panel lines, a fully detailed interior and separate clamshell doors. Italeri will release the kit ex-CIS. The boss of Zvezda told Guy that they are also working on another helicopter project for release in 1999 that will be a 'big surprise'. He would not reveal the subject but speculation is rife that this may be the Ka-60. Other crystal-ball gazers would like it to be an Mi-6...

4. The Anna & Co decal sheet for the Ka-50 Torzhok 'Blackshark', already available in 1:72, will also be issued in 1:48.

5. Russ Taylor posted this news of Italeri's 1999 releases on the rec.models.scale newsgroup after visiting the RCHTA National Model & Hobby Show in Chicago. (Radio Control Hobby Trade Association, in case you were wondering.)
It took a little time after the Chicago show last year for the list and the dates to be confirmed, but my first reaction is ... WHERE'S THE #@!$%?* MOJAVE?

6. A new book 'Whirlybirds' by Jay P Spenser is available from Amazon at the discount price of $28 (23.48 from Amazon UK). Pete Tasker, illustrious leader of the IPMS Helicopter SIG describes it as "absolutely superb". Subtitled 'A history of the US Helicopter pioneers' it's a complete (497 page) history of the American Helicopter industry. There's a fuller description on the Amazon websites.

7. Those of you who have seen the Polygon Mil book will be pleased to hear that a similar volume 'Fifty Years of the Kamov Design Bureau' is due for release next year.

8. The HR Models 1:72 resin Cierva C8R gyro #7205 is now available from Hannants, cost 11.95. On the other hand you might prefer to make your own based on the Avro 504K biplane trainer (the same way that Cierva did it) using the Airfix kit #61048 in 1:72 or the SMER kit #107 in 1:48.

9. Aerodrom have been making a kit of the Westland WS-51 "Dragonfly" in 1:72 for a while; pictures of the boxart and sprues have been posted at Piotr Kasprzak's website (great Mi-2 and Mi-8 walk-arounds here) since at least last April, but attempts to contact Aerodrom have not been very successful. John Polonczyk of Pol Models (London) even visited their address in Lodz during one of his visits to Poland, but it was just a mail-drop. Now GP Model and Hobby of Krakow are advertising it for just $2.90.

10. ***NEWS OF THE WEEK*** At the recent Prague Hobby Show, ExtraTECH announced their first venture into kits of flying subjects, a multimedia SE313B Alouette II in 1:72 scale, #EXA7201. Release date is Nov-98, price unknown. You can see a scan of the boxart at Matlan. In the USA, Hobbyweb are an ExtraTECH stockist.

11. Following the IPMS UK Nats I contacted Neil Gaunt of Aircraft In Miniature for an update of their plans. Neil is doing the masters for the Hiller H-12E himself, and says "I have made the boom and floor pan (you can hardly call it a fuselage), now I have to make all the detail parts which can take quite a long time". He is also working on the commercial Chinook, which will be replacement fuselage halves for the Italeri kit, plus a vacform transparent nose, cast metal pitot heads and decals for Helikopter Services - subject to their permission.

Other subjects under consideration include the Hafner Rotachute, Kamov Ka-10, Kaman HH-43 and Sikorsky S-76. N.B. These last two are a direct result of polls that were conducted on r.m.s. and by the IPMS Helicopter SIG. You do have a voice!!!

12. SMER have released a couple of versions of a "Clik-Klak" Snap-kit of the Mi-2 in 1:48. All I know about these is that #990 is a Mi-2 Helicopter and #991 is a Mi-2 Police Helicopter, and they cost $7.94 each from Hobbyweb. They have also been sighted in a model shop in the Republic of Ireland.

13. The new Revell Germany 1:72 Mk.41 Sea King, #4427, has appeared on the shelves of the Luchtvaart Hobby Shop at Schiphol Airport. They list the markings as "German Navy/SAR".

14. The new Accurate Miniatures website lists a range of helicopter kits in 1:100. UH-1B, AH-64, AH-1G, UH-60, SH-60, HH-60. I would like to hear from anyone who has any first-hand experience of these, or knows anything about their origins.

15. Word from the US via Tony Morgan is that the DML 1/35th Hugh Mills OH-6 has been re-released.

And lastly, you are invited to check out the 'Scary Photo of the Month'.