Heli-Kit News #60, 26-Oct-99
IPMS UK Nationals Special

1. The first volume of Ralph Young's twelve-volume US Army Aviation in Vietnam series, 'Army Aviation in Vietnam 1961-1963' is now available in both soft- and hard-cover from Midland Counties Publications in the UK as well as from the publishers The Huey Company in the USA. Included in this volume are many previously unpublished photographs of the H-21 and early Hueys, paying particular attention to colours, markings and other details of particular interest to the modeller. This book ought to be in every Helicopter enthusiast's library.

2. Also seen on MCP's stand was a new book in French entitled 'Les Helicopteres Florine 1920-1950, La Belgique a l'Avant-Garde de la Gravitation', by Alphonse Dumoulin. This tells the little-known story of the Florine Helicopters, with plenty of photos and a set of fold-out plans.

3. Having had a good look at the two new Westland Lynx conversion sets from Airwaves (HKN #58), the quality of which is certainly very good, I am a little happier about the price, but still not entirely convinced. Most people buying one seemed to justify the cost by saying they would be able to copy it to make more ! The etched brass fret and the white metal parts seem to be common to both sets, leaving various spares, but the resin parts are mostly unique to each set.

Also available are the resin Lynx BERP rotor blades from the Mk.8 set packaged as a separate item, #SC72-114. Planned for future release are Lynx conversion sets to make the UK Army's Mk.7 and Mk.9.

4. Delta Aviation Publishing's 1:72 resin Alouette III float set is coming along nicely. The masters for the resin parts are complete, and work is progressing on an etched-brass fret which includes winch and internal details. Note that many float-equipped Bell 47's used these same floats.

Also in progress are various details for UH-1's in both 1:48 and 1:72, including winches, float bags, and auxilliary fuel tanks.

5. Model Art decal sheet #72-032 covers the F-84G Thunderjet in French and Danish service, and the HSS-1 in four different Aeronavale markings: All four are gloss sea blue, the second pair having an upper yellow area between the rotorhead and the tail pylon. The quality of the decals and instructions is excellent, and the price very reasonable. Having recently improved their production process, Model Art anticipate that the throughput of new subjects will become faster than it has been, with plans for the relatively near future including : There's an un-official Model Art website.

6. New resin conversion / improvement items for the Westland Wessex from Rotorcraft are: Having now compared the HAS.3 nose with Revell's version, I can see what the problems were. The replacement will certainly make the finished model look much better. I wish I'd bought the other two as well !

Other projects previously advertised are on-going. Rotorcraft want to hear what parts YOU want them to make. Already under consideration are an S-58T nose (please) and a Westland Sioux canopy bubble.

7. Aircraft in Miniature are typically playing their cards very close to their chest, but I was able to get Neil Gaunt to admit that their next helicopter kit will have a lot of etched brass in it, and it will make us all very happy. My guess is that you might reasonably be looking out for a 1:72 figure wearing a Homburg hat to go along with it. You did not read this here.

8. Revell's 1:72 Agusta A.109 K2 'REGA', #4448, looks like a little beauty, with delicately engraved panel lines and a detailed medevac interior (much better than Medicopter 117's). The A.109 K2 is a variant with fixed undercarriage, no ventral fin, and a revised engine housing, making it inconvenient for conversion to many other military and civil examples of the 109. However, the parts layout does suggest that other 109's may be contemplated in the future.

9. Air Forces Monthly, November 1999 has a number of items of interest. There's an article on the current status of the MV-22 Osprey, a look at HMS Ocean, the Royal Navy's first purpose-built helicopter carrier, and an account of the formation of the UK Army's 16th Air Assault Brigade.

10. The Intech picture-book and decal sheet covering Polish Military Helicopters (HKN #53) is available in the UK from The Turntable, who also import the rest of the Intech range (and Unicraft). (44) 1422-883489. I can't find the address just now.

11. Curiously, the MPM S-51 / HO3S-1 with additional resin winch & interior seems to be generally available in the UK at a price lower than the un-improved version (7.75 as against 8.75).

12. I saw a semi-built example of Cunarmodel of Italy's 1:72 resin A.129 Mangusta, now available from Misterkit. One of the nice features of this kit is that you can model one of the engine bays in the open position, and one engine is included.

13. AJP Maquettes were showing their beautiful Paul Cornu helicopter (illustrated in HKN #57), made from a selection of the most delicate parts imaginable.

So, no real suprises, but the stars of the show included a badly wrecked Apache, spewing its internal details onto the ground, the most beautifully detailed Mojave you could possible imagine, and a large scale Agusta S-61 Pelican scratch-built from Pepsi cans. I hope to have pictures of these on the website below soon.

Thanks to everyone, and 'hello' to all the new faces I met at Telford.