Heli-Kit News #104, 29-Aug-00
1. Coming soon from Eduard, scheduled for September / October:
2. Tony Morgan has been having a look at the Zvezda and AModel Helix kits. The Zvezda Ka-27 #7214 which shares many features with the earlier Zvezda (#7221) and Italeri (#076) Ka-29's, was examined in HKN #93, so Tony concentrates mostly on the AModel Ka-28 Helix-A, #72-37, which first appeared in May this year.
- 1:72 Express Mask for the Italeri / Revell Mi-24 Hind, #XS081
- 1:48 Etched brass detail set for the Italeri WAH-64D Apache, #48-340
- 1:72 Zoom series etched brass detail set for the Academy AH-64A Apache, #SS-156
- The decal sheet: it is a huge improvement over Zvezda's. Markings for the Yugoslav and Indian navies as already known, and the registration and colours look great. There is also a good measure of airframe data stenciling, although only enough to provide for one model.
- External details: the fuselage-side auxiliary fuel tanks are included, as is the starboard side cockpit door with the larger window.
- Internal details: Cockpit detail provides instrument panel, center console, seats, cyclics, collectives, rudder pedals, and an aft bulkhead. (Points scored against Zvezda/Italeri there.) There is provision for a full-length cabin floor and ceiling, but nothing else. All the fuselage doors are separate parts.
- ASW equipment: AModel provide either depth charges or smoke floats (I'm not sure), racks for same, and the under-tail MAD sensor. And no, I don't mean the hover-Doppler box...I know what that is.
- The transparencies are poor by comparison to the Zvezda kit; thick, and heavy on the distortion. The windscreen is separate from the chin windows and it has no framing lines. The chin windows are also individual pieces, and the whole canopy has the look of an imminent juggling act. Zvezda's one-piece nose is definitely superior.
Now for the opinion section:
3. Now available from Squadron in the USA:
- The AModel kit has too many parts.....this is a kit to make Rube Goldberg proud.
- While some of the excess betrays Amodels intentions of kitting other versions...the rescue winch is a dead give-away...one is left wondering why there are three(!) different sets of nose-gear on the trees. The fact that the entire engine/transmission fairing is moulded separately suggests that AModel may do a square-nosed Ka-29, but it will also make assembly unneccessarily difficult. I have to give Zvezda/Italeri the nod for moulding new fuselage halves here. Similarly, the rotorheads seem too complicated; while they have been moulded to facilitate blades-folded displays, there are dozens of pieces to deal with, and I fear the joints might prove to be on the weak side. The transparencies strike a killing blow, although the decals alone almost make the purchase worthwhile.
- Overall, I think this is a kit worth buying, but only as a donor for a Zvezda kit. I applaud AModel for getting many of the details that Zvezda skipped, but Zvezda's higher quality shows the advantage gained through their cooperation with Italeri. My advice is that you buy both kits and use the best of both worlds; but if you can only afford one, go with Zvezda.
Thanks to the inimitable Tony Morgan.
- Italeri 1:48th WAH-64D, $22.00, I haven't seen this in the UK yet.
- 1:48 JMGT LeO C.30, $63.96, (review HKN #94)