Heli-Kit News #111, 12-Nov-00

1. Here's what's in the box of the 1:72 Extratech Djinn, #EXA7203. I imagine that the 1:48 version #EXA4801 is the same (but bigger). As usual, the whole production is first-class and pretty well flawless, though the actual construction is certainly going to be 'interesting'.

31 nicely moulded resin parts with no blemishes or imperfections worth mentioning, consisting of engine, rotor mast, flywheel?, compressed air duct, fuel tank, tail assy (5 parts), control sticks (4), ground-handling wheels (2), skids & supports (4), cockpit floor & instrument binnacle, seats & rear bulkhead assy, rotorhead, blades (2), stabiliser bars (2), alternative blade-root cuffs (2, as fitted to later models, presumably added to the kit as an afterthought, since the resin is a different colour), and a couple of small items to be fitted to the tail-boom structure.

3 smooth & clear vacu-formed parts comprising the cockpit glazing. No visible imperfections, but no spares provided. And an acetate instrument dial sheet.

An etched brass sheet of about 45 parts: tail boom assy & assorted supports, stays & braces, seat belts, pedals, instrument panel, engine wiring/plumbing looms, rotor-head detail, starting handle, pitot, whip-aerial, etc. There is one part here (#24) which I have not identified and doesn't appear on the otherwise excellent instruction sheet.

Decals and paint-schemes for the following aircraft:
References for the Djinn are few and far between, but there's some reasonable pictures of Heer machines in F-40 #18, which also covers the Bell 47 and Skeeter in German service. I have a few pics of the one preserved in the ALAT museum at Dax which I can send to anyone who's interested. There's also one at Bückeberg, one at the Helicopter Museum, and another at the Musée de l'Aire et de l'Espace.

Extratech kits are now being imported into the USA by Linden Hill, they've got Alouette II's and Lama's just now, and expect to have Djinns in a couple of weeks.

2. Next comes the Professional Model Aero HC-2 / HC-102, #PMK004, another impressive kit from the Czech Republic. In the box we find:

21 resin parts; floor & tail boom, rotor blades (3), shocks (2), wheels (3), engine / rotormasts (2), instrument panels (4), seats (2), transmission shafts (2), rotorhead, and a small unidentified bit which goes on the engine. The HC-2 and the HC-102 have different engines and instrument panels, hence the choice of parts. There are a few tiny imperfections, but nothing to worry about. The blades look a bit banana-form, but when you eye-ball them one edge is more or less straight, so I suspect they are meant to be like that. It's possible that the underside is a bit flat compared to the more deeply rounded profile of the real thing, but that's not going to be noticeable. The engine parts are very well moulded with a lot of fine detail and undercut areas, they'll look pretty 'busy' when painted, even without any extra detail.

2 clear vacformed cockpit bubbles, both of which are rather pitted, but may well be usable after a few coats of Kleer / Future. Full marks for providing a spare, anyway.

A sheet of etched steel with about 34 parts including instrument panel faces, belts, tail rotor, undercarriage stays, stabilisers, tail fin, overhead control yoke, and trim-tabs. As with the Djinn we have one part (#3) which is a mystery. It looks like a drive belt going around two wheels, but it's difficult to see where it might go.

Decals and paint-schemes for the following aircraft: I have a monochrome photo that shows OK-10 equipped with a two-blade rotor and stabiliser bar, parked alongside OK-IVA with the three-blade rotor provided in the kit.

3. The 1:72 HUP-2 from MM is indeed a re-box of the Interavia kit. This comes from NKR:

"The parts are crisp and clean (and moulded in a grey plastic, rather than a brilliant green, as was the case with the Interavia kit), but still the only interior detail is two seats (attempts were made to put in a full interior but SIGA, which makes the kits could not obtain the necessary information!). That said, the HUP now comes with an excellent instruction sheet and beautiful decals... with markings for three very colourful U.S. Navy aircraft."

4. A-Model have released a Ka-31 variant of their 1:72 Helix kit, this one is #72-45. Again from NKR:

"This of course is based on the Ka-28, released by A-Model earlier this year....five of the eight sprues of parts are identical. The other three sprues contain the new fuselage, cabin floor, retractable U/C housings etc. ...plus the 'weird' looking radar unit that fits underneath. With eight sprues, there are a lot of parts, so detail is good. There is also a sprue of clear parts, which includes a stand! The decal sheet has markings and stenciling for two Soviet aircraft."

You're going to need the stand to show it with the radar array deployed, (unless you hang it from the ceiling, of course). I'm not sure if you can build it with the radar stowed - though it's a distinctive variant even like this.

5. Looking for pictures of Mi-8/17 Hips? Linden Hill have just posted over 70 new images from Ken Duffey's collection, including several rare variants with distinctive nose profiles and one with a rear loading ramp.

You also need to take a long, hard look at the 65 or so Mi-17 detail pictures, including many interior shots, taken by Piotr Kasprzak and posted at the Scale Modelling in Lodz website.

6. Ciro #72-09 is a new release comprising a vac-formed cockpit canopy, canopy masking, and a resin cockpit roof panel for the KP Mi-8/17

7. Now available is the IAF Light Helicopters book by Amos Dor from AD Grafica.

8. Yet another write-up from NKR, this one adds a bit more to what we know about the 1:48 Professional Model Cierva C-30, #PMK003

"Autogiros are always a popular subject and the C-30 certainly should be...it comes with parts for the Cierva or LeO C.30 and markings for six aircraft (3x British, 2x Czech and 1x German...and the tail swastikas are supplied). The kit is injected resin with photo etched details. The fully detailed engine comes with separate cylinders (optional types, depending on the version being modelled), crank case and collector ring while the cockpit has excellent side wall detail moulded into each fuselage half...instrument panels are photo etched with film 'negatives' for the instrument faces. The rotor blades are resin with photo etched details."

9. The re-issued Aztec decals (HKN #108) include the news that Aztec make a 'pointy' nose conversion for the MD500 in both 1/72nd & 1/48th scales. They also advertise an unspecified conversion in both scales for the Blackhawk. Neither of these are mentioned on their website but, then again, neither are the re-issued decal sheets.

10. This may not be breaking news, but you may not be aware that Williams Brothers make a Pitcairn PCA-2 Autogyro kit in both 1:48 and 1:87 (HO) scales, as well as alternative decals for them. The details are: Thanks to Roberto Rambelli, Pete Tasker, Petr Zaoral, and Drew Graham.