Heli-Kit News #128, 02-Sep-01

1. Italeri's newly released 1:72 H-19A Rescue Chickasaw #1215 is based on the version of the kit previously released by Revell, with the 'straight' tail boom. It is interesting to note that part #53, believed to represent the extra bulged engine access door, as fitted to the Royal Navy Whirlwind HAS.7, is still not used, so there may be more versions of this kit yet to come.

The USAF appears to have been the only user of this float-equipped version of the Chickasaw, and just one set of markings is provided, serial 13893, the colours of which are given as silver and yellow, though the 'silver' was actually unpainted aluminium.

The floats and supports are very nicely moulded, but if assembled according to the instructions, you will get a geometry which does not match with any photograph I have ever seen. These all show the floats markedly higher off the ground at the front, and inclined at a corresponding angle relative to the underside of the fuselage, both in flight and at rest. The kit configuration gives floats parallel to the underside of the fuselage and only slightly raised at the front. It looks like the supports are going to need modification to get it looking right. The picture above also shows the resin SH-19B floats from Delta Bits, for comparison.

2. Revell have published more details of their forthcoming 1:72 Sea King HAS.6 #4450, which is scheduled for release very soon.

Included in the kit will be: The decal sheet will provide three marking schemes, all for aircraft based at RNAS Culdrose: Given these options, it appears we should also be able to use this kit to build a HAS.2 (on which the AEW.2 is based) or a HAS.5 (very little different externally from the HAS.6).

3. Model Alliance are looking for any pictures or drawings of the interior of the Sea King HAS.5 or HAS.6 on which to base an internal detail set for the Revell kit. If you can help please e-mail The next release from Model Alliance, in September, will be decals for a 1:72 French Navy Panther special scheme with a yellow and blue tail and Panther artwork on the engine housing.

In January or February 2002 they will be releasing a 1:72 mixed-media kit of the AS350 Squirrel, with injection moulded parts, resin detail and decals. The kit will be released as an Australian Navy version with extra Gulf War bits, an RAF version Defence Helicopter Flying School decals, a Twin Squirrel with RAF Queens Flight Decals, and as a Fennec with Danish Army decals and including TOW missile launchers.

Looking further ahead, it is planned that a mixed-media kit of the Sikorsky S-76 will be released about the middle of 2002.

4. Cobra Company have produced a new detail/correction set for the recently re-issued 1:48 UH-1C Huey Hog gunship made by Revell/Monogram, #5201. This set includes a corrected tailfin, the correct synchronized elevators, two new armored pilots seats, the gunsights for the weapons systems, two 19-shot rocket pods, two 7.62mm mini-guns, and an ammo drum and feed chute for the M5 Grenade launcher, if used.

Coming soon from Cobra Company will be a 1:32 M23 weapons set for the Revell UH-1D/H Huey #4421. Cobra already make a set of armoured seats for this kit, item #32-002.

5. The 'new' Airwaves etched brass set #AC72-222 for the Airfix Lynx HMA.8 (HKN #126) includes cockpit instrument panel, centre consle, roof console, seat mounts, seat straps, inflatable and canvas seats, wipers, aerials, tie-downs, intake FOD screens, tail-fold, u/c torque links, etc. This brass sheet was previously issued as part of the Airwaves resin, brass and white metal conversion set #SC72-107 which was designed for use with the Airfix Lynx HAS.2/3.

6. Having now seen the Twobobs AH-1S 'Foreign User Cobras' decal sheet #48-005 at first hand, I can confirm the decals look every bit as good in reality as they do at the Twobobs website.

As well as markings specific to Bahrain, Japan, and Jordan, you get about 75 stencils per aircraft, allowing you to complete all three aircraft from the one sheet (a nice change from sheets that give you lots of options but only enough decals for you to build one of them). In addition, Twobobs have also included some generic stencils suitable for use on the AH-1G.

In addition, all the colours are identified by FS, Testors, Humbrol and Gunze Sangyo numbers (though some of the Humbrol mixes are rather complicated!)

7. HKN has received a proof sheet of JBOT Bell 47G decals. This includes aircraft from Greece (x4), France, Pakistan, Uruguay, Malaysia, New Zealand (x4), and Malta (x2). The printing looks very sharp and the markings will make some colourful and unusual models. These should be available soon, and will be stocked by Flightdecs as well as being available direct from the maker.

8. Have you ever wondered about part #69, a curiously shaped plate which the instructions in all the 1:72 Italeri/Revell kits of the H-53 would have us attach below the tail boom? This almost never appears in any photograph, and is very rarely fitted on actual aircraft. I have recently discovered that it appears to represent a piece of armour plating designed to protect the tail-hinge mechanism, and as far as I know it is only ever used on USAF Pave Low variants (such as on this MH-53M Pave Low IV from the USAFSOC 21st SOS).

9. Here's a link to a fine selection of pictures of US Navy, US Marines, or JMSDF helicopters.

To save you searching through all the JMSDF units, you should concentrate on FS-51, 101, 111, 121, 122, Base Flight and Base Flight SAR.

10. Not a heli-kit but could be useful - a resin 1:72 Soviet GAZ-69 Jeep from Armo, #72073.

11. Amazon UK are now listing Steven Coates' 'Helicopters of the Third Reich', publication date 31-Jan-02.

12. The Fanakit website has a new set of walkaround photos of the Agusta Bell 47J.

13. Go here for some interactive panorama images of UH-60 & Apache cockpits.

14. Hasegawa1:48 Apache Longbow #PT23 is now scheduled for release in October. There will also be an AH-64A version #PT24 which is tentatively due for release in February next year. This is expected to come with markings for the US Army 1st Infantry Division, 1st Aviation Battalion, based at Ansbach AAF in Germany.

15. Fujimi have re-issued their 1:48 AH-1S Cobra 'Step-III', as #31105. Weapons load includes rocket launchers and TOW missile tubes. Markings are for an aircraft from the JGSDF Air Training School at the Kasumigaura Training Ground. The 1:72 version of this kit has also been re-issued as #72116, with the same markings.

16. Lastly, Model-Aire International's Encyclopedia of 1:72 Scale Models "ESM72", Volume 5, No.2, includes a listing of 1:72 (and other scales close to this) Helicopter, Autogyro, and VTOL Aircraft kits. The list covers many rare and out-of-production models, plus those thought to be coming in the forseeable future. A VERY useful reference source.

Thanks to Steve McLaughlan, David Fleming, Bob Sanchez (Twobobs), Chris Miller (Cobra Company), Drew Graham, James Botaitis (JBOT), Gary Madgwick (Model Alliance), Pete Tasker, Craig Sargent, Tom Young (Model-Aire), and Pawel Okulski.