Heli-Kit News #132, 08-Nov-01
Scale Modelworld 2001 Special Edition

1. IPMS Austria have released Pt.2 of their 1:72 Austrian Airforce decals (see HKN #34 for Pt.1). Printed by Propagteam, this sheet includes the Westland Whirlwind Srs.2 of 1 Hubschrauberstaffel based at Horsching, with full markings for 3D-XP (1958) and 4D-XO (1964) and sufficient letters to change these serials into any other Austrian AF example, including comprehensive stencils.

The instructions suggest a few modifications appropriate for the Italeri H-19B Chickasaw kit #1206. There has been a series of well-illustrated articles about these helicopters in the IPMS Austria magazine 'IPMS Panorama'. On the same sheet are decals for the S-35 Draken and the LT-6G Texan.

Rainer Selisko told me that there is an S-55 (HH-19B?) in the Deutsches Museum von Meisterwerken der Naturwissenschaft und Technik (German Museum of Achievement in Science and Technology), Munich, that exhibits the unusual bumps on top of the tail boom that feature in the Italeri & Revell kits. I have found a picture that shows that this aircraft 0-34458 is one of the options in the Italeri kit #1206, and there is a suspicion that it may have that strange bulge underneath as well. If anyone has other pictures that show these features clearly, I would like to see them.

2. Also still available from IPMS Austria are the 1998 'Kleeblatt' display team markings (HKN #34 again) and a resin set to convert the 1:72 Italeri OH-58A Kiowa #195 into an AB.206 JetRanger. The conversion set includes tail-boom, faired skid supports, cabin rear bulkhead and bench seating, all of which replace the kit parts.

3. Model Art Decals have produced two more decal sheets featuring helicopters: Much to the disappointment of both Jean-Pierre and his customers, the sheets delivered by the printers the day before the show didn't satisfy Model Art's meticulous standards, so although there were proof copies on display, there were none available for sale. The re-print should however be available within two weeks, and we hope to look at them in more detail later.

4. As if to emphasise the lack of initiative being displayed by Airfix at the moment, the Lynx HMA.8 kit #3063 was notable by its complete absence. None of the traders to whom I spoke has been able to get any of these kits for weeks, and none has any idea when (or even if) they will do so. The Airfix representatives themselves could only shrug their shoulders, look vaguely embarrassed, and mutter something under their breaths about 'distributors'.

5. Whirlybird Decals is a new venture producing limited runs of Alps decals. Their first production, specifically for the show, is a sheet of markings for the CAF CH-136 Kiowa in its D-Day 50th Anniversary scheme, as seen at the Army Air Corps Open Day at Middle Wallop in 1994. The aircraft is from 403 "City of Calgary" Sqn, serial #136210, and has the WWII codes KH-E, with invasion stripes and type 22 roundels.

These are available in both 1:72 (#WB72001b) and 1:48 (#WB48001b), direct from Whirlybird. Colour instruction sheets and references should soon be available at Whirlybird's new website.

Whirlybird also do custom decal printing, with no minimum order quantity. Price is dependent on the amount of paper and printing involved, but if they are supplied with the artwork in an acceptable digital format then it can be as low as 15 UK pounds per A4 sheet. Ideal for short run kits/conversions or for that scheme you have been praying for one of the decal manufacturers to produce! Contact Whirlybird for more details.

6. The 1:72 Alouette III floats and detail/update set previously expected from Delta Aviation Publishing (HKN #26, HKN #60, HKN #65) will be produced by Whirlybird. The project has been resurrected and the product is expected to be available in about 6 months time.

7. Delta have finally produced their SAS assault frames accessory #DB5057. This set intended for the 1:72 Revell A.109 #4456 represents the tubular steel framework used by the British SAS for the deployment of abseil ropes from the cabin doors. A very simple and inexpensive accessory consisting of four pieces of fine brass rod, two of them bent to shape, the value lies as much in the details in the instruction sheet as in the parts themselves. Delta can be contacted by email, a new website should be up and running soon.

We do need someone to address the fact that the Revell kits are not representative of the majority of A.109s, differing in both their undercarriage and in their engine housings.

Decals for several of the many schemes worn by SAS 109s are available from Model Alliance.

8. Among the latest releases from Model Alliance are decal sheets for Greek Apaches and for the black Sea Hawk from the Naval Strike Air Warfare Center, and a conversion set to make the VH-60N 'Presidential' Hawk. Coming fairly soon (2002) from Model Alliance will be their first complete helicopter kit, the 1:72 Ecureuil / Squirrel in several varieties: These kits will have injection moulded fuselages with interior and other details in resin.

About to be released is a decal sheet #HD-04 including the same D-Day anniversary CH-136 scheme as the Whirlybirds issue, but also including another Kiowa scheme that was displayed on the same occasion. A twin Huey D-Day anniversary scheme will be released at the same time, #HD-03.

Also imminent is a 1:72 French Navy Panther special scheme #HD-06 with a spectacular yellow and blue tail and Panther artwork on the engine housing.

9. Revell will re-issue the 1:72 Matchbox Dauphin in Feb-02, #4467, probably with standard Aeronavale markings, and in Jan-02 we should see #4472, an AS.532 Cougar re-box of the 1:72 Italeri SuperPuma, markings unknown at the moment. There are no other new releases listed through to the end of Apr-02 apart from those already delayed from 2001. To clarify the situation with Matchbox, I learn that Revell own and possess all the Matchbox moulds, it is simply the licence to use the Matchbox name that has expired.

10. ED Models have released their new Airwaves Commando HC.4 conversions, #SC72-126 for the Revell HAS.6 kit, and #SC48-086 for the Hasegawa/Revell SH-3.

The contents of the 1:48 set are similar, but with more parts such as a resin cabin door.

Someone else (who wishes to remain nameless at the moment) is preparing a sheet of 'Junglie' decals.

11. Another mystery comes from David J Parkins of Flightpath who says he has a major helicopter project under way that will "make both RN and RAF fans happy". Please don't look for any more details until the end of 2002 at the earliest.

12. New from Wings And Wheels is a book called 'Hind in Detail, Mil Mi-24, all Variants', and detail is certainly what you get...if you want to super-detail the interior of your Hind tail-boom, for example, there's 14 photos spread over 2 pages showing you everything you need! This book runs to an incredible 168 pages of full colour photos covering all variants from the Mi-24A (including rare cockpit details) up to the latest avionics re-fit versions.

13. New to me is the French bi-monthly 'Air Magazine'. Issue No.3 (Jul/Aug 2001) contains a 24 page article entitled 'Les Autogyres La Cierva et LeO C.30' that includes 38 contemporary photographs and beautiful colour drawings of no less than 18 different aircraft from the UK, France, Sweden, Spain, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Germany. You also get 1:72 plans and 3 pages of detailed drawings. This excellent periodical is available in the UK from The Aviation Bookshop, and in France from the publishers: TMA, 75 Rue Claude Decaen, 75012, Paris; tel: (33)1-4347-3516

14. Lastly, it seems that Geoff Arnold will be taking over the leadership of the IPMS World Helicopter Special Interest Group. The newsletter 'Rotor Torque' will be discontinued for the time being, but it is expected that HKN will carry SIG news and other information instead.

Thanks and best wishes to everyone who patiently answered all my questions.