Heli-Kit News #145, 26-May-02

1. Let's take a look at Mach 2's 1:72 HH-43 Huskie #GP030, released in the last couple of weeks. The following thoughts have been contributed by one of our readers:

"First, let me express my subjective opinion because I like this helo, and I have been impatiently waiting this kit for several reasons. Even the existence of this kit is a good thing in itself. The drawbacks described below should not stop experienced modellers from adding this Pedro to their collections. I am sure that the result will worth the efforts if you have enough patience and time. Now, to the kitů

The Huskie comes on two sprues of milky-white, typically limited-run plastic carrying 57 parts. The smallest detail on the sprues has a thickness of about 1 mm. A third sprue carries five clear window parts.

The quality of the production excites mixed emotions. On the one hand the fuselage halves feature fine engraved panel lines; but on the other hand, there is no door opening or any other similar construction options. Unfortunately, most of the details suffer in one way or another from warps, disproportion or other defects. The mouldings are rather coarse, with conspicuous amounts of flash. For some reason which is unclear to me, the kit includes 6 wheels instead of 4, two of them cast along with the landing gear and shock-absorbers (the nose gear).

The pilots cabin consists of two seats, two control sticks and a small bar intended to represent the instrument panel. The parts comprising the cargo cabin are the seats (moulded along with the floor), and some relief shown on the insides of the fuselage halves symbolizing the seats backs. On the whole, the details leave the impression of being made without proper care.

The 'glass' is rather thick, as other Mach 2 canopies, but with proper finishing it would not be write-off.

The decals could easily compete in the minimalist stakes with the ones Zvezda kits are known for. If you have ever seen the decals coming with an average Zvezda kit, you will well understand what I mean.

The instruction sheet merely gives four hand-drawn images of the main part assembly, and one colour scheme. The only colour and marking scheme is a Vietnam era 58-1853 wearing three tone camo (the number is valid for an HH-43B model). More details on possible color schemes can be found on the excellent Michael Benolkin site, where there are also HH-43 close-up photos. The more I look at these, the more evident are the kit's shortcomings and the effort needing to be applied.

On the plus side, I should note that the dimensions seem close to the drawings, and the kit could be considered as a good base to start your project from. We'll leave the criticism there, and give credit for the subject's originality".

I would just add that another 1:72 HH-43B is expected from a different maker later on this year. The parts of this already completed are considered to be better than the Mach 2 example. I am hoping that previews of this kit will be published here in due course.

2. The new 1:72 Mi-1 'Hare' from the Moscow company Gran first mentioned back in November 2000 is now ready for release, as soon as the boxes are printed. Some kits may have been released onto the market un-boxed. This is a new moulding, not a copy of the MPM or A-Model kits.

3. The latest resin release from LF Models is a 1:72 Kellett XR-8, #7249.

4. Planet Models' 1:72 resin Fw 186 Autogiro is now available.

5. Scarcely believable it may be, but Zvezda are now listing their seemingly mythical Mi-8 'Hip' kit for imminent release, meaning that it should hit the shelves sometime this May or June, #7230.

6. JBOT have released their Bell CH-136 Kiowa 408 Sqn 'Snow Goose' retirement scheme decals in 1:72 and 1:48.

Also now available is an addition to the JBOT range of Bell 47G decals, this sheet having two schemes each from Australia and Spain, and available in 1:72, 1:48 and 1:32 scales.

7. The following 1:72 decals are due soon from Whirlybird: And in 1:48: The following 1:72 Whirlybird accessories have already been released: And this will follow soon: All are very reasonably priced. If you're having trouble reaching Whirlybird on whirlybird@dunamai.net, you can try RGREvans@compuserve.com as an alternative. Whirlybird products are available in the USA from Linden Hill.

8. Dutch Decal have released their AH-64 Apache decals in 1:32 and 1:72, #32007 and 72053 respectively. These sheets give you the option to build any Klu AH-64A/D.

9. The 50th Anniversary aircraft on the forthcoming Model Art Sea King Commando HC.4 sheet 72/042 is ZD478/VM from 846 NAS, Yeovilton 1994. This features a palm tree with the number 50 on either side of the trunk and the words '846 Naval Air Squadron 1943-1993' in a circle around this motif. The colour is standard HC.4 green.

10. If you are building the 1:48 Trumpeter HH-65A Dolphin, note that current USCG Dolphins do not have the doors installed on the main landing gear. A gallery of HH-65A interior and exterior photos is available at David Campbell's excellent Hover Lover's Model Pages.

These are the decals from the Icelandic Coast Guard version of the Trumpeter Dauphin kit:

11. Cobra Company have now decided that their re-issued 1:32 HH-43 Huskie detail set for the Hawk / Testors / Italeri kit will use the same media as before, meaning that the etched brass sheet will be included as in the original. The brass sheets have been delivered and the complete sets are available now.

12. Cutting Edge / Black Magic have issued the following paint mask sets: 13. Issue 1'2002 of the Russian language magazine Mir Aviatsii (Aviation World) includes a comprehensive article on the Ka-27PL (ASW), including information on board numbers, colour drawings of three aircraft, noseart and other photos, and recommendations on colours and weathering.

14. Italeri's 'new' 1:72 Sherman tank ( a re-issue of the an old Esci kit, I believe) includes a full engine - a nicely detailed radial with fan duct and engine bearer - that would appear to have possibilities for a display with any early Sikorsky, or a Sycamore, Dragonfly, etc.

15. How many people would be interested in buying a proposed book - 'A Modeller's Guide to British Military Helicopters'?

The book will outline all the types that have served or are serving with all three of the UK armed forces, giving detail reference details, photos, colour schemes, etc. for each type as well as type history, Squadron service, serial nos, etc.

The publisher would be one of the major UK modelling magazines, so it would be available world-wide by mail order direct, or through a network of distributors.

The more people who respond favourably, the more chance there is of it being published. If you think that you would be interested in buying a copy, please email Martin Elcox.

Thanks to Roger Evans (Whirlybird), George Filyagin, Jean-Pierre Desprez (Model Art), Tony Morgan (The Mad Yank), Chris Miller (Cobra Company), Martin Elcox, David Campbell, and others preferring to remain anonymous.