Heli-Kit News #169, 21-Jul-03

1. The new Prop and Jet TsAGI A-12 autogiro is a very nicely moulded little kit, possibly the best vacformed helicopter kit that HKN has seen. The rotorhead, rotor pylon, exhausts and propeller are metal castings, and a small decal sheet is provided.

2. The revised Italeri 1:48 V-22 Osprey #2622 has attracted mostly favourable comments.

On the plus side: Problems include: 3. A first look at the new Italeri 1:48 Seahawk #2620 shows a kit crisply moulded in grey plastic, with recessed panel lines and delicately raised rivets.The cabin interior includes the sonobuoy launcher, workstation etc. The cockpit is basic, leaving plenty of scope for the super-detailer and the after-market. Exterior detail includes the ESM antennae, winch, and MAD. Armament consists of two torpedos. Decals are for SH-60B 162329 from HSL-47 'Sabrehawks' in low visibility 3-tone grey, and an white and grey SH-60J, 8201, from the JMSDF.

The instructions show that the blades can be folded in the same manner as the earlier Italeri MH-60G, so the rotorhead is probably poorly detailed and suspect in shape. The cockpit door windows are inaccurate because they are the same as the MH-60G ones, whereas they should be a different shape, but the necessary modification will hopefully not be too difficult.

Watch out for various modifications and details for this kit due soon from Cobra Company.....

4. Cobra Company will soon be offering an SH-60B detail set #48026, and an SH-60F conversion and detail set, #48027. Also available will be the decal sheet for both SH-60B and SH-60F that was issued with their multimedia Seahawks, and includes the spectacular Samurai scheme for the SH-60B at Atsugi NAS.

The next release from Cobra Company will be their UH-1B backdate set #35008 for the Academy / MRC UH-1C. The parts in this set will include:

Also in the works are flexible ammo chutes in three scales. They will appear on the Cobra Company website soon.

5. Amodel's recent crop-spraying version of their 1:72 Ka-15 kit, 72106, can be built in three different versions, one with the spray booms, and two others with different configurations of crop-dusting apparatus.

The additional sprue that carries all the extra parts for these also has several unused pieces that appear to be extra tanks of some kind, so maybe there's another version of this kit yet to come. An ambulance version has been mentioned, but this may be different.

6. Examination of the Legato re-issue #00372 of the 1:72 Miku Cheyenne shows that the original inaccuracies remain, but that there is more surface detail including fine rivets and engraved panel lines. Many of the parts including the rotor blades are now thinner and more delicate, and the wheels and undercarriage struts are more detailed. The etched metal parts are the same, but the drawings copied from the maintenance manuals are no longer included.

It is also interesting to note that the same re-tooled kit is also being offered under the Miku label (#72066) by their Czech distributor, and at a suprisingly low price.

The new Legato Bo-105CBS #00272 includes decals for machines from Czech, US and German police forces, and Swedish and Finnish air ambulances.

7. Hannants are advertising the future re-issue of the Czechmaster Resins 1:72 Sikorsky R-6 / Hoverfly II, #1137.

8. Revell have announced a 1:32 set celebrating the 100th birthday of ADAC (the German automobile rescue service) in 2003. The contents of this set are not known to HKN at present, but a guess might suggest Bo-105, BK-117 and EC135?

Also due very soon from Revell is their revised Merlin HM.1, their website tells us that this will include: It is interesting to note that while modellers are hoping that this version of the HM.1 will include the rotor-cuffs that were missing from Italeri's 'prototype', word is coming through from Royal Navy sources that these are no longer being fitted to operational aircraft due to their propensity for going missing in flight!

9. Airfix issued a mini-catalogue of new releases earlier this year that included a 'Modern Aircraft Collection' boxed set, #98099, called 'Navy Firepower'. The artwork showed the Kaman Seasprite, plus a Tomcat and a Hornet. Now that the full catalogue has been published, the specification of this set has changed, the Seasprite being replaced by the Lynx HMA.8.

10. Due for release by Airwaves in July is an all-new Scout-to-Wasp conversion set, SC72-145, including resin, white metal and etched brass parts, and a vacform canopy.

Available from Airwaves now is SC72-146, a set of two of the vacform canopies that will be in the Scout-to-Wasp conversion. The canopies are made for them by Falcon Vacforms.

11. A new decal sheet from Aztec, 'COIN Warriors, Fuerza Aerea de Guatemala' includes a Bell 412 and a number of different schemes for the Sikorsky H-19D, some of which are probably from the Guatemalan Navy.

12. Linden Hill's first helicopter decals, an Mi-24 sheet called 'Bush War Hinds - Part 1', should be printed in August. It will be available in both 1:48 and 1:72 scales.

13. While we wait for their new Sea King sheets (HKN #168) which should be with us any day now, Model Art tell us that several others are in very short supply: 14. John Hairell has reviewed "Sikorsky HH-52A An Illustrated History" By Lennart Lundh:

He says "this is another of Lennart Lundh's very detailed books and is a worthwhile addition on a not very well known subject,the Sikorsky S-62, used by the US Coast Guard as the HH-52A Seaguard. Conservatively designed with an S-55 power train, rotor heads, and hydraulic system, a boat hull, and a single T58 turbine, the S-62/HH-52A went on to be the mainstay of USCG R/W aviation for many years. Unfortunately Sikorsky's dreams of capturing part of the civil market never materialized in part due to competition from its own larger and more powerful S-61 and the USCG ultimately became the single largest user. The S-62 was also built in Japan by Mistubishi and flown by several foreign air forces.

Picking up this book the reader's first impression is that it is photo-heavy - there are 401 photos (292 color, 109 black and white) and 14 diagrams packed into 152 pages. The books consists of 6 chapters and 6 appendices.

The 6 chapters are: General Description and Operations, Nuts and Bolts, Crew Notes, HH-52A Roll Call, S-62A and S-62B Roll Call, and S-62J Roll Call.

The crew notes chapter detailing pilot and crew experiences is especially interesting. Some of the people who flew in Coast Guard aviation were real characters. Also described are civilian operations, and foreign military operations including Japanese manufacture and use. The roll call chapters give a history of each airframe and a majority of them are shown in photographs.

The 6 appendices are: Crew Lost, Specs, Army Evaluation, Crew Art, Patches, and Acronyms and Abbreviations.

The Army evaluation was written up by Jack Marinelli, a well-known Army test pilot. The Army found the S-62 was not suited for its purposes and was not a great advance in helicopter design. The crew art chapter is interesting in that it shows various crew-applied art which enlivened the generally stodgy USCG paint schemes. The chapter on patches has over a hundred HH-52 related patches in color.

This is a good book - well researched, highly detailed, and with a wealth of photographs. One minor nit is the lack of any general layout diagrams or three-views, typical of Schiffer which doesn't have any in-house artists. If the author can't locate or commission a suitable drawing, the publisher won't do it. Although I'm a minor contributor and could be said to be biased, I can heartily recommend this book to anybody who has an interest in helicopters and specifically to those who are interested in USCG aviation and rescue operations."

Now all we need is a model...

Thanks to Mike B, Steve Eggers, Jaroslav Spacek, Erwin Stam (Luchtvaart), Guy Holdroyd (Linden Hill), John Hairell, Luca Beato, Jean-Pierre Desprez (Model Art), George Filyagin, Tony Morgan, Gennady Kasyanenko, and Chris Miller (Cobra Company).

If you buy something direct from the maker as a result of reading about it in Heli-Kit News, please remember to tell them that you saw it here. This will encourage the flow of more news in the future, and maybe we'll even get the occasional review sample!