Heli-Kit News #187, 04-May-04

1. Czech Master Resin's Sikorsky R-6 / Hoverfly II (#CMR 137) is now available. All the resin parts are finely moulded, have very little flash (and what there is is very thin), minimal attachment to the pouring stubs, and no air bubbles at all. This is a most remarkably complete production, and without my having actually attempted construction, appears to be among the very best resin helicopter kits. Hopefully we will be able to take a detailed look at the new Kora kit of the same machine in the next edition of HKN.

The parts provided (resin unless stated otherwise) are:

The instructions include: The two-part decal sheet printed by MPD gives markings for:

The colours are all in perfect register (most noticeable on the British roundels), the printing is sharp, and the decals themselves look thin, with minimal surrounding film.

2. The new 1:72 Vami Sycamore HR.14 kit is a copy of the old resin Maintrack HR.14 kit #72:12 (not to be confused with the Maintrack/Airways vacform HR.14 kit #14). It is clear that the Maintrack kit has been used as the master from which the Vami moulds have been made. The differences between the two productions are evident on the photo below (Maintrack on the left, Vami on the right). These are:

The bulkheads and instrument panels in both kits are intended to be cut from a piece of plasticard that is supplied. The patterns for these are provided on an A4 sheet that also has a 3-view and a few detail diagrams. The sheet in the Vami kit is a xerox copy of the one in the Maintrack kit, with credits and copyright notice removed. There are no assembly instructions.

The resin parts in the Vami kit look like they will clean up nicely and there will be no significant quality difference between the two. The white metal parts in the Maintrack kit are cleaner and sharper than the resin copies that have been made from them in the Vami kit, although these too should clean up to an acceptable finish. The white metal parts in the Vami kit are noticeably rougher than the originals, and will take some work to make them look nice - and they will probably never be as good as the Maintack ones.

Whirlybird, who recently took ownership of the Maintrack range, consider that the Maintrack resin Sycamore had size and dimension problems, which is why they have chosen to re-issue the vacform one instead. Comparing the resin parts with the 1:72 drawings and photos in F-40 #20, it appears that the length is good, the tailboom is good, but that the fuselage should be about 2.5mm deeper and the rotorhead and the housing around the main rotorshaft extend about 6 mm too far forward over the top of the cabin, making it all look a little odd. Turning to the vacform one, I can't see a great deal of difference; the same problems are still there, but are maybe a little less pronounced.

3. Amodel have released the Mil Mi-3 military ambulance variant (#72097) of their Mi-1 kit. The only significant difference between this and the Mi-1 ambulance (#72084) is that this has a four blade main rotor decals which have markings for a USSR 50 year anniversary aircraft.

4. Trumpeter's next 1:35 epic, the Mi-17 Hip, is scheduled for release in July.

5. The latest decal sheets from Whirlybird are both for the 1:72 Whirlwind HAR.10.

Another sheet (WB72022) to be released soon will be for the later CFS scheme of white, red, and light aircraft grey. Also close to completion is a set of resin flotation gear for the Whirlwind, the type that came with the original Airfix HAR.1, but the correct size & shape. Whirlybird products are available from Linden Hill in the USA and Heritage Aviation in the UK.

6. HKN has finally managed to get its hands on a couple of the decal sheets from Siam Scale (see HKN #178). These are:

#72005 S-55 / H-19A/B Chickasaw has six choices, of which you can build two with the decals provided.

Printing and registration look very good (except between red and black, but this is only really apparent on the two filler-cap decals)

#72002 CH-34C / UH-34D S-58T Choctaw, has four choices, all RTAF

Again printing looks good with no registration problems, and there's a lot of stencil detail, but they don't tell you where to find an S-58T nose in 1:72!

White decals are not visible in these images. Note that the colour numbers quoted on the instruction sheets refer to the Gunze-Sangyo Mr Color range, though it doesn't tell you that anywhere.

7. As we paitiently await the appearance of the new 1:48 Academy Sea Knight, Twobobs Aviation Graphics have announced that their next batch of decals will include a selection for the CH-46D, and the next Close-Up from Landing Zone Publications will cover the CH-46 in US Navy & Marines service.

Thanks to Petr Buchar (Czech Master Resins), Paul Inguanti, John Cameron, Roger Evans (Whirlybird), Christian Bouschon, and Erwin Stam (Luchtvaart).

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!