#04489 is the NH90 TTH (Tactical Transport Helicopter). Comparison with the parts in their original NH90 #04403 shows that all the external fuselage surfaces have been re-worked, with details moved or changed, and the rear window on the starboard side has been moved forward closer to the cabin door. The cockpit glazing has had a couple of wipers added, which many will see as a backward step, and the instrument panel is different, with display screens instead of dials. There is also an additional sprue which gives you a different radome nose and various external bits & pieces including aerials and antennae.
Markings are provided for:
Heeresflieger 78+02 and 78+03, Buckeburg 2007, painted in green / green / grey-black camo.
Italian E.I.200, 2006, olive drab.
Finnish KH-202, Utti Jagerregiment, 2007 (The registration will be re-painted at delivery as NH-202, but for now it is accurate), pale green / green / grey-black
Although no Finnish machine has yet been delivered the decals and painting instructions for KH-202 are not 'what-if'. The pre-delivery aircraft has already flown in these markings. There are some small inaccuracies though; the language of the rescue markings and warnings should be both Finnish and English and the Utti Jaegerregiment emblem shown on the cockpit doors is not there on the aircraft at present.
Also included is a large decal designed to cover the cabin floor, but you may feel that a considerable amount of detailing to the interior and the ramp is needed, including the provision of a cabin roof, if you want to leave the rear ramp open. You can see a review at IPMS Deutschland.
#04405 is a Mi-24D/V Hind-D/E, with plastic identical to Italeri Hind-D #014, but again with comprehensive new decals, this time for:
Iraqi AF Mi-24D, 1991, 4493 (arabic), green & brown camo
2. The 1:72 Hobby Boss kits that were announced earlier this year (HKN #227) have now started to appear, with two versions each of the H-34 and the H-46. Don't be deceived by reviews published elsewhere that say these are new toolings. Although this may strictly be true, the apparently rapid development of these kits in China is explained by the fact that they are effectively copies of the Italeri and Hobbycraft kits. All they have done is to take the original mouldings, do some basic assembly so as to reduce the component count, and make new moulds from them. It is not clear whether this copying has been done under licence, but it seems probable that it has not.
Having said that, the mouldings are very crisp, apparently having suffered no loss of detail in the copying process, and the way the simplified parts are laid out will cut down on fit problems and seam filling. The H-34 tail rotor still rotates the wrong way of course, but they have at least replaced the H-34 seats with something that a scale pilot could conceivably fit his (or her) ass into. The H-34 undercarriage is of the 'bent leg' variety, and the exhaust is the three-barrel type. I won't even start to list the things that were wrong with the Hobbycraft H-46/KV-107 kit, why couldn't they have cloned the Fujimi ones?
The decal sheets are adequate, though some of the colours don't look quite right.
The kits released so far are:
#87213, CH-46D Seaknight. US Navy HC-3 SA/40 ('Mars Stars'), & USMC HMM-262 ET/17.
#87215, "UH-34A Choctaw". French Navy quasi-HSS-1 177/F & Belgian AF HSS-1 OT-ZKH.
#87222, UH-34C Choctaw. USMC HMM-162 YP-20 (with 'eyes') & VNAF 213 Sqn jE40891 (with starry band around tailboom).
3.Fujimi have made a limited edition re-issue of their 1:72 Sea King, #72003. This one is billed as "SH-3A Oklahoma City 1976", and as well as all the contents of the original issue including the decal sheet from one of the previous releases, you get a new decal sheet with several additional options, nine choices altogether.
4. We're going to get an injection moulded Sokol at last. A new company AJ Model will be releasing a 1:72 PZL W-3T Sokol, the instruction sheets are being prepared at present. This will be followed later this year by W-3M (marine rescue) and W-3W military variants.
5.Dragon have announced two new 1:35 releases for 2007, a UH-1D and a UH-1N. It seems most likely that both will be based on the previously released Panda kits.
The UH-1D #3538 is scheduled for June. As well as the basic plastic it will include two door gunners and two pilot figures, two etched sheets (one coloured) and a new decal sheet printed by Cartograf. Note that the two Panda UH-1D kits were also available with four crew figures (the Dragon 'Vietnam Helicopter Crew' set) as an option.
I think we can safely assume that the Panda brand is effectively extinct, along with the list of exciting new releases that they announced for 2003 (see HKN #161).
6.Extratech are planning to issue a new variant of their excellent Alouette II kit, this time with wheels instead of the skids. Decals are likely to be for Dutch and French examples, and the model will be released at the 'Model Brno' show in the Czech Republic, which starts June 23rd.
7. Legato have stopped making resin kits and are now concentrating on their injection-moulded lines. Any resin kits that have been listed as future releases are not now expected to be made.
Conversions, Details, & Accessories
8. The following new 1:35 sets will be available on June 1st from Cobra Company:
CH-47D detail set
CH-47D aft pylon detail set (no picture yet)
M-6 Weapons system for UH-1B and UH-1C gunships
In addition, set #35004 for the UH-60L has been re-worked, it will now include a new interior cabin structure and remodeled engine air inlets with torque shafts.
9.Fireball Modelworks have now released their 1:48 HH-65 Dolphin resin tail & nose conversion #FMR003 (see HKN #228). Main rotor blades are available as a separate item, #FMR-004. See the Fireball website for further details. The 1:48 and 1:72 decal sheets are also ready, see below.
11.Fireball's new decals for the USCG HH-65 Dolphin include markings for the original HH-65A white & orange color scheme and for the later overall orange scheme used on all three HH-65 variants. The set comes in two scales, #FMD-10-48 and #FMD-10-72.
12. Just released by Belcher Bits is decal sheet #BD19, 1:48 Labrador / Voyageur & Chinooks. This 1-1/2 sheet set provides Canadian markings for any operational Labrador / Voyageur from entry into RCAF service in 1964 until retirement in 2002. It also provides markings for CAF Chinooks from 1975 until 1991.
CAF Labradors can be built from the Academy KV-107 kit; Voyageurs from the latest CH-46A kit. Italeri has promised a CH-47C Chinook for the autumn which should be a better representation of Canadian machines than the current ACH-47A.
Mike Belcher tells us that his website is just poised to be completely re-done, so it's not on there yet. However, it is available for sale ($Can 15.99) and the 4-page colour instruction sheet is available for viewing:
13.HaHen are a German company that make both detail parts and decals including:
1:48 German Navy MFG5, Sea King Mk.41, #48022.
Heer / Luftwaffe / BGS / Rescue UH-1D, available in various scales - #32020, 35001, 48033 and 72042
14. A Thai decal maker called S-Decal has printed the following:
SD48002, Bell UH1D Huey (203 Sqn, RTAF)
SD48001, Sikorsky H60 Blackhawk (9th Wing, RTA)
No further details are known except that they are available from AviationMegastore.com, and that the instructions are a photocopied sheet in Thai script only.
15. Click here for a review by Kelly Quirk of the Orion Models USMC V-22 Osprey Profile CD.
Thanks to Joseph Osborn, "pappamoomin", Gino P. Quintiliani, John Lacey, Len Lundh, Jaroslav Spacek, Pawel Okulski, Mike Belcher and Robertas Vasiliauskas.
If you buy something 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!