Heli-Kit News #202, 25-Mar-05
1. Revell have released their version of the MH-47E Chinook, based on the 1:72 Italeri moulds. #4483 comes with decals for US Army and RAF (HC.3) aircraft.
The HC.3 is another monument to the bungling and incompetence endemic to the British procurement process. The RAF's eight HC.3's delivered by 2001 are restricted to flying above 500 feet in clear weather, and then only where the pilot can fly the aircraft solely using external reference points without relying on the flight displays. All of which rather restricts their usefulness as a Special Forces fleet. They are effectively mothballed, and furthermore the US Army has decided they don't want them either, due to corrosion they have suffered in storage.
2. New from Vami is a 1:72 resin kit of the Focke Achgelis Fa.284 'Flying Crane' project. Since there has been no previous model of this "Luftwaffe '46" aircraft apart from Unicraft's 1:144 version (illustrated below), it can't be a copy of someone else's (unlike their previous Sycamore - HKN #187). No further details of the Vami kit are known, except that it is available from Luchtvaart at the surprisingly high price of 140 Euros.
3. More information on the forthcoming 1:144 Blackhawks from Dragon (#4578). The box will include parts for two complete UH-60L Blackhawks with external fuel tanks and decals with multiple options from Cartograf. Release is expected in April.
4. Also in April, Fujimi will give us yet another version of their 1:72 JASDF KV-107/II-5, this time in JASDF 50th Anniversary 'White Heron' markings, #27034, the same as Academy's recent release in 1:48.
5. Ardpol are listing the 1:72 BZ-4 ZUK in their 'Soon' section.
Conversions & Accessories
6. Hannants have re-issued the Airwaves etched detail set #AEC72220 for the Revell Sea Kings.
7. Cobra Company will be releasing a series of 1:48 AH-1G conversions in the near future. The first release will allow for the conversion of the Fujimi AH-1J to AH-1G configuration. The main things in the set will be the turret, the cockpit, the transmission/engine housing and the exhaust pipe. A tail fin for the left-side tail rotor will be available as a single item. Additional sets will allow any of the Fujimi (Testors) AH-1S helicopter kits to be backdated to AH-1G configuration.
If you are one of the many heli-modellers who have been eagerly waiting for this opportunity, we suggest you stock up with Fireball Modelworks decal sheets now, since they are the 'only game in town' (apart from Isradecals IAF-23 for IDF/AF Cobras).
Also in work at Cobra Company is a Mil Mi-17 exterior weapons set for the 1:35th Trumpeter 'Hip'.
8. As promised, Fireball Modelworks have expanded their limited-edition decal range with the release of a second set for the HueyCobra, 'AH-1G Part 2: Snakes with New Skins', this one covering aircraft in service with the US Marines, the Spanish Navy, and the Israeli "Defence" Force. These decals are available in 1:32, 1:48, and 1:72.
Additionally, their first sheet, 'AH-1G Part 1: US Army in Vietnam' (HKN #200) is now also available in 1:48.
We expect that Fireball's next set will cover the Hueys of the US Navy's HA(L)-3 'Seawolves'.
9. Mike Grant Decals have released some sheets of cockpit gauges and data plates. Suitable for WW2 and early jet era aircraft, these have over 300 gauges and a selection of data placards to enhance cockpits, undercarriages, engines etc. The gauges have white backing and can be applied directly to the instrument panel. Available in 1:32, 1:48 or 1:72 from Flightdecs.
Low resolution close-up.....
Thanks to Chief Snake (Cobra Company), Dave Marshall, and Joseph Osborn (Fireball Modelworks).
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!