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Found 11 results

  1. AH-1G Cobra (Early Production) US Attack Helicopter ICM 1:32 (32060) Most modellers will instantly recognise the Bell AH-1 Cobra Attack Helicopter. The AH-1 was the first production Gunship or Attack Helicopter to see service. During the Vietnam war the US Army began to see the need for armed helicopter to escort its unarmed UH-1 Hueys into combat. In parallel to this Bell Helicopters had been investigating helicopter gunships as early as the late 1950s. In 1962 Bell displayed a mock up concept to the US Army. This Helicopter featured a 20mm gun pod, and a ball turret mounted grenade launcher. It was felt by the Army to be lightweight, under powered and not suitable. Following this the US Army launched and Advanced Aerial Fire Support System (AAFSS) competition. This competition gave rise to the Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne heavy attack helicopter. However this proved to be to advanced for its time and was eventually cancelled in 1972 after 10 years of development (some things don't change!). Despite the AAFSS programme Bell stuck with its idea of a smaller, lighter gunship and invested its own money developing the AH-1. They used all of the proven components they could from the UH-1 platform, adding these to a newly designed fuselage. When The US Army therefore asked for pans for an interim gunship for Vietnam Bell was in a fortunate position to be able to offer the AH-1, or the Bell 209 as it was then called. Given the work Bell had already done the programme was completed in a relatively speed eight months and won the evaluation against the competition. In 1966 the US Army signed an initial contract for 110 aircraft. Some slight modifications were made to the production airframes. The heavy armoured glass canopy was replaced by Plexiglas with an improvement in performance. Wider rotor blades were fitted and the original retracting skids were replaced by simple fixed units. The G model was the initial 1966 production model gunship for the US Army, with one 1,400shp (1,000 kW) Avco Lycoming T53-13 turboshaft. Bell built over 1100 AH-1Gs between 1967 and 1973, and the Cobras would go on to fly over a million operational hours in Vietnam, approximately 300 were lost to combat and accidents during the war. The U.S. Marine Corps would use AH-1G Cobra in Vietnam for a short period before acquiring twin-engined AH-1J Cobras. The AH-1 went on to serve the US Army until it was replaced by the AH-64 Apache. The last one leaving active service in 1999. The Kit This is a brand new kit from ICM, and their first helicopter kit. The quality of the moulding is first rate from ICM with fine engraved panel lines and nice rivet detail on the tail boom and tail. While this boxing is the the early G you can see from the sprues that other versions will be along as there is the opposite handed tail, different landing skids, an upturned exhaust, different winglets and TOW missiles on the weapons sprures. The kit arrives on 5 main sprues of grey plastic and a clear sprue. As well as the main helicopter and armaments, the kit also comes with the ground handling attachments for the skids, something often missing from kits. While there is good detail on the kit and the option to open up the engine and gearbox area, this area is not massively detailed and will open itself up for the super detailer if they want. Work starts conventionally in the cockpit. The two five part armoured seats are built up and added into the main cockpit tub. Tail controls are added to the floor ,and for the pilots station a cyclic and collective columns go it. For the front seater the weapons control column is made up ad fitted in. Side controllers are also fitted for the gunner. Instrument panels and coamings go in for both stations with instruments being provided as decals. Now the cockpit is complete the visible parts of the engine/gear box and its compartment are built up. This is followed up by parts for the rotor controls. The tails are added onto the fuselage. Here there is quite a large part which overlaps to compete a good solid join. The tail rotor needs attaching to fuselage half before closing up if you want it to move. The engine / gear box parts are fitted into the right fuselage followed by the cockpit and cockpit rear bulkhead parts. The fuselage can now be closed up with additional cockpit armour panels being fitted at each side. At the rear of the engine housing the exhaust part goes in. At the front of the helo the nose goes on, being careful to choose the right parts for the decal option being modelled. Turning things over the large central fuselage insert goes on with additional parts at the nose. The chin turret is now fitted with either one or two miniguns depending on your decal option. A light goes behind the turret. The final exhaust ring goes on the back and the tip of the tail is added. Next up we concentrate on the stub wings. The two wings are built up and the weapons pylons are fitted. These are fitted to the fuselage along with the rear stabilisers towards the tail. The landing skids can then be fitted. Next up the large clear canopy parts go on. A sight is fitted to the front of the central glazing section. The front and rear large side canopy parts are fitted, these can be open or closed as need by the modeller. The access panels can be fitted to each side of the open engine/gear box area; again these can be open or closed as required. We now move to the main rotor. Each of the two blades are split upper/lower, and they are joined together. The central rotor head is made from tow parts, these are upper and lower, these sandwich in the rotor blades. Once these are on the control arms to the swashplate are then added along with the central mounting shaft. The rotor this then mounted. To finish off armaments can be added to the pylons as needed. The kit provides Two M157 7 shot rocket pods, two M158 7 shot rocket pods, two M200 19 shot rocket pods; and two M18 minigun pods. If the modeller want to use them then two pairs of ground handling wheels can be made up and attached to the back of the skids, Towing bars then can be attached to the front of the skids. Decals The decal sheet is in house from ICM, the declas look thin, in register and have minimal carrier film. 4 Options are included; 5728/47 "Blue Max", 2nd Battalion, 20th Aerial Rocket Artillery Regiment. 66-15252 / 15 - Presumed to be part of the Cobra NETT (New Equipment Transition Team) 66-15310, B Battery, 2nd Battalion, 20th Aerial Rocket Artillery Regiment., 1st Cavalry Division (Air mobile) originally from Cobra NETT and featured a two tone trial camouflage scheme. 67-15762 / "Executioner", 235th Air Cavalry, Capt Lou Bouault (Aircraft commander), Daub Ting, November 1969. Conclusion This is another great looking kit from ICM which great tooling and possibilities for future variants on the sprues. Very Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  2. AH-1G Cobra "Early Tails over Nam" 1:72 Special Hobby (72427) Most modellers will instantly recognise the Bell AH-1 Cobra Attack Helicopter. The AH-1 was the first production Gunship or Attack Helicopter to see service. During the Vietnam war the US Army began to see the need for armed helicopter to escort its unarmed UH-1 Hueys into combat. In parallel to this Bell Helicopters had been investigating helicopter gunships as early as the late 1950s. In 1962 Bell displayed a mock up concept to the US Army. This Helicopter featured a 20mm gun pod, and a ball turret mounted grenade launcher. It was felt by the Army to be lightweight, under powered and not suitable. Following this the US Army launched and Advanced Aerial Fire Support System (AAFSS) competition. This competition gave rise to the Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne heavy attack helicopter. However this proved to be to advanced for its time and was eventually cancelled in 1972 after 10 years of development (some things don't change!). Despite the AAFSS programme Bell stuck with its idea of a smaller, lighter gunship and invested its own money developing the AH-1. They used all of the proven components they could from the UH-1 platform, adding these to a newly designed fuselage. When The US Army therefore asked for pans for an interim gunship for Vietnam Bell was in a fortunate position to be able to offer the AH-1, or the Bell 209 as it was then called. Given the work Bell had already done the programme was completed in a relatively speed eight months and won the evaluation against the competition. In 1966 the US Army signed an initial contract for 110 aircraft. Some slight modifications were made to the production airframes. The heavy armoured glass canopy was replaced by Plexiglas with an improvement in performance. Wider rotor blades were fitted and the original retracting skids were replaced by simple fixed units. The G model was the initial 1966 production model gunship for the US Army, with one 1,400shp (1,000 kW) Avco Lycoming T53-13 turboshaft. Bell built over 1100 AH-1Gs between 1967 and 1973, and the Cobras would go on to fly over a million operational hours in Vietnam, approximately 300 were lost to combat and accidents during the war. The U.S. Marine Corps would use AH-1G Cobra in Vietnam for a short period before acquiring twin-engined AH-1J Cobras. The AH-1 went on to serve the US Army until it was replaced by the AH-64 Apache. The last one leaving active service in 1999. The Kit The kit is for the early machines in Vietnam, It arrives as two major sprues, and 3 smaller sprues if light grey plastic, with a single clear sprue. All of the parts are very well moulded with no flaws I can see or flash. There are parts for other Cobra models on the sprues so care needs to be taken to select the right parts. Construction does not start with the cockpit (shock I know!) but with adding some small parts and the exhaust nozzle to the left fuselage half. We then move reassuringly back to the cockpit! The rear bulkhead needs to be removed and replaced with the right one for this boxing. The multipart seats with their armour plating shields are made up and added to the cockpit tub, along with instrument panels and control columns. The instrument are represented by decals. Once the cockpit tub is made up it can be placed inside the fuselage halves and they can be closed up. If you wish the main rotor to rotate then the head is placed into the fuselage at this point. If the modeller does not wish for it to rotate then this step can be left until later on in the build. Following completion of the main fuselage the stub wings/weapons pylons are made up and added to the fuselage. The nose turret is also completed and added at this point as are what look to be armour panels at the side of the cockpits. Construction then moves to the tail section. A left and right handed tail are supplied on the sprues so make sure you select the correct one (right hand for this kit). The tail is constructed and the tail rotor added, along with the tailplanes. Intakes and exhaust details are also added at this stage. Next its time to arm up your Cobra if you so wish (it would be naked without armament tho !). The armament in the kit is two M18 7.62mm Minigun pods, two M261 2.75" Rocket Pods, two M158 2.75" rocket pods, and the 20mm M-35 Gun System. The modeller will need to consult their references to get the exact combination s for the Cobra they are modelling as I suspect not all of these were used at the same time. Once your cobra is "tooled up" the canopies can be added. These are multi-part and can be displayed open as needed. The landing skids are also added at this time. There are different skids for different decal option in this kit so please select the right ones. A nice touch in the box is the addition of ground handling wheels for the skids, and a vehicle tow bar. Great if you wish to add a little something to the model, or included it in a diorama. Canopy Rather than a one part canopy the canopy is a single part main centre piece with two parts for each side. This will allow the modeller to pose the canopies open if they wish. It will though make for a more difficult construction. The parts are quite thin, and very clear. Decals Decals are by Eduard and are provided for four Cobras; A. 68-15183 C Battery, 2nd Battalion, 20th Regiment Aerial Rocket Artillery, Phuoc Vinh, Vietnam 1971. B. 68-15049 C Battery, 2nd Battalion, 20th Regiment Aerial Rocket Artillery, Bu Dop, Vietnam 1970 (Cambodian Invasion Markings) C. 66-15259 Cobra New equipment Training Team, Vung Tau, Vietnam 1967 (USAF Style SA Camo) D1. 68-15189 "Wretched Mildred" D Troop, 3rd Bridge, 4th Cav, Chu Chi, Vietnam 1971 D.2 68-15189 "Wretched Mildred" 1972, after suffering damage the airframe was rebuilt with a new tailboom, this one with the tail rotor on the right side. . Conclusion These new Cobras from Special Hobby are excellent kits of an important Helicopter type. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  3. Built from the 1/72 AMT kit, the only mods I did were to sand out the terrible windscreen panel etching and file flat the panels (which is a big issue with this kit). I also sanded a 'pinch' into the radome as the nose looks too fat. I also added the antennas for a Desert Storm period aircraft.
  4. Spotted these photos yesterday from RAF Odiham after their family day. Thoigt they might be of interest here, aircraft arnt my thing ATM but sure these will interest someone, hopefully not posted before
  5. Bell AH-1F Cobra Gunship Revell 1:48 Most modellers will instantly recognise the Bell AH-1 Cobra Attack Helicopter. The AH-1 was the first production Gunship or Attack Helicopter to see service. During the Vietnam war the US Army began to see the need for armed helicopter to escort its unarmed UH-1 Hueys into combat. In parallel to this Bell Helicopters had been investigating helicopter gunships as early as the late 1950s. In 1962 Bell displayed a mock up concept to the US Army. This Helicopter featured a 20mm gun pod and a ball turret mounted grenade launcher. It was felt by the Army to be lightweight, under powered and not suitable. Following this the US Army launched and Advanced Aerial Fire Support System (AAFSS) competition. This competition gave rise to the Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne heavy attack helicopter. However this proved to be to advanced for its time and was eventually cancelled in 1972 after 10 years of development (some things dont change!) Despite the AAFSS programme Bell stuck with its idea of a smaller, lighter gunship and invested its own money developing the AH-1. They used all of the proven components they could from the UH-1 platform, adding these to a newly designed fuselage. When The US Army therefore asked for pans for an interim gunship for Vietnam Bell was in a fortunate position to be able to offer the AH-1, or the Bell 209 as it was then called. Given the work Bell had already done the programme was completed in a relatively speed eight months and won the evaluation against the competition. In 1966 the US Army signed an initial contract for 110 aircraft. Some slight modifications were made to the production airframes. The heavy armoured glass canopy was replaced by Plexiglas with an improvement in performance. Wider rotor blades were fitted and the original retracting skids were replaced by simple fixed units. The rest is history as they say. The AH-1 went on to serve the US Army until it was replaced by the AH-64 Apache. The last one leaving active service in 1999. The US Marine Corps opted for a twin engine AH-1 which still serve today, in fact a new development the AH-1Z has been ordered as the next generation USMC attack helicopter. US AH-1s have seen combat in Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Somalia, and Iraq. Surplus US AH-1s are now also in use by the US Forrest service. They use 25 retired AH-1Fs for real time fire monitoring under the name Firewatch Cobras. Additionally The Florida Dept of Forestry has three AH-1Ps called Firesnakes which carry a water/fire retardant system. The Cobra has in addition achieved some export success. It is used by Pakistan, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Bahrain, Spain, Turkey, Thailand and South Korea. The Kit The kit is the old Monogram AH-1S and there is no difference I can see in the plastic at all. The fuselage has a sticky label which says made in Poland (though the old Monogram raised Made in the USA is still on the other half!) , the box is apparently made in China and is Packaged in the USA. Welcome to the international world of modern manufacturing eh! There is some flash on the smaller parts, but nothing which wont come off easily with a quick scrape. The parts count is fairly low at 79 if the box is to be believed. This is by now a fairly old mould kit and I have read the fit (apart from the canopy) is not to brilliant. As befits a modern re-boxing we are told its now an offical Bell Helicopter, Textron Company Licensed product! Construction starts with the cockpit. Weapons controls and a sight are provided for the gunner with full flight controls for the pilot. The seats look fairly good, if a little basic. Pilot and Gunner figures are provided to make the cockpit looks busier. All instrument panels are provided as decals. Following this then engine is completed, the cockpit placed in and the fuselage halfs buttoned up, not forgetting the pin for the tail rotor. The instructions would have you attach the tail rotor at this time but I would think many will leave it off till the end. Following this all the exterior parts are added. Weapons pylons, weapons (Rocket pods and TOW missile launchers. The nose sight turret, and the underside mounted 20mm Gatling gun. The sight and gun are designed to move if you glue them in correctly. Finally the cockpit glass is added, and the main rotor is installed. Canopy The canopy comes as two parts. The Right and top being molded as one, with the left side being seperate and having to be glued in place. The parts look remarkably clear and from what I have read are one of the best fitting parts of the kit. Decals Decals are provided for 3 aircraft in the kit. 67-15771 1st Air Cavalry, C Troop "Jaws Of Death" on display Troy AL, USA. 67-15883 "Trigger & Boomers Excellent Adventure" Operation Desert Storm (I have read this serial is wrong and should be 67-15643) 67-15883 N Troop, 4th Sqn, 2nd Armored Cav Regiment, US Army Iraq 1991. The decals look glossy and in register. Conclusion While there maybe a little flash on the parts this is still the only single engined AH-1 model available in 1:48. While not one of the modern superkits it is my experience with old monogram prodcuts that with a little bit of work they do build into great looking models. Overall recomended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. Hi! Here's my 1/72 scale Huey Gunship It is built OOB, and painted using Gunze colors. Best regards Rune Haugen Norway
  7. Having a break from painting (a wall not the plastic) I glanced at the stash and thought " why have I 3 biplanes and 2 Parsols when I hate rigging?"...and thus the story begins... Would it be sacrilege to wiff with a Matchbox Walrus? Probably not thanks to the Revell re-issue, albeit without the multicolored plastic we all love so dearly. ok so ideas now began to form in my crazy mind... Turn this: into this: From Turning to Burning. Or maybe this: Monoplane it (although Supermarine already beat me to this with the Seagull) Or a simpler: Just drop the rigging, and repaint in a new scheme wether alternative warbird or civi. Of course there other whacky options: 'gunship' - rockets, torpedos, turrets etc 'electric' - long before the EKA-3, predating the F3D-2Q, and making even the TBM-3Q seem positively modern. '2000' - well if Dornier can modernise their WW2 vintage boats... 'racer' - didn't a Walrus do a lap at Reno? Not looking like this... ...and I'm sure there more! Some things would be hampered by the rather bare stores box, others by the skill box - but nothing by the 'outside the box'
  8. Douglas AC-47 Spooky Roden 1:144 The rapid development of jet aircraft in the immediate post-war years seemed to promise the end of the use of piston-engined aircraft in combat. However, the local conflicts of the first decades of the second half of the 20th Century proved that it was too early to send the veterans into retirement. The war in Vietnam presented a number of unpleasant surprises to the US military command, one of which was the so-called "Ho Chi Minh Trail" - an extensive network of trails and small roads in southern Vietnam and Laos, through which there was a continuous supply of weapons for the Army of the National Liberation Front. Attempting to attack it from the air using jet aircraft became a fiasco - the small groups of rebels quickly disappeared, long before the approaching aircraft, and therefore the effectiveness of such missions for the US Air Force was near zero. Perhaps the only positive factor was the weakness of the rebel defense, or indeed the complete lack of it. Initially the old A-26 Invader attack aircraft was used to fight the guerrillas, immediately converted to the B-26K standard. The plane carried effective weapons, but its flight endurance was very limited, even with the use of external fuel tanks. So the idea was born, to equip transport aircraft with weapons to attack ground targets from the air. Transports could stay up in the air for a long time, and their big cargo compartments allowed for the installation of ample armament. The ideal type in every respect to perform such work was the veteran C-47 Dakota / Skytrain. In two of the rear window openings were fitted six-barreled Miniguns, and a third was installed in the space for the side door of the cargo compartment. The new aircraft received the AC-47 designation ('A' denoted that the type belonged to the category of attacking machines). AC-47D is the next modification of this aircraft. The crew consisted of two pilots, three or four gunners, a navigator and an air to ground co-ordinating officer. The first squadron of these aircraft was established in early 1965. Several machines were non-standard modifications, while others had already standardized weapons and gained the call sign 'Spooky', after the mythical ghost that suddenly appeared and fatally struck down their enemies. The first few months of using the AC-47 were quite successful; however, in early 1966 the rebels on the Ho Chi Minh Trail appeared with 37 mm anti-aircraft armament, which offered formidable defense against the gunships. In a short time six of these machines were lost, and in the following months the intensity of their use significantly decreased. The AC-47 gave way to more modern gunships, such as the AC-119 and the AC-123. But with the advent of the mighty giant AC-130 all the earlier gunships were instantly obsolete. They were transferred to the air forces of South Vietnam, Laos and Thailand, where they were used until the early 1970s, when, given the advanced age of the design, they were finally deleted from the inventories of those countries' air forces. Source: Roden Scale Model Kits The Kit This kit, No. 310, is a new issue of Roden's No.308 Douglas C-47 Skytrain; however, this kit has an additional sprue, with parts to build a gunship version; often referred to as the "Spooky". The sprues containing the main components are crisp and well detailed, with finely recessed panel lines etc. Some areas have small amounts of flash around the pieces; however, these can be easily removed with a sharp blade. The engine facia and cowling units are separate items which means that the engine components can each be pre-painted before assembly, thereby avoiding any little overpaint issues. The panel lines on the wings, like the fuselage, are well defined without being overly deep. Elements of flash are more evident here, especially in the undercarriage wheel well but again this comes away cleanly with the use of a sharp bladed craft knife. Sprue C holds one each of the propellers, tailplane and undercarriage assembly. There are two sets of this sprue per kit. As mentioned previously, the engine cylinders are seperate, as in the view below, and they should be able to be painted up nicely with a mix of black and silver etc. If there is an area of concern then that would be where the wheel hub is joined to the tyre. There is an unusually wide gap between the hub and where the tyre fits to it, this can be seen with the wheels on the sprues above and below. As this element would normally be under the full load of the aircraft, then I would expect the tyre to be pressed fully against the rim of the hub. It appears that the hub has not been placed fully into the tyre recess before moulding and this leaves the rim proud on both sides. This next sprue is what differentiates this kit from the earlier C-47 Skytrain kit. It contains an internal half-deck and bulkhead; an additional half-door section, plus three MXU-470/A miniguns and mounts. The half deck is required to sit the miniguns on and the half-door section replaces the double door of the original kit. The Miniguns are quite detailed for such a diminutive size and should look effective when painted up and fitted. The clear spue has the main windscreen, cabin windows and the navigation lights and dome piece. The windscreen is incorporated within a larger piece of the fuselage which should make it easier for masking and painting. Three of the cabin windows on one strip will need to me removed, for fitting on the port side of the model, where the miniguns will protrude out. Decals The AC-47D Spooky carried minimal markings and this is reflected in the decal sheet. Apart from a small national insignia and tail marking, thre is only a nose art decal and propeller danger signage. The decals are clear and look to be register, although they are so small (correctly so) that I had to use a magnifying glass to check them. Conclusion Having checked the wheel hub and tyre setup more closely, I can see that, with a good sharp knife and some application, that the hubs could be cut away, the excess removed and then be replaced to give a more secure fit. All good modelling fun. This looks to be a nice kit and I can envisage lots of different models and dioramas being built of this. They didn't just operate in VIetnam, or only with the U.S., as many other operators used the C-47 as a gunship for their own security situations. Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
  9. Well, finally got this finished. Except now looking at the pictures, need to do a little work around the front windows. I believe as I am getting older my eyes are getting worse, what a shock!. Made this a tired old bird that had seen better days. The kit was almost no problem to put together. Two issues, one the undercarriage is way too weak to support this kit's weight. I am crafting a new one out of metal. The second issue is the nylon representations for the ammo versus the miniscule attachment points for the machine guns. I need to figure out a more permanent way to secure the guns since there is continuous pressure to distort them from the ammo. Still working on that. During the shoot one of the machine guns popped loose from the tension. Would recommend this kit to anyone of any level. Just wish they would reissue it as the phantom model. It is very large when finished. This is taken in front of my office door and it almost spans the width of the entryway. Comments welcome. Now back to the Mosquito and the obsolete group build.
  10. Thought I heard a rumblin'/Calling to my name/Two hundred million guns are loaded/Satan cries "take aim"/Better run through the jungle... Hey Gang- This is my recently completed 1/72 Italeri UH-1B Huey Gunship, in the markings of the 120th AHC Razorbacks, circa Vietnam. Made a bunch of enhancements and additions to the kit. Huey gunships are very busy in the cargo/cockpit area, so the bulk of the work was done in those two spots (most of which can be seen in this Facebook photo album- https://www.facebook.com/Albymoore/media_set?set=a.10201484012640568.1073741838.1183606216&type=3# ). I also did some exterior work where needed. The Razorback decals were custom made by Joseph Osborn of Fireball Modelworks, while the rest of the markings were sourced from various US Army Huey decal sheets. All comments and critiques welcomed, and thanks for looking!
  11. First post here (yay!) , so why not start off with a bang? And by bang, I mean gigantic helicopter. I'm not especially far along, I really just started: (if the photos don't work, lemme know) The painted passenger seats, right after I glued 'em on Front seats, painted grey. It's kind of hard to see, since the tape is clear, but I've masked the seat cushion to paint olive drab later. Instrument panel, slightly shiny from being semi-wet. I've yet to put the decal on it, but my local crafts store didn't have any decal setting solution, so I'm gonna apply it with water and prayers. The nicely painted (if I do say so myself) pitch sticks, drying on a Testors cap. I'd like to say that the scratch-marks and weathering on the silver parts were intentional, but it was really just my ineptitude at painting. Anndd the control sticks. I left the handle unpainted, I like it in OD green...(who knows why) Err...this photo came out a little blurry..oops..... That's it for now, more progress soon
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