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  1. So this is yet another conversion of a Sikorsky SH-3H kit to depict the SH-3D "Old 66" recovery helicopter for Apollo 11. It's the first time I've posted to "Work In Progress". I suspect I'm going to be grateful for input from people with more experience of this aircraft. My starting point is Hasegawa's 1/48 kit: I've also got the necessary short sponsons from Belcher Bits, the Starfighter/Old 66 decal sheet, a set of Montex paint masks, and the Hasegawa 1/48 SH-3D instruction sheet, downloaded from Scalemates. On opening my kit box bought from eBay, I discover I've also got two sets of Quickboost seats (if anyone wants one, drop me a PM and I'll post it to you), and an Eduard photoetch cockpit set. I started by doing a bit of scratch building to produce the camera mount and Yagi antennae. I've been helped with the appearance of the camera mount by watching Todd Douglas Miller's excellent Apollo 11 documentary. The camera mount for Apollo 11 seems to have been a bit more complicated than is often depicted: The lower right image is from NASA / S-69-21723; the others are screen-grabs from Apollo 11. There is certainly something mounted outboard of the two video cameras, wrapped with yellow tape. I've interpreted it as being an SLR stills camera with a motor drive. Here's my best effort to sorta-kinda reproduce the appearances above: In the Apollo 11 images above, there also seems to be a weapons mount point just forward of the camera mount, bearing some sort of attachment I can't quite make out and which I can't find in my reference material. I'm going to need to scratch build this, too. It seems the same sort of fixing was probably present on the aft mount points on the port side too: What was happening on the forward mount points behind the sponsons is a mystery to me. I'll put together another stills camera to mount on the starboard side, but I've no evidence of what this actually looked like, beyond a tantalizing glimpse in about three frames of Apollo 11, as the helicopter drops out of sight on the elevator. The Yagi antennae were a bit more straightforward. Here they are with their attached cables: I used the "free" resin seats and photoetch detailing in putting together the cockpit. It's an SH-3H instrument layout, but it looks better than I could manage trying to detail by hand: The SH-3D instructions were very useful in finding out which lumps and bumps needed to be removed from the fuselage, since that kit used the same moulding as the SH-3H: I also shortened the horizontal stabilizer and filled the locating holes for its supporting strut: The kit comes with what seems to be a depiction of the dipping sonar retracted into its well, so I carved that out and blanked off the upper end of the empty well with styrene card: Finally, I used the Montex interior masks to paint up the inside of the canopy, and added the green panels with Tamiya clear green (which I found something of a nightmare to apply). Hopefully, some actual assembly photographs coming up soon.
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