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Hi, I have been posting on the aircraft modelling forum here for a little while, and have never before crossed over into figure modelling... Until now! Having recently moved flat, I now have a lot less space to work on models in. As a result I have a new resolution - which is compact projects only! I have always wanted to build a Little Bird, and when I saw the Kitty Hawk kit I thought it would be ideal for my new set up. And on top of that it comes with figures! If that's not a great combination of time consuming new techniques and small space requirements I don't know what is. I have watched some tutorials on YouTube about figure painting, and looked over threads on here. And today I plunged in. I will be posting WIP on the machine in the aircraft forum, but will be needing help with these figures... So with that said - here's my work after a day on one figure... and a few questions for those far more experienced! First off - a few pack / parts shots : My plan is to build the Bird with a mixed load out of fixed weapons and troops. I know this is (as far as I can tell) not something that is done in reality - but it will offer me the most from the build : the fun of building and painting mini guns and rocket pods, as well as tackling my first ever figure painting work... With that - I selected my first figure - my nerves allayed by knowing that if it went badly there were three more left! On that note - I should also add that I am not building this as a historic aircraft / specific unit. The figures will be roughly representing modern special forces - with a mixture of gear, some camo - anything that seems fun in order to try out new tricks. Please forgive me - I do know these sorts of builds can be torture for experts to look at! The first up was primed with Citadel white rattle can. As a total novice to figures my opinion is naturally of little use, but these seem nicely detailed. And coming as one piece removes the issue of join seams. There were a small amount of mould seams I removed (mostly) with a blade. Then I started on the head... I was quite happy with how it went all things considered. As recommended by almost every source I have seen, I started with a blanked dark skin tone, then lifted out the 't-zone' as spot creams call it, and went from there. I think I need to dilute the paint more...? Any tips welcome, but while I was quite happy, it's a bit blotchy looking. I assume this is from my paint drying / not being translucent enough in each stage? Torso and legs were next. I painted all of this figure after the primer with Vallejo brushed paints using a wet palette. Bas for clothes were two slightly different tones of beige. Then I stippled on an almost white beige before painting dark brown / green lines. The flak jacket was varying tones of mixed greens, with highlights and low-lights added. After some tidying up, and some darker tones in folds, I got round to the pads / helmets. These were the easiest for me as they were closest to doing aircraft parts and clearly avoid the issues of creases and patterns. They were painted Vallejo grey-black then dry brushed with paler shades before being lightly sponged with very pale grey for scuffs. So - day one, and figure one, down - at least nearly, some tidying + weapons yet! 6 more to go (including pilots) so lots of time to improve. I have 2 questions though: 1. To me this is looking far too vivid in terms of colours. Clearly I should have remedied that along the way, but is there a smart way to mute this all NOW? I was thinking a liberal dusting with some light pigments like sand / light dirt? 2. Would a thin oil wash of dark umber on the face settle into the smaller creases well, or might it destroy the acrylic paints? Same for oil / white spirit washes in general - are these a no go with Vallejo? Many thanks for any info, tips, suggestions or criticisms! Bruce
AH-6J/MH-6J Little Bird Nightstalkers 1:35 KittyHawk The Hughes OH-6 was developed from a US Army technical specification calling fir a light observation helicopter (LOH) which need to fulfil the roles of personnel transport, escort & attack, casevac and observation. The prototype first flew in 1963. The helicopter entered service in 1966 and almost immediately went to war in Vietnam. Crews soon nicknamed the helo "Loach" after the LOH acronym. Out of the 1419 built for the US Army 842 would be lost in Vietnam, mainly due to hostile ground fire. Following the disastrous attempt to rescue the American hostages in Tehran in 1980 the US Army's 160 Special Operations Aviation Regiment began developing a special aviation task force to prepare for what was then to be a second attempt at the rescue. They identified a need for a small helicopter to land in restrictive locations, and be transported by Air Force Transport aircraft. The OH-6A was selected for this and given the name Little bird as it was much smaller than the MH-60 & MH-47 aircraft they had. In the end there was no second rescue mission but the Army decided to keep the unit it had formed, and this would eventually become the 160th Aviation Battalion. The helicopters used for transport would become MH-6, and the armed ones AH-6. Later when Hughes would become part of MD helicopters a newer helicopter based on the OH-6 the MD-500 would arrive. This would feature a five bladed rotor and T tail. These aircraft would be produced as version for the Special Operations teams starting with the MH-6E. This would lead later to the AH/MH-6J. This improved helo based on the MD500MG would be used for transport and attack, it features an improved engine, FLIR, and GPS/Inertial navigation. The Ah-6 can usually be seen equipped with a lightweight universal mounting platform which has two M134 mini guns and two M260 7 shot Hydra 70 rocket pods. However they can carry a variety of other weapons including Hellfire missiles, stinger missiles, 40mm grenade launchers or .50 cal machine guns. The Kit A brand new tooling from KittyHawk who seem to be bringing us helicopters we want just recently. The kit arrives on three sprues of light grey plastic, a clear sprue, two smallish sheets of photo etch, and a small decal sheet. Even in 1/35 scale the helicopter is not what you would call large, hence the "Little Bird" name. It is interesting to see there are 6 rotor blades on the sprue, that and the fact the kit is moulded with cutouts for the larger back door would leave us to believe a H-6M is on the cards from KH as well. Construction starts with not with the cockpit but with the engine and its mounting. The 16 part engine is first constructed, this is then attached to its mounting. The engine bay is then made up and the engine added. The modeller can now breathe easy and move back to the cockpit / cabin interior. The centre instrument console is built up with instruments and MFDs being supplied as decals. In this scale I think PE might have been better suited to this. The cyclic controls are also connected to the centre console at this point. The forward bulkhead is then made up with the pilots seats added, PE seatbets are supplied here. Collective controls and other parts are added at this point. The rudder pedals are now made up and attached to the cabin floor. The modeller is now faced with two choices for the back of the helo. Either the cross member support and side planks are fitted for carrying troops, or the lightweight universal mounting platform is added for mounting weapons. The weapons support is the more intricate structure as it contains the weapons mounts and ammunition boxes. The mountings and centre console are then fitted to the cabin floor. If fitting for weapons then an additional ammunition box is mounted in the back. The engine and bay assembly is then added to the cabin floor. Moving on to the fuselage halves holes need to be opened up for various parts, once done the cabin assembly can then be fitted into them, and they are closed up. The main nose glazing can then be added along with the front doors. Its worth noting that in most pictures of these helos the doors are not fitted, but consult your references as always. The clamshell doors for the engine compartment can now be added. These do have detail inside of them and it would seem a shame to close them up and cover all the engine detail. If making an armed helo then the next stage deals with the various armament options, though it would seem only the mini guns are dealt with in instructions? again here its really upto the modeller to consult their references as the weapons fits differed from mission to mission. If fitting the mini guns then the PE sheet has detailed feed chutes for these, but they are supplied in plastic, though the way they run in the instructions is not the same as photos I have seen. The skids are built up and added next. Various and multiple aerials are added to the fuselage along with the back doors (if you want to fit them). The tailboom and tail rotor is then made up and added to the fuselage. The last item then to finish is the main rotor assembly. The mount is made up and then the five blades are added to the hub. The blade which are nicely curved fit onto pins on the hub which seems a positive step. The whole assembly can then be mounted to the top of the helo. Clear Parts These arrive in the now trademark cardboard box for added protection (something other kit manufactures should take note of). At first glance they do not look that great, and certainly not as good as the UH-1 I recently reviewed. The large single front part does appear slightly pebbly at first, but when held the appropriate distance as would be used on the model the appearance does improve some. Decals Decals are provided on one small sheet as these aircraft due to the nature of their work dont carry many markings, Decals are provided for 4 machines; MH-6J - 95-25371 US Army in Somalia. AH-6J - 16 th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, US Army. AH-6J - 90-25362 US Army in Somalia. AH-6J - 90-23635 US Army in Somalia. Conclusion A comprehensive kit of an iconic helicopter which is let down slightly I feel by the instructions. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of and available soon from major hobby shops
Hi all. I started Dragon's 1:35 AH-6J for the Helicopter 2 GB last June but subsequently never finished it. After two stints on the shelf of doom and nearly 18 months later the current KUTA GB inspired me to get it done. This was far from a user friendly build at times. Trying to squeeze everything into the fuselage was the biggest challenge with lots of dry fitting, sanding, dry fitting, sanding etc. Extras wise I used parts from Eduard's PE for OH-6, RB Models brass minigun barrels, Mike Grant cockpit dial decals and Werner's Wings - Night Stalkers Pt.1 decals. A massive thank you also goes to Damocles for providing the Cobra Company FLIR turret and AndyL for the multi function cockpit displays from a 1:32 F-18. WIP Here KUTA VII GB Here DSC_5921 by Snapper_city, on Flickr DSC_5916 by Snapper_city, on Flickr DSC_5874 by Snapper_city, on Flickr DSC_5853 by Snapper_city, on Flickr DSC_5843 by Snapper_city, on Flickr DSC_5926 by Snapper_city, on Flickr DSC_5928 by Snapper_city, on Flickr DSC_5940 by Snapper_city, on Flickr DSC_5948 by Snapper_city, on Flickr DSC_5951 by Snapper_city, on Flickr IMG_4407 by Snapper_city, on Flickr IMG_4426 by Snapper_city, on Flickr All comments welcome