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1/72 Italeri Sikorsky UH-34J Seahorse ++ Finished ++

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Hello everybody.

I've been away from this site (and, indeed, model making) for a rather long time. Recently, however, I have noticed the old urges making themselves felt and so here I am.

My entry for this GB is Italeri's UH-34J Sea Horse.



I've been interested in this type since I first saw Full Metal Jacket and innocently asked why a Wessex was appearing in a Vietnam War film :oops:.

In the interests of actually finishing a GB I'll be building the subject of the box art, in an OOBish sort of way. I do have the Airwaves etch for it but I'm cautious about committing myself to all that effort, especially as the moulded mesh is so well done.

Surely I can finish before December!


Edited by It'sAllGoneHorriblyWrong
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Thanks for the kind words guys.

Well, my resolution to keep this OOB lasted all of about 5 minutes :whistle: .

Decided to have a good look at the cockpit details and immediately realised I would have to replace the instrument panel - the moulding wasn't anything special and the layout didn't match anything that I saw online. So, OK, if I was going to do that then I might as well replace the weedy moulded seat belts and the too-thick seat sides. And then, as I was looking at all these pictures of the real thing, the transparency of the mesh over the intakes/outlets became blindingly apparent and I bowed to the inevitable - this was going to be one of THOSE builds.

I started with the seats. The etch didn't give me as much trouble as it usually does but my ever shortening eyesight still meant that this took quite a while. Then it was on to the bulkheads and cabin seats (which are really nice). Thinks - with all this nice interior detail it would be a shame to close the side door. But what's this? No cabin ceiling! So out with the card, kitchen roll and pva - now you can't look straight up into the transmission housing.


Time for some paint.


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  • 1 month later...

Hello everybody. I know it looks like I have disappeared from the face of the Earth but in fact my abscence has just been a result of Real Life getting in the way (and being a major pain in the a@@e to boot).

However, progress has been made (but not reported) and I have the pics to prove it.

When I left off I was just about to knock up some engine parts for under the mesh. Only basic shapes were needed as visibility is very limited:


No, its not a couple of bits of Brillo pad - they are in fact lumps of balsa painted gunmetal, with pipes of stretched sprue.

Then the scary bit: it was time to make some holes


Scary was the word. The plastic flexed alarmingly under knife and saw and threatened to stretch out of shape at all the thinnest bits.

Then, having made all these holes, it was time to cover them up again.


I decided to add the stiffening plates under each of mesh's ribs - it's just visible if you know what you're looking for. As is usual for me, I managed to get superglue everywhere it wasn't supposed to go and cleanup was difficult because the mesh is so fragile. I was very glad when this step was finally over.

Time to button up. Here we can see all the internals in place. The ziggurat at the top is meant to be the transmission - remember ittle can be seen through the mesh.



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Here's everything ready for the paint shop:


Followed by my usual horrible attempt at pre-shading:


But that's alright because it was all but obliterated by a coat of Xtracolor RLM 81


As you can see, I don't like my pre-shading to be too visible through the final paintjob but it does give a subtle impression. Honest.

Whilst the paint was drying, attention could be turned to the thorny topic of decals. The kit decal sheet, whilst looking nicely printed, was not exactly comprehensive when compared to the box art.


Where were the stencils? :shrug: They are really quite prominent in the box art and definitely something I wanted to add. So, it was off to Hannants to see if this could be done.

The end result:


I know it's not the same a/c but it's close enough for me.

Before thinking about the stencils, the kit decals had to go on:



Nicely printed? - check. Settle down OK? - check. In register? - ummm nope. Grrr! The touching up that you can see here in the wrong colour was corrected later.

Now I could do the stencils. I used about 80 of them, checking references for their validity where possible. It's amazing how the markings varied from unit to unit and one period to the next.



And that's it for now. I plan to do a little more weathering and then it's just final assembly and on to the shelf. I think I'm going to make it!

Edited by It'sAllGoneHorriblyWrong
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Despite not really liking this helicopter for it's overall design, I am really liking your build here. The decalling work was worth it for sure.
I'm looking forward to seeing the final pics


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Thanks guys. Funnily enough, the stencilling didn't take very long and I think it was time well spent.

So, with just one day to go, I'm declaring this finished. I've stuck the fiddly bits on and de-masked everything and taken some pictures.




Overall I'm quite pleased with it. There are one or two fit issues with it - especially around the version specific parts like the clam-shell doors. The engineering isn't quite up to modern standards but the level of detail is very good and rewards a careful approach to the build. The Airwaves set was just right and excellent value for the money.

I have a Wessex version of this kit somewhere in the loft - I think it will definitely come out the next time we have a Falklands GB. Or perhaps I should finish it an arctic tiger stripe camo. Hmmm...

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