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Airfix 1/72 CH-53/S-65 Double Build Iran and Israel


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Time to state my intentions with regard to this Group Build.

The plan is to build two of the good old Airfix CH-53 kits at the same time, the reasoning being that they are both the same colour on the inside and should build up the same hopefully meaning that it won't take much more time than building one (and it helps to thin the stash a bit!). Anyway here are pictures of the two different boxings I will be using for the build.

P-47%20006_zpsmuea6o3c.jpg

And the insides of the box to prove that they have not been started yet.

P-47%20007_zpsyhm4ehqa.jpg

As you can see the parts are still safely wrapped up in their plastic bags. I have another one of these in the stash (I know I know) which has been opened and I must say it is my prefered option for an early twin engined CH-53 as it is accurate in outline and in good old Airfix fashion is festooned with raised (but not too prominent) rivets, and guess what? So is the real thing! These beauties are not exactly built for speed and, like most helicopters, have lots of raised rivets (in my mind a real issue with Airfix's new Sea King/Commando kits as the real things are covered with them as depicted beautifully by Revell on their kits). We will have a closer look at these during the build process, which will be pretty much OOTB as there is a time limit and the ramps will be shut, therefore limiting what is visible.

On to the colour schemes and decals. I will be using Print Scales two new sheets for the aircraft, which look superb, and I will be building one aircraft from each sheet, here is a picture of the decal sheets.

P-47%20008_zpslggx4e4v.jpg

As you can see there are plenty of other very nice options on these sheets (at least one UK based HH-53 will be built later) but as I said I am going to build the Iranian Navy one and the Israeli one, here is a picture of the Iranian aircraft from the instruction sheet.

P-47%20009_zps2uaozsqu.jpg

As I said the other option I'm going to build is going to be Israeli and this comes in the older attractive 3 tone (cafe-au-lait) colour scheme. I would like to build one of the 2 aircraft which were used for Operation Rooster 53 (whoever chose the operation name must have been smoking something "unusual") when they were used to "borrow" a complete Egyptian P-12 radar system to uncover it's secrets. I am not sure of the serial numbers of the 2 aircraft involved but here is the decal sheets option.

P-47%20010_zpsk8w47xha.jpg

Well that's it! It might take me a couple of weeks to get started as I have the small matter of a couple of 1/48 P-47's to complete for another GB. Thanks for looking in and I look forward to all of your inputs during my build, as well as watching yours!

Craig.

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Aaaah! A touch of nostalgia building. I always liked this particular Airfix kit. One of the best for its time. Until recently I had my built one treasured but sold it with a number of other built models. I will pop in time to time to see how these progress.

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Nice project.

I still have in my mind the picture of a German machine, with my VBL hanging below and the loadmaster ready all along the flight to dump the load if anything went wrong!

Wondering about the IRIN machine.

One from the original batch, or an Eagle Claw's gift?

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Thanks for the interest guys, much appreciated.

Steve I haven't built one of these since I was about 13 (longer ago than I would like) and I'm hoping my memory serves me well about them going together quite well.

PaulJ you are welcome to poop in whenever you like, the more the merrier.

AndyF117 we seem to be of a similar mind (I think you should be worried about this!). These helo's are just great and I have fond memories of seeing them perform at airshows and of being lucky enough to catch them just going about their business a couple of times. Also with you 100% on the Airfix Sea King, I was severely disappointed when I saw the actual plastic, there isn't a single smooth panel or recessed panel line anywhere on the original and it just does not look right, Revell all the way for me!

Antoine you are lucky to have been as close to one of these monsters. As for the Iranian example I believe it was an intentional gift from Uncle Sam rather than one which was left behind during the debacle that was Eagle Claw.

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I have no problem with you showing your CH-53's here Andy, especially being as nice as they are. If I had to pick a favourite I would go for the USMC one in the 3 tone camo. Some of these were later sold to Israel where they even wore their original USMC camo with new Israeli markings, I plan on building one in this scheme some time in the future (along with all the others I "plan" on building!).

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If memory servers me this is one of Airfix's better helo kits. Nice choice of schemes, you got me interested. I too have more than a couple in the stach, now't wrong with that, hey?

Colin

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Craig, can you please tell me the first box (showing USAF machine) edition year?

Hi Antoine,

According to Scalemates this was issued in 1981, I checked the box and instruction sheet but couldn't find anything on there that says any different. According to Scalemates the Israeli option in the kit is actually one of the aircraft used in Operation Rooster 53 that I want to build so that makes things easy on that score!

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If memory servers me this is one of Airfix's better helo kits. Nice choice of schemes, you got me interested. I too have more than a couple in the stach, now't wrong with that, hey?

Colin

Nothing wrong with that at all Colin! Yes I believe it is one of Airfix's better kits from the old molds, along with the Seasprite. Cannot for the life of me understand why they haven't re-issued this one, especially when you consider some of the dross they have re-issued.

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Hi Antoine,

According to Scalemates this was issued in 1981, I checked the box and instruction sheet but couldn't find anything on there that says any different. According to Scalemates the Israeli option in the kit is actually one of the aircraft used in Operation Rooster 53 that I want to build so that makes things easy on that score!

Thanks Craig,

Then this is the same box that I brought back from UK after a short journey there with my school.

Year was 1983 I think, shortly after the Falklands.

Can't remember the features of the kit and what I've done with it, but considering what's been said about overall quality, I might try a step backward, that is, 33 years backward!

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Thanks for all the interest guys, suppose I had better make a start then!

Plastic has been removed from sprues and glue has started to be applied. I've decided to split the builds up into sub-assemblies as both aircraft are virtually identical in the hope that this will speed up the build process, there is no way I could build them consecutively in the time frame at the speed I seem to have dropped down to at the moment.

Even in 1/72 these are big beasts so I will deviate from the instructions by making both the main and tail rotors as removable and giving myself a chance of finding somewhere to put them afterwards.

Here are some photo's of one of the main fuselage halves after being removed from the sprue.

CH-53%20001_zpshf75p2yq.jpg

Note the nice refined raised rivets, better than some (especially Airfix strangely enough) are able to achieve today, here is a close up.

CH-53%20002_zpswzmctoos.jpg

The interior is quite plain, but does include some rib effect at the rear of the fuselage which would be quite nice if detailed if you were to build one with the ramp open.

CH-53%20003_zpsqmvfvczg.jpg

Note that Airfix proudly stamp the inside with the date the kit was designed.

CH-53%20004_zpsv00zo4rx.jpg

On to some of the sub-assemblies. The sponsons are a major one of these and come in 3 main pieces and are different for differing variants of the helicopter and can be built as either CH-53 D/G or as the ones used on the S-65 or HH-53 which have attachment points for the large additional fuel tanks used by these versions. As both of the versions I am building have the tanks it makes you wonder why I went ahead and built the first pair without the parts I needed, so instead of sponsons looking like this...

CH-53%20006_zpsbohzhwb9.jpg

I ended up with a pair looking like this...

CH-53%20007_zpsxo3t6bdj.jpg

Bugger!

Now fortunately I have another kit in the stash just in case of such misfortune/stupidity (well that's my excuse anyway!) so I have removed the parts I need from that kit and replaced them with the incorrect sponsons, so I guess I will be building a CH-53 without the tanks, not a big problem as I want to build an early USMC one and an Austrian one later anyway. The fuel tanks themselves have also started to be built and these will be painted before being added to the sponsons.

I have also made a small start on the cockpits, which look like this..

CH-53%20009_zpszwcn41lh.jpg

As you can see I will need to fill the sink holes before I continue and add the floor and control columns etc. Now to save time I will not be detailing the cockpits, to be honest not a great deal will be visible anyway once the glazing has been added and as the fuselages will be buttoned up I probably won't even paint the interior of them.

Both of the tail pylons have also been built and go together quite well and will only require a small amount of filling and sanding, they both look like this...

CH-53%20005_zpsv2y8alns.jpg

That's it for today, I hope to have cockpit areas tidied up and painted black before the end of the week and after that has been sorted it shouldn't take too long (he say's hopefully!) before the fuselage halves are joined up. Thanks for looking and as usual all comments and criticisms are gratefully received.

Craig.

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I like your work and presentation so far a lot, coming together nicely. :goodjob:

Thanks Nigel that means a great deal coming from someone as talented as yourself. I like what you have done with your Kamov so far, good work on lowering the cockpit floor. Going by your previous builds it will be excellent.

As I have said I will build another (apparently Austrian or USMC after my little mistake with the sponsons) and will add more detail and take more time on that build.

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