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Ronan71

Bell AH-1 Cobra, "Sand Shark", US Army, Gulf War 1991, Monogram, 1/48

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After recently finishing a P-47 in 1/48, and currently planning to join a group Spitfire build starting in a few weeks on the IPMS Ireland website, I thought I'd try and be a latecomer to this GB as I'm keen to build my Monogram AH-1 dating from the late 80s.

I started it around 2 weeks ago, and I might get it finished in time for the June deadline!

The kit I think has been around since the early 80s and it's pretty simple with a low parts count and raised panel lines.

Bell_AH-1S_Cobra_box.jpg

I added some aftermarket in the form of an Eduard mask, a Master 3 barrel gun and some aftermarket decals (which in the end I've decided not to use as I very generously got a sheet of decals from a later Revell boxing of the kit of a Cobra used by the US Army in the first Gulf War. The real "Sand Shark" as seen below is what I'm going to try and recreate:

Bell_AH-1S_Cobra_real_Sand_Shark.jpg

Bell_AH-1S_Cobra_box_with_aftermarket_pa

Parts ready for primer:

Bell_AH-1S_Cobra_cockpit_parts_and_engin

Cockpit completed:

Bell_AH-1S_Cobra_Sand_Shark_cockpit_fron

Bell_AH-1S_Cobra_Sand_Shark_cockpit_rear

Fuselage interior with turbine installed:

Bell_AH-1S_Cobra_Sand_Shark_inner_surfac

Fuselage halves joined and skids added, (I used 15g of weight up front to make sure it wasn't a tail sitter):

Bell_AH-1S_Cobra_Sand_Shark_rear_quarter

Bell_AH-1S_Cobra_Sand_Shark_front_quarte

Currently I'm painting the main and tail rotors and then the next job is trying to get the seams sorted out prior to paint (which is going to be hard I think!)

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Nice choice of both subject and scheme.

I built one of these a few years ago as an IDF one and on the whole enjoyed it. One area of bad fit on mine was the rear of the canopy where it joins the fuselage, there was a bit of a gap but nothing insurmountable.

Good luck with the rest of your build.

Craig.

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Thanks Craig! Yes, I was dry fitting the canopy yesterday and I noted a bit of a gap, but some filler should sort it fingers crossed!

The IDF Cobras look good too, I was initially going to make a Japanese Cobra, but my heart wasn't in it for the complicated paint scheme! Maybe I'll build another one later!

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I will be building a Japanese one later this year for the UH/AH-1 Huey Group Build, probably in a nice temporary winter scheme, which should be interesting. The JGSDF camo is actually not that bad to do, just paint the green and brown and then add the black "edging" by either a thin brush or (as I might do) use a marker pen.

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That's a good tip, it was the small black edging that put me off! I must try that in a future build. I was not aware there was a UH/AH-1 Huey group build coming up, must watch out for that one.

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Looking very sharp so far :popcorn:

Cliff

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Thanks Cliff! If I can get the seam lines sorted without completely wiping out the panel line detail then I'll be happy!

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Making progress again on this build, I managed (I think!) to make a reasonable effort and getting rid of seam lines on this old kit and used some HGW rivets to replace some lost detail from sanding.

Bell_AH-1S_Cobra_Sand_Shark_front_quarte

Bell_AH-1S_Cobra_Sand_Shark_front_quarte

Bell_AH-1S_Cobra_Sand_Shark_HGW_rivets_o

I applied the first coat of the main colour today, and I plan to add a second coat to blend it in tomorrow

Bell_AH-1S_Cobra_Sand_Shark_front_quarte

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Thanks! I'm painting the weapons (TOW launchers and rocket pods) off the Cobra, and once I've attached them I'll hopefully tie everything in with a top coat of the sand colour. The rotors are assembled and in primer, so things are moving along!

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I attached the TOW and rocket launchers, mostly successfully, the angle of one of the rocket pods is a bit off, yet it seems snug to the wing as it should be? Overall I think it looks ok! Hopefully now a further coat of paint will tie things in and then it should be ready for decals. I also have a Master 3 barrel gun for it, so I foresee some "fun" in putting tiny bits of metal together soon!

Bell_AH-1S_Cobra_Sand_Shark_front_quarte

Bell_AH-1S_Cobra_Sand_Shark_rear_quarter

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Wow, such progress. I'ts a good kit, sadly showing it's age.

Colin

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Thanks Colin!

I agree, while it goes together well there are areas which if it were re-tooled would be much better such as the engine exhast. Despite careful application of filler, and lots of sanding, there is still a visible seam. I note Werner's Wings has a resin one piece replacement which would be so much better. Other small details such as the IR jammer on top of the engine again if moulded separately to the fuselage halves would have meant a lot less visible seams.

Also of course recessed panel lines would be nice!

My example was bought new by me around 1988 in my teens, so I guess the moulds would have been less than 10 years old then, but despite that there was a lot of flashing on the parts.

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Didn't get this one over the line! Not much to do to finish it, but other aspects of life got in the way as usual!

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Looks good where you got to! I hope we can see this jog past the finish in WIP and RFI threads soon.

Regards,

Adrian

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Thanks Adrian, at the moment I have the decals on, and I have to finish painting the rotors, and put together the Master 3 barrel gun I have for it, then add some weathering and it will be done. Might be a couple of weeks though as I've got the cycling bug back again (just did a charity cycle from Galway to Dublin over 2 days, and met the great Sean Kelly) and I have a big stag do coming up which will be nice! Somewhere in the middle I'll find time to finish this build!

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Finally got around to finishing this one, a bit late for the group build! A few things I'm not happy about included assembling the rocket pods the wrong way around... and the turbine exhaust which defeated all of my attempts to get rid of the seam line without destroying the detail. Werner's Wings in the States does a resin replacement which would be very nice, but I didn't got for it due to the cost of posting one, although if I was doing the build over I might have gone ahead with getting it.

The Master 20mm cannon was a tricky thing to put together, but ultimately came out nicely.

Bell_AH-1S_Cobra_Sand_Shark_Master_20mm_

Bell_AH-1S_Cobra_Sand_Shark_Master_20mm_

And here she is finished:

Bell_AH-1S_Cobra_Sand_Shark_finished_fro

More photos are here in the ready for inspection section.

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Awesome build. I served with the 4/2 ACR in the gulf flying OH-58s and actually helped paint the Sand Shark. When we arrived in theater, out birds were dark green. Not the optimal color fir desert operations. We requisitioned tan latex house paint and sprayer. I masked off the shark teeth while other pilots did the fun logo on the rotor boom shroud. Your detail is fantastic. If you would like I can send you some photos of the bird in Iraq. 

 

Cheers

 

Mark

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Hi Mark! Glad you like the model and fantastic to hear about some first hand history about the Cobra from you.

 

I’ll send you a pm with my email and I’d love to see the photos you have.

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