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UH-72 Lakota - Personnel + Material Transport Version - 1:32 Revell


Julien
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UH-72 Lakota - Personnel + material transport version.

1:32 Revell


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The EC145 is a twin engine helicopter in the "light utility" category. It was originally called the BK117 C2, and was based on the MBB/Kawasaki BK117 C1, which in turn became part of the Europcopter line following a merger of MBB and Matra. The helicopter can carry upto 9 passengers and two crew. Airbus market the helicopter as a passenger/corporate transport, but it more readily seen in its Emergency Medical configuration. It is also used in the SAR role. One of the largest single users is the US military where it is designated the UH-72 Lakota.

In 2006 the UH-72 was announced the winner of the US Army's Light Utility Helicopter programme. This was to replace UH-1 and OH-58 airframes in the US Army and National Guard inventories. The basic UH-72 airframe is nothing more than a commercial EC145 fitted with military radios. As well as the utility role the cabin can be configured for Medevac, VIP transport, and support roles. The UH-72 is faster than the helicopters it has replaced with a new digital cockpit, a hoist allows rescue work. To date the only other customer for the UH-72 has been Thailand although Airbus are actively pursuing the USAF into replacing its remaining UH-1 helicopters with UH-72s.

The Kit
The Revell kit of the EC145 is a relatively new tool, in that it dates back to 2005. The kit arrives on two sprues of white plastic, five of light grey platic, two sprues of clear plastic, and two sprues of dark grey plastic containing the new parts for the UH-72 (mainly the seating). All the parts are well formed and there is no evidence of flash. It looks from the contents that all the parts for the civil airframes are still in the box, just blacked out on the instructions.

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Construction start with the main floor. Some moulded on parts which are not used for the UH-72 must first be removed. Then on to the cockpit area the rudder pedals, cyclic and collective sticks, along with other parts and panels are added. The centre line console is made up and added along with the instrument panel. All instruments on both are provided as decals. It is then on to the seats. As this is the utility / transport model there are the two pilots seats and eight seats for the rear. These all appear to be crashworthy seats. There are two sets of three seats each for the rear which attach to frames that need to be assembled. The other two rear seats and the pilot seats are stand alone. All seats are multi part with moulded on seat belts. Once all of the seats are in place a couple of side consoles are added to the cockpit and some personal equipment is provided if the modeller wished to add this to the rear cargo area.

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Next up the inner sides to the rear area are added along with the cabin roof. This forms a complete interior module which is to be inserted into the outer fuselage frame. However before this is done the glazing must be added to the outer frame as all of it seats from the inside. The interior of the outer frame must also be painted at this stage. Once all of this is complete the outer halves can be joined around the interior module. The skid braces can then be attached to the outer floor and this added to the completed fuselage.

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Next up the rotor head is made up. On the instruction there seem to be two different ways of completing the main rotor head assembly but no mention is made of why? It is suspected one is to aid motorisation of the rotors. The rotor head assembly is then sandwiched between the two halves of the engine dog house on top, and exhaust parts are added.

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The tail boom is then made up and it and the dog house are added to the main fuselage. The main cabin doors are then assembled and these are added as well. The large front glazing parts are now added as are the winglets on the tail boom. At the rear of the helicopter the cargo doors are completed and these are then added. The exhaust parts are also added at this stage.

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Construction then moves onto the skids. Here two versions are offered depending on which of the decal options you are making, but they seem the same?? The skids and a step? are added along with mounts and braces. Cable cutters are attached to the front of the skids.

Last up the tail rotor is fitted along with a whole host of aerials, pitot tubes, antennas, grab handles etc. The final construction step is to add the main rotor blades to the rotor head and attach the top cover.

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Clear Parts
There is extensive glazing on the helicopter and Revell have not let us down. The clear parts are very well moulded with no visible defects. They are crisp and clear.

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Decals
The decals are printed in Italy for Revell and look good. Two decal options are provided.

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  • US Army Joint multinational Readiness Centre, Germany 2015 (Camo option)
  • US Army Falcon Observer Controller Team, Germany 2015 (OD Option)

Review sample courtesy of logo-revell-2009.gif

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