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Mike

UH-1N Twin Huey (KH80158) 1:48

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UH-1N Twin Huey (KH80158)

1:48 Kitty Hawk

 

boxtop.jpg

 

The original UH-1 is probably one of the most well-known shapes when it comes to rotary-winged aircraft, or helicopters as us civilians call them.  The Twin Huey was initially developed to meet a requirement expressed by the Canadians, which saw the Bell 205 stretched to accommodate an additional engine and increased load carrying capacity.  After the initial purchase by Canada, there was some political wrangling regarding the manufacturing location of the engines, but eventually around 300 airframes were procured and given the US Military designation UH-1N.  It saw service in Vietnam, where its one-engine flight capability gave it the advantage over the single-engined Huey, which didn't fare too well without engines in a combat zone.

 

The US Marines added an electronic stability system to a number of their airframes, removing the stability bar from above the main rotor, which is something to look out for if you're planning on building a particular aircraft.  From the 1970s onward they have been in continuous service with incremental upgrades, with USMC remanufactured 1Ns being renamed 1Y and given the aggressive name, Venom, but also being referred to in service as Yankees.  There are simplified civilian versions of the 1N, which is known as the Bell 212, and quite a long list of military operators both past and present, including the Argentinians during the Falklands War.

 

 

The Kit

This is a revision and reboxing of the UH-1Y Venom we reviewed here in 2015, and the earlier (but later release) single-engined UH-1D here in 2017.  While it arguably shares more heritage with the later Venom, the sprue layout is completely different from the Venom, but includes two of the newer sprues from the UH-1D boxing.  The rest are new tool, including the clear parts, the Photo-Etch (PE) sheet and the decal sheet, totalling four sprues in a pale grey styrene, one in clear, a PE sheet, a set of three resin figures in a separate vacformed container, and combined instruction and colour painting guide.  The clear parts are also safely cocooned in a flat box with a bag protecting the parts from chaffing during transit and storage.  Looking over the sprues there is a lot of really nice detail on the parts, with judicious use of slide-moulding to achieve fine detail in areas such as the underside of the fuselage, nose, rotor head and some hollow parts.

 

sprue1.jpg

 

sprue2.jpg

 

sprue3.jpg

 

sprue4.jpg

 

clear.jpg

 

Construction begins with the rotor head for a change, which includes the stabilising bar and linkage that was sometimes removed from USMC airframes.  The two blades have finely rendered stacked plates at their root, and have a slight droop moulded-in, which are composite so shouldn't droop as can be seen from numerous pictures.  The best way of correcting this is heating the plastic in hot water and bending them back straight, then quenching them with cold water.  Not a major impediment to progress, but a bit of a boo-boo.  The tail boom is next with optional PE slime-lights, the two blade tail rotor and the fins on each side, along with a skid and a pair of sensors at the bottom of the main fin.  Two PE mesh grilles are included for the fin root, which will need bending to suit the shape of the recess into which they fit.

 

The crew cab floor is next, and is fitted with a full set of controls for the flight crew with cyclic and collective sticks for each pilot, separated by a central console, and two perforated dividers in the nose, which supports the upper section and allows the detailed instrument panel and coaming to be set in position. The pilot seats are made up from a main chassis, with additional cushion fitted to the back, and the framework added to the back and underside.  A pair of PE belts are looped over the back of the seats out of the way, then they are glued into their rails on the floor, and a boxed in section and rear bulkhead are added at the rear, ready for the passenger seats that comprise six positions in a line across the cab, and two pairs either side of the aft section.  Each seat is sat on a tubular frame, and has a pair of PE lap belts draped over them, and here annealing them in a flame will help make them more malleable to improve the drape.  Attention then shifts to the engine compartment, with the aft end of a pair of Pratt & Whitney T400 turboshafts pushed through holes in the front of the engine compartment, adding some of the detail you will find in there (a canvas for the super-detailer), and the flattened exhausts sitting on top.  Another bulkhead attaches to the fronts of the engines on a pair of lugs, with the intake phase added to the other side of the first bulkhead.  The cockpit and engine assemblies are then married up and sandwiched between the two fuselage halves after adding the winch bay to the inside.  My review sample had received a bit of damage to the thin upper door edge on the port side, but it was easy enough to fix with a bit of glue and some patience as you can see below, but check your example just in case.  The forward edges of the side doors are bulked out with additional parts, then the passenger cab's roof, which consists of inner and outer skin, is added and finished off with extra detail at the front, plus the beginnings of the rotor "hump" and intakes on the top.  At the rear the long faceted exhaust trunks are glued to the rear of the curved section, with a radiator slung underneath.  The exhausts are made up from two parts split top and bottom, and with careful fitting, you can minimise the seam, then take a view on whether it needs further work.  The engine compartment is then boxed in with the top cowling, side cowling sections, and smaller PE access panels that you can choose to leave open if you're proud of your work on the engine bays.

 

detail-fuselage.jpg

 

detail-nose.jpg

 

figures.jpg

 

Boxing in of the nose is next, with the solid upper section, clear lower windows, and the underside panel with the mount for the FLIR turret moulded in.  Now we get to play with the resin figures, which are really rather nicely moulded.  The two pilots are fitted into their seats after painting, one with his hands on the controls, the other operating the overhead controls.  There is another figure included depicting the door gunner, but his location isn't shown although it's pretty clear he's intended to be in a door… with a gun.  The crew cab doors are made up from inner and outer panels, plus the clear window in the top section.  The smaller front side door is also made up and installed at this point, then the main canopy is fitted out with the overhead console that pilot two is fiddling with, along with a fire extinguisher for…. Fires.  Once the cab is complete, the skids are made up and installed under the fuselage in their recesses, adding a number of PE parts for detail along the way.  With the fuselage on its back, the FLIR turret, antennae and cable-cutter are put in place all along the underside, with more PE parts such as tie-down lugs added along the way.  A similar festooning of the top surface is carried out, including sensors, wipers and grab handles etc.

 

Now for the fun part, the weapons installation, although they're only applicable to two of the decal options, which may colour your decision if you like things that go "BANG!" like I do.  There are two installations, one on each side, each attached to the fuselage via a curved bracket that is topped with a gun mount for either a .50cal Browning, or the optional multi-barrel Vulcan mini-gun.  A grab bar is attached either side of the mounts, and underneath is suspended one of a choice of rocket packs, holding 19 x Hydra 70 rockets in the wider tube, or 6 of the more modern Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) in the narrow tube.  Each pod has a two-part body, and two end caps with rocket and exhaust details moulded in.  If you're using the weapons, you leave the side doors back at base, but if you're depicting one of the less combative options, you'll need to put two glazing panels into each one, then fit them in place open, closed, or anywhere in between.  All that's left to do after that is add the main rotor assembly from the top, and the tail butts up to the rear of the fuselage.  Now for some paint.

 

 

Markings

There are six options in the box, only two of which are geared for war.  There is a good selection of colourful options and we're not just limited to shades of grey, which is nice.  From the box you can build one of the following:

 

  • US Navy UH-1N #158278
  • US Navy Rescue UH-1N #158272
  • USMC UH-1N #158549
  • USAF UH-1N #96640
  • USAF UH-1N #96645
  • USMC UH-1N #160178

 

 

 

profiles.jpg

 

decals.jpg

 

A quick Google search showed #158549 to be fitted with the stabilising bar as shown in the instructions, but sadly, #160178 was lost in an accident along with her crew when it collided with another aircraft whilst using Night Vision Goggles (NVG) on exercise in Oman in the early 90s, with no pictures readily available.

 

The decals are printed closely together on a medium sized sheet and appear in good register and well-printed.  There are a few typos in the smaller stencil decals that probably won't notice, but the "Danger Jet Intake" decals have a typo that may well gain some attention, as it says "intke".  It's an oopsie we could have done without, and there's no easy way to fix it.  The letters M and P on the tail of the first Marine airframe look like they've got a print issue as they're two-toned, but that's correct, due to the darker grey on the leading edge of the tail.  The carrier film is printed closely to the edge of the printing, but a few have a slight lip on the upper edge that may be peculiar to my sample.

 

 

Conclusion

Another Huey from Kitty Hawk, and as usual with their kits, as long as you pay attention, test fit and adjust where necessary, it should build into a nice replica of this important and well-loved helo.  I'm currently torn between the attractive red/white rescue bird and one of the Marine aircraft that are loaded for bear.

 

Highly recommended.

Review sample courtesy of

logo.gif and available soon from major hobby shops

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It's a Huey. What's not to like?

It says on the box, 'The crew are not include,' yet here we see those lovely resin figures? I presume they are Aftermarket?

Thanks for the review. Even I'm tempted!

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1 minute ago, Pete in Lincs said:

It's a Huey. What's not to like?

It says on the box, 'The crew are not include,' yet here we see those lovely resin figures? I presume they are Aftermarket?

Thanks for the review. Even I'm tempted!

Pete they did this with the MH-60. They seem to do a later boxing with the figures and also sell them separately.

 

JUlien

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42 minutes ago, Pete in Lincs said:

It's a Huey. What's not to like?

 

 

I really wanted to buy one of these, but the need for replacement rotor blades is putting me off. KH did not mould the correct blades for the N:

 

7414397080_eb0b33ace6_o.jpg

 

Jon

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4 minutes ago, Jon Bryon said:

 

I really wanted to buy one of these, but the need for replacement rotor blades is putting me off. KH did not mould the correct blades for the N:

 

 

 

Jon

Yes thats the same sprue as in the D model in this box.

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13 hours ago, Pete in Lincs said:

It says on the box, 'The crew are not include,' yet here we see those lovely resin figures? I presume they are Aftermarket?

The figures do come as standard with this one Pete. They're shown on the box side and in the instructions. I think it was probably a late decision to include them and they forgot to change the box top info to suit. The figures are excellent, with very good sculpts.

 

It's a very nice kit, but there is one problem with it (apart from the above mentioned incorrect blades), that being the instructions. There are quite a few alternate parts for the different marking options, but none are pointed out during the build. The lower nose panel is a case in point. There are two versions included, one with the FLIR mount and one without, but only the FLIR option is shown in the instructions, despite it only applying to two of the included schemes.

The low vis grey option also needs a couple of apertures opening in the tail boom and two detail panels added, but the instructions show them already fitted with no mention of how they're fitted, and no mention that they only apply to that single version.

 

Kitty Hawk really do need to pick up their game regarding instructions, as they seem to be a weak point in every kit they release.

 

Andy:cat:

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2 hours ago, AndyRM101 said:

 

 

Kitty Hawk really do need to pick up their game regarding instructions, as they seem to be a weak point in every kit they release.

 

Andy:cat:

Sadly Andy this is true of most of the recent releases.

 

Julien

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Hopefully they are going to continue the Huey producing factory and give us a new B/C in 1/48. Even better would be all the single engine Cobras!

 

Great review Mike, thanks.

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Thanks for the excellent review and photos of the sprues. Looks like a great kit that must have.

Was hoping that it will include the radome for the weather radar which is quite a challenge to scratch-build.

Hopefully it will be considered for future releases or the aftermarket folks will pick it up.

 

210_nose

 

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