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Paul A H

MH-47E Chinook (03876) - 1:72

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MH-47E Chinook (03876)

1:72 Revell

 

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The CH-47 Chinook is a tandem rotor heavy lift helicopter, developed by Vertol and manufactured by Boeing Vertol since 1962. Its incredible longevity is testament to the quality, flexibility and robustness of the design. Over 1,200 examples have been produced and the type has seen frontline service in conflicts such as the Vietnam War, the Falklands Conflict, both Gulf Wars and Afghanistan. In its capacious loading area, the Chinook can lift a 24,000lb payload or carry anywhere between 33 and 55 troops. The MH-47E is a dedicated special operations variant and a development of the earlie MH-47D. It is equiped with in-flight refuelling, fast rope-rappelling system, terrain following radar and increased fuel capacity. The UK ordered eight CH-47Es (known as the HC3) but the type famously never entered service due to bungled procurement arrangements that were subsequently highlighted in a National Audit Office report. The airframes eventually entered service with avionics reverted to Mk2 specification at great and uneccesary cost. 

 

Keen-eyed modellers will realise that Revell's Chinook is actually Italeri's Chinook (the same kit has previously been released by Airfix too). No matter however, as the Italeri kit is really rather good and pretty much the only modern-ish kit other than the Trumpeter effort. It is broadly comparable to Revell's own kits of the same era. Inside the large boxvelope are three large frames of grey plastic and a smaller frame of clear plastic, as well as decals and full colour instructions. 

 

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Assembly begins with the interior - more specifically the flight deck. As well as the instrument panel and centre console, there are two seats, pedals, cyclic and collective controls. Decals are provided for the instrument panel and centre console, even though these parts actually have rather nice detail moulded in place. Aft of the cockpit the rest of the interior is fairly plain, but you can finish the model with the loading ramp open if you wish to do so and dedicated parts are provided for this purpose. If building the US Army version, you will need to cut away both of the fuselage side fairings and replace them with the alternative parts supplied with the kit. It's a little surprising to see such major surgery is required in order to build what is, after all, a very mainstream kit. Thankfully the British version requires no such work.

 

Once the interior sub-assembly has been sandwiched between the fuselage halves, the engine pods can be assembled. These are each composed of six parts and are reasonably detailed. Athough the interior isn't overly detailed, the loading ramp is pretty nice. Optional parts are provided to finish it with the ramp down and it looks as though it could be moveable once fixed in place. The undercarriage is pretty good for the scale, while there are dozens of antennae blades, lumps and bumps included and these naturally differ between the US and British versions. Both versions make use of a rather nicely detailed minigun and of course the prominent in-flight refuelling probe is included too. The rotor heads are pretty nicely detailed and the blades are nicely represented too. The clear parts are nicely rendered and of course the nose of the aircraft is also moulded with the cockpit windows. 

 

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Two different options are provides for on the decal sheet. The first is and MH-47E of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment "Night Stalkers", Fort Campbell, Kentucky, USA, 1998. The second option is for Chinook HC Mk.3 ZH903, Royal Air Force, 2004. The decal sheet is nicely printed and a decent amount of stencils are included. 

 

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Conclusion

 

Although starting to show its age, this is still a pretty decent model. Perhaps the fact that it has endured for over twenty years with only Trumpeter producing a Chinook in this scale in the meantime is testament to its merits. Detail is solid without being stellar, while panel lines are good enough to stand up to comparison with more modern kits. Overall this is a nice model and a good replica of a Chinook can be built from what you get in the box.

 

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Revell model kits are also available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit

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