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MH-60S Knighthawk (KH50015) 1:35 Kitty Hawk


Julien
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MH-60S Knighthawk (KH50015)

1:35 Kitty Hawk

 

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The Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk was the Military designation of the S-70 design which was the winner of the US Army's 1970's competition for a twin engine medium lift helicopter to replace the UH-1. Following tradition it was named "Black Hawk" after the Native American leader and warrior of the Sauk tribe.  Following the original UH-60A there have been many improvements and variants of the original airframe.  The MH-60S is the US Navy's replacement for the venerable Sea Knight.  Unlike other naval versions of the 60 the MH-60 is not based on the original S-70.SH-60B platform but the UH-60L platform, but still with Naval features. The airframe is in reality a hybrid with twin sliding doors from the UH-60 airframe with the engines, gearbox and rotor from the SH-60. They also have the integrated glass cockpit from the MH-60R along with some of the avionics and weapons systems.  

 

The Kit

This is re-boxing of the MH-60L which was a complete new tool from Kitty Hawk, The kit arrives on 15 sprues of plastic, two clear spures, a sheet of PE, decals, additional resin parts; and not least the two large fuselage halves. The large box is fairly stuffed with plastic! some parts are common sprues for other versions so there will be a lot of parts left over.

 

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As mentioned before starting the kit the modeller needs to decide which version they are doing. The instructions shipped with the kit are a complete mess they have some pages from the MH-60S boxing and some from the HH-60 boxing. New PDF ones can be obtained from Kitty Hawk but quite honestly these are not great as well. They show the sand filters being fitted though looking at reference photos not all the decal options had them. There is also included in the kit an excellent resin and PE M197 cannon for mounting on the side as per the box art. This does not feature at all in the instructions! The parts for stowing the folded blades are also included in the kit, however there is nothing in the instructions for this, and there seems to be no way to fold the tail, something I feel should have been included for a Naval Helicopter model of this size, complexity and cost. Construction starts with the main cabin. The centre console for the cockpit is added along with the control columns and pilots seats. The main and overhead panels go in with all faces provided as decals. In the rear the lifting well is boxed in. The rear seats, and those directly behind the pilots go in and then the cabin roof can go on. The internal side structures are then added to this module. Once the interior module is complete the main fuselage can be closed up around it, not forgetting to add in the tail wheel assembly. The main front screen can then go on along with the pilots doors and the main doors (though I suspect these will be left off until later). The main wheels and there support brackets can now be added on.

 

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Once the cabin is built up attention then moves to the engines. There is quite a lot of detail here as two complete engines are built up along with all the internal structure.  These are all fitted into the roof of the engine house. Gearboxes to the main rotor are added along with the heat diffusing exhausts. The intake assemblies are also built up and added. Take a note from your references as to whether or not the sand filters are needed. If wanted the external covers can be added, or they can be left off for maintenance dioramas etc.  To the top of the housing antennas and the IR jammer are added. The main rotor head is then built and the blades added. There is no option to fold the blades though this should not be too hard to do if the modeller wanted to. IR suppressing exhausts are also included in the kit, though again I have seen aircraft operating with and without these so again the modeller will need to check their references. 

 

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The large rear stabiliser is then made up and added along with additional tail parts. At the front various antennas and sensors are added. The front FLIR turret and its mounts are made up and added. There are a few options here with no explanation so sounding like a broken record its back to your references. The rotor head is added to the engine housing at this point though I suspect most modellers will leave it until the end. A note on the rotor head I have seen on facebook that some parts of it are moulded back to front and will need to be cut off and repositioned to make them right. Again check your references or the discussion on KH FB Page!

 

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If making an armed version the stub wing assemblies for each side need building up and the appropriate weapons adding. The kit provides a lot of different options NONE of which are covered in the instructions along with no details of how to fit the stub wings or pylons. 

 

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Decals

The decal sheet is in house and should pose no issues. The main sheet (which is rather large) provides the colourful main markings. These have been developed by Kitty Hawk in collaboration with Shayne Meder who did the real artwork on these aircraft, so there should be no issues there.  A smaller sheet provides cockpit and other details, though I detect a slight shift where the yellow has been overlaid on the white. 

 

 From the box you can build one of four helos

 

HSC-6 Screamin Indians

HSC- 21 Blackjacks

HSC-7 Dusty Dogs

HSC-3 - Merlins SA07 To commemorate the 2011 Centennial of US Naval Aviation, this helo was painted as a 1950s era HU-2 Sea Blue scheme.

 

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Conclusion

The plastic looks great, and there is an impressive array of weapons included. There is much to recommend this kit in terms of the quality of the parts and the available options, however it is let down badly by the instructions even if you manage to get a copy of the correctly printed ones, Overall though recommended to those who want a modern tooling of this Helo and are prepared to put the work into the research and building of the kit. A lot of options are doable from the box with the correct research. Not for the faint hearted or those who want a quick/ easy build.

 

Review sample courtesy of

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Available soon from major hobby shops

 

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