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"Helimed 06"- Midlands Air Ambulance EC135 (G-OMAA)


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Hi everyone,

 

This build has been a long, long, time coming but what better time to start it than after a first COVID vaccination!

To cut a long story short, over the years I've often seen the helicopters of the Midlands Air Ambulance charity flying over- whether it's coming into the QE Hospital in Birmingham, flying over our home now and again, returning to Cosford, or even while out and about. They do remarkable work and it's only right that I have a go at modelling such a fantastic machine.

 

My previous foray into a 1:72 G-OMAA can be found here, but this time I will have to make my own decals and have a much better go at the interior.

 

Here's the base kit:

51258353865_2bfbfd154e_b.jpg

 

Colour scheme-wise, there are a few variations when it comes to decals. Although the 2 photos (from Cosford 2019) shown below would be good to use, I also have other reference material with the "Babcock" logo replaced by the "Bond" logo- it's a minor point, but I think the white lettering makes for a slightly more aesthetically interesting model.

 

51256586917_b07566b6a4_b.jpg

 

51258059409_992035811e_b.jpg

 

As you can see from the above, there are a lot of decals to try and replicate. Let's get cracking!

 

All the best,

Sam

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A great project and since she flies over my house most afternoons, I'm in with you.

 

You might find the Microscale decal sheets, available in many block colours will help a lot with the yellow stock.

 

Mr Hannant's little model shop sells them and delivery seems OK for decal sets.

 

Go get her Sam, I'm at the bar with the other desperadoes.

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Welcome aboard, first round's on me!

 

Where better place to start than the interior...

 

51258433747_98f01839bf_b.jpg

 

51258433662_6b9c5f3a8b_b.jpg

 

51258433552_baf5494cba_b.jpg

 

51258433432_0588ac64b1_b.jpg

 

And a drop of glue later... (the details don't look too bad, and should really come out when they get a coat of paint)

 

51259162356_5bf5ec4ddb_b.jpg

 

Now, one thing I did notice when trawling the internet for references is that the flying controls on the port side seem to be completely absent. Where I can I'll try and post the links to the references used, I'm just slightly cautious of directly embedding images to which I don't have the copyright for. With that said, this video has a few good shots of the interior and seems to support the other sources re: lack of left-hand controls:

 

Unfortunately I haven't found any reference material showing the flooring in the front on the left side, so I don't know exactly what it looks like. However, I do have a reference showing a light-grey blanking plate over where the left collective lever was, so I will probably do that for the cyclic too.

 

Talking of which....

 

51259903529_07503872f2_b.jpg

(not glued yet!)

 

Both the cyclic and collective on the right side are in need of some detail, and i have a few questions if anyone perhaps knows the answer?

-What is the smaller lever slightly inboard of the collective? (that might otherwise be mistaken for a parking brake)

-Anyone know if the "lever" on the underside of the collective is there on the real thing? I'm afraid I haven't a clue what it is...

 

 

51260200945_1f4d013fc0_b.jpg

 

The seats are rather good and should be good canvas on which to detail, the only thing I'm not wild about are the seatbelts. I might shave those off and use tape and plasticard to make them "looser".

 

51259903714_e9417a11a7_b.jpg

 

51259357578_580b139eea_b.jpg

(lovely stuff 😊)

 

So that's the state of play at the moment, thanks for dropping by!

 

All the best,

Sam

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This looks like a lovely kit to work with Sam, I think if/whenever I upscale this would be on my radar.

 

I have almost no info on these helos but from watching the film I would say that the switch box on  the collective is even bigger than the kit one.

 

Off to chek my hard drive now for you.

 

Good start.

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Hi, Babcock spanner monkey here. I’ve done some work on that very cab!

 

The left hand flying controls are removed for the air ambulance role (can’t actually think of any dual pilot 135 ambulances.. defo none in our fleet), blanks fitted, then a rubber/vinyl  floor protector is fitted over the floor.

 

The “parking brake” is actually the collective friction brake (massively over scale in the plastic btw..).

 

The “lever” on the collective is the manual cargo release lever and is always there whether the cargo beam is fitted or not.

 

If you need any pictures of the interior, give me a shout and I’ll try and get some for you. The interior is the standard Aerolite 135 fit so, even though I’m in Scotland, it’ll be the same as OMAA’s.

 

Cheers!

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VooDoo that is fabulous info, as the stock photos always ignore the bit down to the side of the seat I would like a picture of that bit myself, bet Sam would too.

 

The massively overscale collective friction brake is almost impossible to find with a normal googling.

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Oooh I'm in! Sounds like just the right inspiration for my AW109! 

 

Whilst not a Babcock aircraft, we do have a locally based NPAS chopper  and they do have a lot of riveting on them but are kept in extremely good nick. Could only tell when I zoomed in on the photos I took! 

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9 hours ago, VooDoo-S8 said:

Hi, Babcock spanner monkey here. I’ve done some work on that very cab!

 

The left hand flying controls are removed for the air ambulance role (can’t actually think of any dual pilot 135 ambulances.. defo none in our fleet), blanks fitted, then a rubber/vinyl  floor protector is fitted over the floor.

 

The “parking brake” is actually the collective friction brake (massively over scale in the plastic btw..).

 

The “lever” on the collective is the manual cargo release lever and is always there whether the cargo beam is fitted or not.

 

If you need any pictures of the interior, give me a shout and I’ll try and get some for you. The interior is the standard Aerolite 135 fit so, even though I’m in Scotland, it’ll be the same as OMAA’s.

 

Cheers!

 

Good morning!

 

Ah that is tremendous, thank you so much for that.

I did come across this 360-degree view of the Devon Air Ambulance's EC135: https://www.peterstephens.co.uk/content/virtual-tours/devon-air-ambulance-helicopter-cockpit/virtualtour.html which shows a few areas that had been thus far hidden (blanking plate, etc). I had actually already sliced off the cargo release lever, but thankfully I've kept the part.

 

If you do have any images of the collective (with said lever) or of the collective friction brake that would be great! But if not, any photos of the flooring in the rear would be very gratefully received.

 

I will try and post a little update later today, currently working on the seats!

 

Best wishes,

Sam

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Hi everyone!

 

As promised, here's a little update as to what's been going on over the past few days.

 

First order of business was getting those blanking plates sorted- these were made from plasticard and glued into place:

51265542662_784de3b065_b.jpg

(I tried to rough-up the floor surface in the front, to make it look like rubber matting. It doesn't look great, and so I guess that's one to avoid in the future)

 

Now, I had started work on the cyclic and collective before VooDoo's very helpful advice, so I'll be adding the cargo release lever in shortly.

51265541567_4ef7eec691_b.jpg

(I added a larger switch box at the end, tried adding a few switches/buttons with plasticard, and tried replicating some form of fabric around the base of the collective (as seen here) with tissue paper)

 

51267011209_6ff91856c3_b.jpg

(Again, plasticard was used heavily here, along with some tissue paper to make the fabric at the base)

 

51267314175_2c1728d27b_b.jpg

 

51266461218_63127f7820_b.jpg

(Not too bad?)

 

Next up was the turn of the seats...

The existing belts and buckles were firstly scraped off and sanded down. Then, strips of masking tape were used to create the seam lines of the fabric:

51265542302_88ffffb3d3_b.jpg

 

Plasticard was also used to add some details, and add in the cross-bracing evident on some reference photos.

51265542157_9a42d988f4_b.jpg

 

The base itself was made from plasticard (in the absence of many references, i glued in two strips to add some interest).

51267315385_2815afbcff_b.jpg

 

Next came the paint...

51266276351_5b2551623c_b.jpg

 

51266276561_60ac82475e_b.jpg

(I'm not wild about the glossy-nature of how they've turned out, so I might give them a few light mistings of matt varnish to tone them down. Although artificial lighting doesn't help! I'm sure when the belts are added they will look a bit better.)

 

Then, the first few layers of paint was added to the floor- I still have to mask off the front and paint the rear floor areas in their respective colours

 

51267010024_abe04fd85a_b.jpg

(Don't worry, the controls haven't been affixed yet!)

 

51267313050_8379fb62ab_b.jpg

(Again, the seats haven't been glued yet)

 

51266275856_78abf077a2_b.jpg

 

 

So that's how things stand at the moment. Next up will be finishing off the controls (ie: adding the cargo release lever back in), de-glossing the seats, and giving them some belts.

That's all for now!

 

Best wishes,

Sam

 

 

 

Edit: Who should fly over as I'm writing this post? None other than Helimed 03 (G-RMAA), sadly I wasn't quite quick enough to take a photo.

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Hi Sam, 

 

Apologies but I haven’t been able to get any pics for you as of yet, youngest kids class got sent home because of the Covid so we’re isolating until the test comes through! 
 

Looking very good! The front floors (rubber mat) are a darker grey than the rear floor. Just a heads up though, there is a medical floor fitted in the rear cabin and the front l/h seat rails are extended on top of it until around the front frame of the sliding door window. Seats look spot on but the drivers seat isn’t the blue “leather” it’s a grey-ish fabric. 
 

I have a pic from a manual of the collective brake but, as I’m new here, I have no idea how to get it from my iPhone and posted in here! 🤦‍♂️
 

The monkeys levers look perfect (minus the cargo release lever 😂)

 

Any questions, give me a shout

 

Cheers,

 

Craig
 

 

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Forgot to mention, there is also the worlds dullest torch mounted in spring retaining clips down beside the collective as well. Also, to the right of the pilots seat, there is a small orange rectangular box (the ELT). 

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7 minutes ago, VooDoo-S8 said:

 

No worries at all :)

 

Cheers for the info on the seat rails and rear flooring- I have one or two photos showing the rails extending rearwards, but wasn't entirely sure how far back they went (obscured by people or equipment)- so thank you!

 

Regarding the pilots seat, I was going to say that I did find plenty of photos showing various EC135's with the pilot's seat as grey, and only one with both seats blue, so I really appreciate your help.

 

Orange box-wise, presumably it isn't a million miles away from something like this ? : https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Eurocopter_EC135_P2%2B_medcopter_5.JPG

And torch-wise, I don't seem to have many references of that area, but I'll keep on looking.

 

Many thanks,

Sam

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That’s the fella! Two wires come from the front of it into the floor. As soon as I can get out I’ll get you a tonne of photos of the interior and the medical fit… you’ll have to let me know how to post them here though! 😂

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12 hours ago, VooDoo-S8 said:

That’s the fella! Two wires come from the front of it into the floor. As soon as I can get out I’ll get you a tonne of photos of the interior and the medical fit… you’ll have to let me know how to post them here though! 😂

Oh boy are you likely to be used at full capacity here  :)

 

Posting photos requires a photo hosting service because Britmodellers can't spare capacity to host pictures.

 

It isnt complicated and allows us to have lots of pictures (in reserve) to use during a build.

 

I use postimg.cc for mine, free to use and very easy to use e.g. time now 08.24

 

Postimage started and photo transferred in here now 08.27

P1010256.jpg

 

Blurred image all my fault with early morning pre-coffee wobble.

 

There are several image processing sites available, have a look at the site info

 

And thanks for the fabulous info on the Babcock machinery, like, probably Sam up the hill in Aldridge it has been know to fly over my house in  b74 most days.

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15 hours ago, VooDoo-S8 said:

That’s the fella! Two wires come from the front of it into the floor. As soon as I can get out I’ll get you a tonne of photos of the interior and the medical fit… you’ll have to let me know how to post them here though! 😂

Brilliant! I personally use Flickr, and there's a nice guide here that might be of use:

(If there's any problems then drop me a PM :) )

 

 

On the colour of seats, I did a little more digging...

There are a few images of interest that I've come across:

https://ukemergencyaviation.co.uk/G-OMAA.htm

https://www.airplane-pictures.net/photo/590333/g-omaa-midlands-air-ambulance-eurocopter-ec135-all-models/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/chinneylowfly/14345878036

https://abpic.co.uk/pictures/registration/G-OMAA

 

It may be my eyes deceiving me, but it seems that in some images the right-hand seat could be grey, and in some blue? It might just be the light!

Either way, especially from the head-on photo on here: https://ukemergencyaviation.co.uk/G-OMAA.htm the headrest certainly seems to be a darker grey.

 

EDIT:

-And from MAAC's social media:

https://www.instagram.com/p/9InHNAxcVQ/ (photo taken presumably some time in 2015- it could be grey?)

https://www.instagram.com/p/CKLlcKcH33Z/

 

I'll hold fire on the right-hand seat for the moment, and see how the left one builds up.

 

Bw,

Sam

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This is going to be incredible! I have EMRTS (Welsh Air Amb) decals and East Anglia so have a couple lined up along with the EC135 / 145 PE from Renaissance.. I did speak to Whirlybird when last at Telford about them doing a batch of some 1/32 MAA decals (knowing the have 1/72) they did mention if enough interest they will commission but at the time only I had expressed an interest and couldn’t do a single print - food for thought! I’ve just moved house but will look to dig out my plans and see if I have some walkarounds to share soon, watching with interest, keep up the great work! 😀

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Chili nuts anyone? Thought I’d come through from the lounge to see what all the kerfuffle was in the public bar!

 

Superb subject Sam, and a great start. I’ve got a couple of discontinued 1/32 Revell EC135s in my stash; (04484 ‘Polis’ and 04659 ’ADAC’) which together gives me the bits to do Helimed 76, G-SCAA, the Scottish Charity Air Ambulance operating out of Perth. Don’t know when I’ll get started on it – the paint job is a real doozy! So very interested in your progress and your research/detective work. Hopefully it’ll give me the much-needed impetus! Regards

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2 hours ago, cathasatail said:

Brilliant! I personally use Flickr, and there's a nice guide here that might be of use:

(If there's any problems then drop me a PM :) )

 

 

On the colour of seats, I did a little more digging...

There are a few images of interest that I've come across:

https://ukemergencyaviation.co.uk/G-OMAA.htm

https://www.airplane-pictures.net/photo/590333/g-omaa-midlands-air-ambulance-eurocopter-ec135-all-models/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/chinneylowfly/14345878036

https://abpic.co.uk/pictures/registration/G-OMAA

 

It may be my eyes deceiving me, but it seems that in some images the right-hand seat could be grey, and in some blue? It might just be the light!

Either way, especially from the head-on photo on here: https://ukemergencyaviation.co.uk/G-OMAA.htm the headrest certainly seems to be a darker grey.

 

EDIT:

-And from MAAC's social media:

https://www.instagram.com/p/9InHNAxcVQ/ (photo taken presumably some time in 2015- it could be grey?)

https://www.instagram.com/p/CKLlcKcH33Z/

 

I'll hold fire on the right-hand seat for the moment, and see how the left one builds up.

 

Bw,

Sam

I’m getting some pictures tonight (called in a favour). They’re of G-SCAA but the role equipment is identical, the only difference is what kit the paramedics keep in the cab.

 

30 minutes ago, redleader said:

 

Chili nuts anyone? Thought I’d come through from the lounge to see what all the kerfuffle was in the public bar!

 

Superb subject Sam, and a great start. I’ve got a couple of discontinued 1/32 Revell EC135s in my stash; (04484 ‘Polis’ and 04659 ’ADAC’) which together gives me the bits to do Helimed 76, G-SCAA, the Scottish Charity Air Ambulance operating out of Perth. Don’t know when I’ll get started on it – the paint job is a real doozy! So very interested in your progress and your research/detective work. Hopefully it’ll give me the much-needed impetus! Regards

 

Good luck! That’s my actual cab so, if you need anything let me know.

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