by: Adie Roberts [ ]
Originally published on:
The Bell UH-1 Iroquois military helicopter, first introduced in 1959, is the first production member of the prolific Huey family of helicopters and was itself developed in over twenty variants. The earlier "short-body" Hueys were a success, especially in the gunship role, but lacked the cabin space to be an effective troop transport. The US Army wanted a version that could carry a crew of four (two pilots and two door gunners) and also deliver an infantry section of eight-ten soldiers. Bell's solution was to stretch the UH-1B fuselage by 41 inches (105 cm) and use the extra space to fit two sideways-facing seats on either side of the transmission. This brought the total seating capacity to 15, including crew seats.
The new Huey was designated UH-1D by the US Army and as the Model 205 by Bell. The enlarged cabin could also accommodate six stretchers, double that of the earlier models, making the "Delta" a good MEDEVAC aircraft. In place of the earlier model's sliding side doors with a single window, larger doors were fitted which had two windows, plus a small "hinged panel" with an optional window, providing access to the cabin. The doors and hinged panels were quickly removable and the Huey could be flown in that configuration.
The first Army unit deliveries of the "Delta" model were on 9 August 1963 when the 11th Air Assault Division (Test) at Fort Benning Georgia received two. This unit was renamed the 1st Cavalry Division and deployed to Vietnam with its "Delta" Hueys.
A total of 2,008 UH-1Ds were delivered to the US Army between 1962 and 1966. The model was widely exported and served with the armed forces of Australia and South Vietnam among others. A grand total of 2,561 UH-1Ds were built, including 352 constructed by Dornier for the West German armed forces.
The very first thing that I noticed was the artwork “incredible” I wished they had included a picture of the artwork as it would certainly be adorning my man cave wall right now.
The box is of the usual cardboard construction with a thinner lid but solid bottom the sides of the box contain the different markings that were available with the kit.
Inside you have three sealed bags containing the plastic for the helicopter these are light beige.
Reusable sealed bag with two decal sheets one very much smaller than the other and a good sized Photo-Etch sheet.
A very nice comprehensive instruction book with some incredible pullout colour profiles of the different markings and options available. This way of displaying the colour profiles should be a standard way for all companies to show the colours and markings as they should be. This also looks very impressive as it is there for all to see just where the decals should be placed, what colours to use.
Finally a small cardboard box which contains the
There really is a wow facture on opening the box so much detail, crisp manufacturing, excellent looking sprues, so let us take a closer look to see just what it really is like.
I picked the first sprue, so much detail just jumped out at me, the pilot and co-pilot seats, the canvas on the seat is stretched and looks real with the creases where they have been well worn. This is then added to by the armour plating shields and put onto the back plate then placed on the open cockpit floor. The floor itself looks very realistic with various holding points and channelling with recessed lines.
The build itself starts with the flooring and the control sticks for the Huey various control surfaces including the centre consul are just full of detail, looking at the centre consul under magnification really brings out the detail, looking again at a picture of a real consul for sure there is some minor detail missing but what is there, is enough for the scale size and really well presented. The detail for the for the internal seats really shows on the plastic the wear looking like stretched canvas all being again are very pleasing to the eye. However, the injector pin marks on the back of the seat are quite large and will need some work to correct.
The main dashboard detail is made up of raised instruments all of which look really clear and with some detailing can really make this Huey’s office look fantastic, most of the detail in the entire interior looks as you would expect. It can be made just that little bit better by either some minor scratch building with some wiring and or by the aftermarket detail that always becomes available for these kits after there initial release.
The quilted soundproofing looks really authentic and really adds to the overall feel in the Huey interior, some other parts that caught my eye were the rotary parts to the engine the detail for these are very well done. Only some of it will be visible from the top and even then will be quite covered by the blades nevertheless well represented.
The fuselage of the helicopter externally carries some great detail including rivets some panelling all look to be about right compared to photos of a real Huey. The whole kit looks to be very well thought out with little being left out more engine details are included this is another great looking part that I believe you can have exposed by removing a side panel. There are a lot of very fine small parts that you will have to cut off the sprue with some care to avoid any damage.
The tail parts of the fuselage like the main body have so much to look at with panels rivet detail it really is quite eye-catching. Weapons included are two different types of rocket pods, miniguns, 50 cal and also M60 door guns. I am very surprised by the level of detail in the door guns, in particular, adding further realism with the photo-etch parts that are included with this Kittyhawk kit.
The rotor blades look to be at the right thickness for the scale and I really like the way that Kittyhawk have gone about the realistic connections for the fitting and the weighted connecting edges.
The skids look as they should and the cross member tubes are both on the A sprue and both called A 26, however they are front and rear fitting and there is no mistake when it comes to placing these parts as it becomes obvious which one is which by the fitting connections.
The parts count for this kit is quite amazing when looking at the alternatives for the same helicopter in the same scale. The clear parts I love the way that kittyhawk place most of the clear parts into cardboard boxes thus keeping them in pristine condition during transportation. Talking of pristine I am so impressed with the amount of detail around the main piece of glazing showing rivet detail and some internal control surfaces.
All the glazing is crisp and does not appear to distort when looking through them.
The instruction booklet is very good looking wise but I have noticed one or two mistakes nothing too bad, it comes as 24 pages but these do include the colour profile pullouts. The instructions are very clear and easy to follow.
Options for the following helicopters.
UH-1D, 121st AHC.
UH-1D, 117th AHC.
UH-1D, 174th AHC.
UH-1D, 170th AHC.
German Air Force Bell UH-1D (HTG 64 Ahlhorn.
Tai Wan Air Force UH-1H.
Japanese Army, UH-1H
I am no expert on this particular helicopter and one of the things I have come to learn when it comes to models and modelling there is always someone who will find fault in something to do with this kit. I do feel that KittyHawk have really put some thought into this kit and have raised the boundary level with the number of parts and detail that is included in this kit.
I have become a fan of KittyHawk over the last year or so with them producing some fine kits which have been full of detail and starting to become one of the mainstream manufacturers. This kit is one of the best 1/48th scale helicopters I have seen in a long time and is also one of a very popular subject. I can only hope that in the near future they will bring out this kit in 1/35th scale as the detail and diorama options would be enormous. I am looking forward to building this kit and will hopefully be able to show you just how it all goes together.