Kit No. 88
Decals: Three versions – US Navy; British Royal Army; and Austrian Air Force
Comments: Excellent engraved detail throughout
This helicopter kit needs little introduction. The twin-engine version of the famous Bell UH-1 “Huey” helicopter was widely used by the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War as a troop transport, gunship, and medevac (medical evacuation) aircraft. In the late 1960’s it was produced for the Canadian Armed Forces, as well as for the British and Austrian militaries. The addition of the second engine added load capacity and increased range and made this helicopter ideal for surveillance and support missions. Later the Twin Huey was license built in Italy for the Italian military as the AB 212. It was been widely used by police organizations and frequenlty deployed for rescue missions.
If you have any helicopter kits in your collection now, build them first. Otherwise, they may be a let-down if you move Italeri’s Twin Huey to the top of the list and set it on your work bench right away. Released in 2007, this kit is molded in light grey and consists of 138 parts. There are engraved panel lines and curiously raised rivet detail, although far more subtle than the raised rivets of yesteryear’s Airfix kits. The interior cabin detail is impressive, from molded detail of the instrument panels, controls and seats, to the plating on the cabin bulkhead and roof, to the textured canvas passenger seating. The rotor and blades and meticulously detailed, as are the rocket pods and separately mounted antennas.
Although there are markings for three versions, there are apparently no corresponding differences in construction. An interesting thing about this kit is that the paint scheme for the U.S. Navy version is shown in the instructions as overall flat green, while in the box art it looks as if it could be Dark Sea Blue, which was the authorized scheme for Navy rescue helicopters at one time. It may actually look more attractive in a Sea Blue scheme, although it would not be regulation. The Austrian version calls for a camouflage scheme of military brown and field green with a black anti-glare panel up front; and the British version is also camouflaged scheme of flat gully grey and dark green with the anti-glare panel. Highly recommended.