Sikorsky CH-54A was a heavy-lift helicopter built for the military in the 60s. Its civil variant – S-64 Skycrane is still in use to this day, even though combined, both variants were produced in only 136 pieces total. With its 21+ tons of maximum take-off weight and the astonishing 9 tons of payload, for its time and even till today, Sikorsky CH-54A can be considered a Behemoth in rotary aviation. Tarhe is its nickname, after an 18th century Indian chief, who’s nickname was “The Crane”. Absolutely spot on!
Sikorsky CH-54A Tarhe is a long helicopter. It is an inch shorter of 27 meters. Its rotor diameter is two inches shorter of 22 meters. Now imagine that in 35th scale! Many of us have wild imagination and we’ve already been there. Done that. But nobody took that thought seriously enough to consider a scale model kit in that scale. Not until now at least.
ICM is an Ukrainian company, that has been discussed and reviewed here. But they are famous mostly for their armor models and just recently with their Cobra Helicopters. They are good too. However, nobody expected such a bold move from them – releasing a 35th scale Tarhe. Sounds like a sci-fi movie, but it is true. In 2022, a new tool of Sikorsky CH-54 will come to life. Two of them actually!
One will be a clean cargo variant of the Tarhe and the other will feature a Daisy Cutter BLU-82 bomb. The latter one is a very interesting subject by itself, so we would advise you to read about it if you haven’t already. But back to the Tarhe beast. For now, both variants will be the CH-54 A-versions. Both will feature Vietnam-era appearance, since that was the main scene for the Tarhe anyhow. And both will be -well – enormously huge kits!
A civil variant of the Tarhe /now built by Erickson Inc./ might be on the way too, but let’s wait and see. Even those two are great news as of today and they seem to be more than enough for the moment. With their Cobra line, now Tarhe added and the hints of Vietnam Hueys on the boxart of the CH-54, we might hope for the best. Which in other words means – more.
ICM are heading straight to the 35th scale rotor World with brisk steps, which will be a joyful moment for many. CH-54A Tarhe kits are a subject that requires serious consideration, true. Mostly due to their size. But consider the idea too: Vietnam war era, which many consider the first true Helicopter war. Cobras, Hueys, Chinooks…we trust that ICM are far from done. Tarhe is one of their first steps along with their Cobras. And it is not a small one for sure. 27 meters scaled down 35 times.