Long awaited Huey
Since 1998 when Italeri released their new tooling Huey, no other company has dared to enter the realm of UH-1 in quarter scale. Hobby Boss 48th scale Huey doesn’t count here, since it is oversimplified, unpopular and thus – hard to get kit of the legendary helo. Kitty Hawk promised new tooling in two scales – 35th and 48th, and in 2017, 19 years after the last decent Huey, we have a new one.
Huey doesn’t need introduction and definitely lacks attention from the companies in the modeling world. It is in huge demand among modelers, quite often accepting flaws of the older kits and putting a lot of efforts to make a decent scaled down replica of the chopper. This has come to an end.
Kitty Hawk’s release comes in a nice box with beautiful boxart, depicting a landing Huey, followed by coupe of more, on the final approach. Soldiers are disembarking in very tall grass, reminding of Vietnam era bird which is not a surprise. Werner’s Wings logo is featured in the lower left corner, and for helo modelers that speaks a lot. Werner’s Wings is a company owned and managed by the famous Floyd Werner Jr., who happens to be a helicopter pilot, a modeler and also, producer of high end decals, figures and add-ons.
Are a combination between glossy sheets and a standard paper. This decision is the same as the one we’ve seen in Kitty Hawk’s Venom kit. The glossy sheet in the outer folded sheet holds the info about the sprues as well as some color profiles for painting. Then the booklet continues with standard paper and basic instructions which are pretty self explanatory. The steps are 18 in total, which isn’t that much but there is enough detail inside, trust me.
In the middle of the booklet there is another sheet with 4 more color schemes for the Huey. For convenience, this can be detached and placed separately, so to not interfere with your work while you are in the building stages.
Again, this is some kinda odd decision from Kitty Hawk but I must admit I like the fact that you can remove the color guide and deal with it afterwords. You can do that with Trumpeter and HobbyBoss – true. However, the quality here is higher and the schemes are bigger. That is the reason they are folded too. Nicely done if you ask me.
Only three grey sprues in the box. But they do offer so much, that you will be amazed. Labeled A, B and C, those sprues shows only one significant flow, or at least one is I discovered. It is the flash over the machine guns. The rest is generally speaking – very good. Even great.
The riveting of the tail boom and the fuselage is superb, second to none. This shines with this particular kit and one can only hope that their 35th scale Huey will be the same thing. The floors are with great texture and curves, which create the feeling of resin parts, rather than plastic.
The material is soft enough and seems like it will be a trouble-less journey building the Huey. The spread of the parts throughout the sprues follows simple logic and that will save time too. Most of the parts are engineered in a manner that will help you assume their position just from looking at them, which simplifies the process even further.
There is no significant ejector pin marks or flash /except for the guns/ and the rotor blades show nice sag, so you will easily know which way is up or down. This quite often is a problem with small-scale helicopters.
It seems the most attention was dedicated to the interior parts, slightly neglecting the rotor system mechanisms, but nothing that one can complain about. Consistency of the detail all over the UH-1 here is present. Kitty Hawk did a great job with it.
Not much else to be said, just enjoy the pictures:
Clear parts are separated in another cardboard box with the Kitty Hawk logo over it. Some companies does that in order to protect larger clear parts but Kitty Hawk included this in this rather small 48th scale bird too.
The clear sprues is separately packed in plastic bag for additional protection and shows excellent quality and clever design. Since Huey has a lot of glass panels over it, this will be important part and a one that should be taken care of, especially in that scale. For our convenience, DN Models released a set for UH-1D Huey Canopy and Windows masks, designed specifically for that kit here.
Decals are spread throughout two sheets. One small rectangular one and one with a decent size for 48th scale helicopter. On the small one, called Decal B, there are specific markings for four different Hueys. They feature a fish with a helmet and three girls. Funny looking overall, they can spice up your UH-1D a little bit, giving it a more unique look.
On decal A, we have the markings for the Japanese, Taiwanese, German and United States’ Hueys, most of which are plain green in color. The Luftwaffe and Japanese versions are very attractive ones, featuring different camouflage schemes. Especially the Japanese Army Helo, which is UH-1H Iroquois version. It is painted in hard-edge three tone camo scheme, which quite soon DN Models will offer as a mask set.
Photo-etch sheet is rather small, filled with seatbelts and meshes mostly. There are other parts included, but for the brass-fans this will be far from enough. I assume that quite soon we will see exterior and interior sets, as well as some part-exchanges from the major Photo-etch makers on the market.
This is the Huey that you want to get. Since 35th scale release is still pending, I believe this kit with its fine details and great features is the best offer on the market today. It is new tooling and it lives up to the standard of being such. This makes it practically incomparable with the rest already out there.
There are a lot of Vietnam based UH-1s inside, plus the touch of specific insignia /Werner’s job I assume/, as well as Taiwan, Japan and Germany included. Last two – great looking camo schemes.
There will be aftermarket for this kit for sure and you won’t have to wait too long for it. DN Models were the first to hit it, with the Canopy and Windows set. But even if you don’t want to spice it up with resin or PE from another manufacturer, have in mind that it is great as it is – simply out of the box. And if you still aren’t sure do you want this kit, just play Mel Gibson’s “We were soldiers” from 2002. That will convince you for sure!