RAAF Bell UH-1H
2021 Model Build #2 - 1/48 Bell UH-1H Iroquios (Huey) Diorama
The Huey has always been a favourite of mine and I knew it would be in RAAF markings. Right from the start of this I wanted to create some kind of diorama. I've never really done one before, so I kept it simple. I also wanted to add lights. Initially I was planning on having every external plus some interior lights, but after realising I couldn't do the tail light I decided to just go with interior lights. This was probably a good thing as there was something like 9 external ones which would have been nearly impossible (or at least above my skill level!). The kit is the Kitty Hawk UH-1D/H (KH80154).
Overall the kit was really nice and not too difficult to put together. The 20 photoetched seat belts did my head in, mainly because I didn't follow the instructions and add them before all the seats went in. I skipped the door guns and ammo boxes as I wanted a clean version. No doubt I'll do the gunship version one day. It's got the aftermarket Eduard cockpit set (FE861) which is nice and visible with the lights and open pilot door. There are so many variations of the Huey, even within ADF service that I have no doubt it's not completely accurate. I've added a few scratch built components, namely the HF antenna along the tail boom and the antenna on the top of the tail fin. I also added headrests for the seats (and didn't fit the armour plating).
The lighting is done with miniature LEDs (0402 size). There's two in the cockpit and one in the main cabin. The wires run through the roof liner (where the 3 resistors reside) and down between the rear wall and main rotor shaft. The connector is in the bottom of the rear fuselage with a diode to ensure I don't blow them if connecting power the wrong way. I ended up having to cut open a panel to fix the connector as the pins pushed out at one point. In the end that was a good exercise in patience and repair which will no doubt serve me well on future builds.
It's painted with Vallejo acrylics. Weathering is done with AK Interactive washes and oil paints. Decals are fitted with Micro Set. It's clear coated with Alclad Aqua Gloss and Vallejo Matt Varnish. The second coat of matt varnish caused it to become a bit cloudy. I added some Vallejo Satin Varnish to bring the colour back out. It worked reasonable well. Due to some impatience I was too quick to add some masks which ended up pulling up the varnish. The doors and engine panels were all tacked on with PVA glue for painting and removed and refitted afterwards in their final positions. The windows were masked with Gunze Masking Sol instead of tape. I did that mainly out of laziness and whilst it did work reasonably well, removing it afterwards was really difficult.
This model depics tail number A2-110 in 9 Squadron RAAF markings (using Hawkeye Models decals). It was delivered to the RAAF in 1969 straight to Vietnam. It suffered damage when it conducted an emergency landing into mudflats and partially sank. Crews worked overnight to drag it out of the mud. In 1970 a 1.6m long snake was found on board. It took significant disassembly of the aircraft to remove it. It was transferred to the Army in 1990. Following its retirement it was relocated to the National Vietnam Veteran's Association Museum in Phillip Island, Victoria.
The base is made with a photo frame filled with plaster of paris (mixed with shredded paper). I added some bits of foam to make the rocks. The grass is homemade from finely chopped twine.
Overall it took several months to complete, mainly because a lost a bit of motivation due to not having a clear idea of how to get the electronics to fit.
- Bases aren't too hard, but it needs to be flat where the skids are.
- Vallejo putty is really good for filling small gaps and can be used with a brush.
- Still need to learn some patience near the end to avoid issues like the varnish being lifted.
- Scratch building just takes a bit of practice and can really add a new dimension to the model.
- The fit and general construction.
- Electronics worked really well with no bleed through.
- Open panels show off some of the cabin and engine details really nicely.
- The base adds really well to the overall look of the kit.
- The stretched sprue antennas look nice. Never had much luck with stretched sprue before.
- There's still some of the fuselage seam underneath.
- Lots of marks on the windows. Using the liquid mask also made it hard to remove without taking some paint off.
- The grass on the base hasn't glued very well.
- The second coat of matt varnish really muted the colours.
Next up is a 1/48 Hasegawa Blue Angels F/A-18C Hornet.
Nice work !! 👍
Thanks Juergen 🙂
Interesting, I must check to see if the Australian army decals is in this kit (kit is in my stash).
They're not, you can get them from Hawkeye Models though. The set includes both RAAF and Australian Army decals.
Beautiful helly 👍
That's awesome 👍
Thanks Rui and James 🙂