Monogram 1/72 AH-1G HueyCobra
|REVIEWER:||Carmel J. Attard|
|NOTES:||Includes unused bits from Hobby Boss kit.|
The AH-1G HueyCobra developed by Bell Helicopter Company was the first operational attack helicopter to be used in an armed conflict. Evolved from the UH-1B Hue Chopper, the HueyCobra uses many of the same components as its portly cousin, including the Lycoming T53-L-13 engine. The two-seat chopper, which saw its first action with the U.S. Army in Vietnam, is faster than the UH-1B, having a top speed of 186 m.p.h and a cruising range of 425 miles. The AH-1G is a smaller target from the ground and harder to hit.
The HueyCobra’s keys to maximum combat effectiveness are its cockpit, designed to give equal and nearly unlimited visibility to both pilot and gunner, and the armament system, with a field of fire matched to crew visibility. Both crewmembers have flight control and fire control systems, permitting flexibility of operations under all normal and emergency conditions.
Used in close-to-the-ground fire support missions and working in teams, the flexibility of the HueyCobra’s is quite versatile. The TAT-141 chin-mounted turret which houses a XM-134 7.26mm Minigun capable of firing 2,000-4,000 rounds per minute and a 400 round per minute M-75 40mm grenade launcher. Other ordnance is carried on the stub wings, including Miniguns or four pods of nineteen 70mm rockets.
The model is built to represent “Pandora Box 31 that was flown by CW2 L.Wayne Richardson, 2/20 ARA, Vietnam 1972.
The kit is a 1968 combo pack by Monogram, Having thick section of injection green styrene, rather basic by today’s standard and in need for much improvement although having a good overall dimensions. The instructions state that the two models in the box have been molded in an authentic color and finish and do not require overall painting. If one desires to enhance the realism of the models, additional details were suggested. The 4-page instruction sheet has very good assembly illustrations, and gives seven steps to successful model building. These are of course suggested for the novice modeler that we nowadays do automatically. There are six stages in building each model; there is also a painting guide and decals for two models. The decals tarnished and were yellowish after all this time and were discarded. Three-view monochrome indicates the decal placement. Two crew figures, which were of feeble stature, were discarded and replaced with a set of accurate ones.
I have recently acquired the Special Hobby AH-1S and this kit contained a good number of parts, which were marked ‘not for use’ and there soon cropped up the idea to make use of the parts on one of the Monogram kits that were stored in my stash for so many years. Replacing the old kit parts with the newly acquired parts from the SH kit made me make a much more accurate AH-1G model.
The kit itself was easy to build but I had to add extra work to bring it to today’s standard. The following is the extra work made to the model. Making reference to pictures and side views in Squadron Signals publication ‘Gunslingers in Action’ No 14, detail was added to the interior of cockpit; added two side air intake scoops to side of fuselage, a footstep to each side of the fuselage forward section; a completely new tail section that came from the SH kit, added nose probe and tail skid made from metal pin and wire, Main propeller replaced with one from SH kit; added two accurate crew figures and also a complete range of armaments as carried by ‘Pandora Box 31’ which included a gun pod, rocket launcher M-158A1 seven shot; 20mm cannon mountingXM-35 all of which came from the SH Cobra kit extra parts. Armour plating segments were added at the base of the chopper on the outside from plastic card.
Kit was overall olive drab with black canopy framework, interior was light gray. Decals all came from Esci sheet and the red square with 31 in it, as well as the blue cross at sides were from spare decal box and hand painted respectively.
I am pleased to add this early HueyCobra gunship to my growing chopper section. The armed helicopters are literally rewriting the history book on military aviation and are continually being improved as an effective weapon in counter-insurgency operations.
Gunslingers in Action, Squadron/Signal #14 from the 1970s
Monogram kit instructions.
Carmel J. Attard
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