AMT 1/48 Airwolf helicopter






See review


Scott Van Aken


Produced only once, in 1984


Though not so much any more, it used to be quite common for model companies to produce kits based on popular TV shows and movies. The most often done are ground vehicles of some sort, such as the Miami Vice Ferrari or My Mother the Car or the Dukes of Hazzard Charger. Aircraft have also been done, though not as often. You can find the Blue Thunder helo, various Star Wars and Star Trek spacecraft, as well as standard models like the F-4 or F-105 in special boxings.

The series 'Airwolf' was based on a super Bell 222 helicopter. What makes this model interesting is that not only is it the only Bell 222 around, but that it is a modified version with a 'jet assist' (portrayed in the TV series by speeding up the film). It is also a rather popular model so tends to command a rather high price when it is found.



The kit is molded in a dark grey plastic (obviously to make it easier to paint). Detail is a bit heavy-handed. Panel lines are recessed, but rather large. There is also some rivet detal so you get the best of both worlds as it were. There is some flash and you'll have to deal with a few ejector pin marks on some of the smaller bits. The only sink area I found was on the join of the vertical tail section with the rear of the tail boom where the plastic is rather thick. The clear pieces are also a bit thick, but are quite clear. This kit was produced in Mexico and is probably one of the earliest AMT/ERTL kits made there.

There are options on this one. One is for pylon mounted machine guns. You can also make this a 'normal' Bell 222 as there are pieces for that version. This kit is bound to be a tail sitter so you'll have to do some careful weight placement to prevent that. The interior and cabin details are pretty well limited to the floor area as there are no side or roof pieces. The cabin area consists of two seats and a rear bulkhead. The cockpit is well equipped with seats and control sticks, but only one throttle (though this may be normal for the type). There is a nicely done instrument panel and though there are no rudder pedals, these could easily be installed from a spares box.

Instructions are quite good and provide both regular and Airwolf options for each construction step where the differences are applicable. The color page is quite good as well, though for the civilian 222 you'll need to do a lot of masking. There is a small decal sheet that offers basically registration numbers and Airwolf logo. Frankly, I don't think the sheet will work too well as AMT decals of the time were rather poor. However, I know of no alternatives other than using it as a basis for a custom sheet.



This is a kit that will appeal to collectors and builders alike, though finding one at a reasonable price will be difficult. They have become very much in demand as their rarity increases.


Too much time in front of the television!

Review kit courtesy of my kit collection.

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