Amodel 1/72 Piasecki HUP-1/2

KIT #: 72136
PRICE: $22.95 SRP
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken

Short run kit with injected parts


The Piasecki H-25 Army Mule/HUP Retriever was a compact single radial engine, twin overlapping tandem rotor utility helicopter developed by the Piasecki Helicopter Corporation of Morton, Pennsylvania during the late 1940s and produced during the early 1950s. The company changed its name in the 1956 to Vertol Aircraft Corporation and subsequently was bought by Boeing Aircraft Company in 1960, and became Boeing-Vertol.

The HUP was produced for the Navy in four versions: HUP-1, -2, and -3. The HUP-2 was the first production helicopter equipped with an auto-pilot. The US Navy also tested a system called 'Raydist that allowed an unmanned HUP-2 to be directed from a ground station and by radio ordered to hover with in 5 feet of the desired point. Edo tested a HUP-2 with a fiberglass hull and outrigger floats for amphibious operations. In addition to those delivered to the U.S. Navy and Army the HUP/H-25 helicopter was also delivered to the Canadian and French Navies. A total of 339 aircraft were delivered over the 20-year life of the aircraft.


 Molded in Amodel's usual low pressure injected plastic, the surface detail is actually quite good. Clear parts are fairly well molded, but a bit thick and not as clear as you might find on some other kits.

The kit provides a rather complete cockpit with seats, control consoles and a single cyclic. No collective is provided, but you can easily make one. The continuous cabin has no internal detail, but does include a rear bulkhead and a roof section. The kit also includes a complete radial engine with engine mount and exhaust. Not sure how much if any of it will be visible when the kit is complete, but there it is.

There are two identical sprues for the rotor heads and the blades. The blades are supposed to fit into impossibly small indents in the head and I would be quite surprised if these tiny recesses will be enough to hold the blades in place.

The fuselage has a separate main door and it appears that perhaps one could build the cockpit side windows open. The landing gear look particularly spindly, but I have found the once cemented together, these constructs are usually quite sturdy. Thanks to the HUP being a tail dragger, no worries about where to ut nose weight. I found it interesting that there is a maintenance stand permanently mounted on the starboard rotor sail. The only external difference between the -1 and -2 is that the earlier version has a horizontal stab and fin on each side. Choice is yours as HU-1 operated both at the same time.

Instructions are well drawn with generic and Humbrol paint references. Markings are pretty much all white aside from the red insignia stripes. You can do one of two aircraft. One is a -1 and the other a -2. Both are from HU-1 and both are in overall gloss sea blue. While this color did turn slightly matte over time at sea, it never really was more than semi gloss. The decal sheet is well printed and should work without many issues. The markings are rather matte, which I know some people like, but these were painted in gloss white on the aircraft.


A nice choice of kits from Amodel. This is also boxed as the Army version and I am sure others. It appears to be a pretty straight-forward build, though I have found that no Amodel kit is as easy as it looks. I had to chuckle at the box art showing 21st century naval vessels and a 1950s helo! 


December 2012

Thanks to me for ordering what has to be a less than simple kit to build.

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