Revell 1/48 H-19 Chickasaw
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||2017 reissue of a very old kit|
The Sikorsky H-19 Chickasaw (company model number S-55) was a multi-purpose helicopter used by the United States Army and United States Air Force. It was also license-built by Westland Aircraft as the Westland Whirlwind in the United Kingdom. United States Navy and United States Coast Guard models were designated HO4S, while those of the U.S. Marine Corps were designated HRS. In 1962, the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Marine Corps versions were all redesignated as H-19s like their U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force counterparts.
1,281 of the helicopters were manufactured by Sikorsky in the United States. An additional 447 were manufactured by licensees of the helicopter including Westland Aircraft, the SNCASE in France and Mitsubishi in Japan.
I'm not really sure how old this kit might be, but I'd bet on the late 1950s as it has that look. The kit in this case has been molded in grey instead of the silver of the earlier boxings. It depicts an early version before the tail boom was cranked and the fin enlarged. However, it is not the real early variant as the tailplanes are canted downward and it comes with a rescue hoist. I am not sure what model would have had the boom change as I've seen photos of an H-19D with the early boom and an H-19B with the later so it is quite possible that these were retrofit. Check your sources
The kit itself is remarkably flash-free for such an old mold. I've built this several times and recall each time being a tad more difficult due to mold wear and some warping of the fuselage halves. There is a fairly well appointed cockpit in which you are supposed to fit a pair of crew members. A third figure is provided and it looks like a ground maintenance guy.
The rotor head is pretty nicely detailed and certainly looks the part. A nice feature of this kit is a full engine. The front clamshell doors can be modeled so that they can be posed open or closed. This aircraft can be a tail sitter so you will want to strategically locate weight behind the fire wall. You do need to build up the engine as it will be quite visible from the underside. The cowl cooling vents are all molded into the fuselage. Were this a new tool kit, those would be provided by photo etch.
Clear pieces are a bit on the thick side and the side windows all have to be installed prior to gluing the fuselage halves together. There are no clear bits for the cabin windows so you are on your own for making those. The tailplanes are a single piece and are the version that is canted down. You could cut these and mount them straight if that is how the variant you are building is configured. The kit can also be built with either wheels or floats. If doing the float version, you could put your weight in the front of those. You are provided a hoist and a figure that is posed to being hoisted in as shown on the box art. A stand is provided and is the S stand of the original, though without the metal ring used to hold the upper section together. The kit instructions do not mention attaching the stand's mounting ball on the fuselage, but there is a section you can remove from each fuselage half if you wish to display your model on a stand.
Instructions are standard Revell with generic color info and large construction diagrams. The decal sheet is a copy of the original with the misshapen insignia and the too-light yellow bands. I highly recommend aftermarket for this one though the kit decals do look to be quite usable.
As you may guess, I bought this kit after reviewing a couple of Caracal decal sheets that have some very nice options. In fact, if you buy this kit, get those decals. This old favorite can be built into a nice model and I understand there is a cockpit either available or on the way.
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