|KIT:||Fujimi 1/72 HH-60D Night Hawk|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
When looking for a replacement helo for the Combat SAR mission, the USAF was looking for something that could provide a reliable option to the currently used HH-53C and HH-3H helicopters it was currently using. Sikorsky was producing the very successful UH-60A for the Army and SH-60B for the Navy so it was a logical step to use a proven airframe/power plant for the next generation of USAF rescue helos. This resulted in the HH-60D which added an in-flight refueling probe and the usual required USAF peculiar equipment to what was basically a UH-60A Blackhawk airframe.
Typically, the HH-60D was cancelled as the requirements changed and the much more capable HH-60G and MH-60G was the resulting helo that was what the USAF really wanted.
The problem with wanting to be the first with something is that there are times when what you kit ends up not existing. Such is the case with this Fujimi kit. However, all is not lost as it is quite similar to the HH-60G and so can be built as one of those. But first, let's take a look at the kit. Molded in Fujimi's usual light grey plastic, it has all the traits of later Fujimi molds. This includes well molded parts with nicely engraved panel lines, a relatively well outfitted interior and cabin as well as the required bits and pieces to hang onto the outside.
The cockpit uses decals for instruments, which is pretty well standard in this scale. Missing is the collective, something that a lot of helo kits seemed to have overlooked. There is a full cabin with lots of seats in it. A rescue helo would probably not have all these installed as there would have to be room for a stretcher or two in there in case the rescued crews were injured. Helo folks tend to notice if the rotorhead is properly done. This one looks OK, but is probably simplified as there are not the usual rods and levers sticking out. Since it is a prototype of sorts, no IR system or intake/exhaust covers are provided as one sees on H-60 variants nowadays. Included are the external fuel tanks and supports. The kit has some additional diagrams for this and a few other assemblies to make sure you get it right.
The instructions are very good with 8 main construction steps and a number of smaller 'help' diagrams. No color chart is given, but when color info is shown, it gives a Gunze 'H' number and generic name. There are markings for one helo in the Euro I camo scheme. No underside diagram is given so you are on your own when it comes to figuring out how that would look. A small decal sheet is provided and judging from previous Fujimi kits, it will be a tad thick, work well and not like setting solutions so use hot water. A very nice addition to this kit is a display stand, something one rarely sees in model kits any more. Wish more did it.
Despite the aircraft never having been built, this will provide a very nice model when finished, as do most Fujimi kits.
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