|DECALS:||one option per helo|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The raid on the compound of the fugitive Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011 was an enormous success, with the Al-Qaeda leader finally being eliminated after nearly a decade on the run. The team of elite US Navy SEALs was inserted into the town of Abbottabad in Pakistan using special radar-evading helicopters. Were it not for the fact that one of them crash-landed and had to be destroyed, the world would probably not have realized that the US possesses such stealthy helicopter variants. Looking like a mixture of MH-60 Black Hawk and F-117 Stealth Fighter, this mysterious helicopter from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR) has distinctive edges and angles. The fuselage, nose and tail were all modified to reduce the craft’s radar cross-section.
Let me start off by stating that to my knowledge, there are no full photos of this helicopter, so Dragon may be taking some liberties with their commentary regarding the shape of the helo. The tail section of the remains of the one that crashed during the operation is well known thanks to all the photos of it, but the rest still remains shrouded in mystery to most. If anyone has a photo of this aircraft, please pass it along as I have not been able to find it.
This is, of course, a new tool kit and is very nicely done. Dragon used slide mold technology to produce this one and though the parts count per aircraft is small (25), it is very well done. One of the nice things about stealthy aircraft is they are not festooned with lumps, bumps and pylons. The kit can be assembled either in flight or on the ground. The latter would require the builder to construct a stand of some sort. The main rotor can be made to spin. Transparencies would be a tad of a misnomer as they are molded in a near black plastic. A small photo etch fret is supplied to provide engine intake screens.
Instructions are printed on the back of the box. Both of these are a dark grey. The decal sheet is printed by Cartograf and offers basic markings for both aircraft.
This is a nice one for the 1/144 modeler and one that will stand out on your shelves.
Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours at your local shop or have them order it for you.
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