Kitty Hawk 1/48 SH-2F Seasprite
KIT #: KH80122
PRICE: $49.95 SRP
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: New tool kit


The Kaman SH-2 Seasprite is a ship-based helicopter, originally developed in the late 1950s as a fast utility helicopter for the United States Navy. In the 1970s, anti-submarine, anti-surface threat capabilities were added to the design, including over-the-horizon targeting, resulting in modifying most existing UH-2 models to the SH-2 Seasprite.

This aircraft extends and increases shipboard sensor and weapon capabilities against several types of enemy threats, including submarines of all types, surface ships and patrol craft that may be armed with anti-ship missiles. It served with the U.S. Navy from the 1960s until the last SH-2G helicopters were retired in 2001. As with just about all USN helicopters, the Seasprite was replaced by an H-60 derivative. Pretty much all of the SH-2F helos were rebuilds of earlier UH-2A/B/C/D variants.  


 Prior to this kit, the only other SH-2 to be readily available in this scale was the Matchbox version, later released by Revell. It is a fairly nice kit, but typical of Matchbox, is rather basic in terms of detail. This one eclipses that one in pretty much every area, except perhaps ease of construction. I should point out that I found quite a few sink areas on some of the thicker pieces. Some can be covered up like those on the seats, while others that are on detailed parts, cannot. The kit has a very complete cockpit that includes both the collective, and cyclic controls as well as foot pedals. Seats are three pieces and include photo etch belts.

The cabin is outfitted with a canvas-type seat running along one side. I would have expected an ASW suite that includes sonobouy tubes and an operator's position and console as shown in the image, but this small detail seems to have been missed by Kitty Hawk. To fill the area where the tube exits would be is a three piece side cover. It is pretty obvious that Kitty Hawk is planning on other Seasprites as the upper part of the fuselage where the engines go is a separate piece as is the tail rotor shaft housing. Photo etch is used for all the engine vents on the back of the engine housing and it should really add to the look.

The kit comes with a two piece nose that is festooned with sensors and has a few inserts as well. Cockpit doors are separate with the co-pilot's door also including a small section of window behind it. It does not appear that these are designed to be posed open though one could do so if one wished. Both the engine pods and the fairings for the main gear are nicely done. Before one closes the fuselage halves, a four piece gear well needs to be installed on each side.

For things to hang off the fuselage are two different sized drop tanks, two torpedoes and the MAD drogue. These latter things are sort of useless, as is the large radome if the helo doesn't have the ASW electronics installed in the cabin. Aside from that, the many times I've been around the SH-2F, it has never had torpedoes. Normally the MAD drogue and two small fuel tanks are carried.  Both the main and tail rotors are well done and should satisfy most builders. One thing that is not shown are the main gear doors, and that is probably because they were frequently left off. It does look, however, like they are on the sprues along with other bits that are not used, like Maverick missiles.

Instructions are well drawn and not as busy as some. Markings are for three overall engine grey aircraft. One is 151309 with HSL-31, one is 151314 with HSL-37 and one is 149750 with large international orange areas from Pax River. Below is an image of 151314 with HSL-31 photographed in 1991. Also included is a photo of 151321 with HSL-32. Note that in several cases only one rotor blade had warning markings on it. Just to show that often the crews would paint special markings on the sonobouy door, I've also included a photo of 150179 of HSL 33 and the door marking. Note also that the wheels could be black. Finally, just to add some interest, is a photo of 151329 of HSL-30 showing the rotor tip covers and tie-downs. All of these photos are copyright Scott Van Aken and may not be used without express permission. Towards the end of their careers, these were painted an overall low viz grey. Decals are nicely done and for those wanting aftermarket options they are soon coming.


If you have been wanting a nice SH-2F and don't mind the cover price, then this is the kit for you. I can anticipate at least three or four other boxings based on the standard airframe coming out in the future.  


February 2014

Thanks to me for picking up the preview kit.

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

Back to the Main Page

Back to the Previews Index Page