Italeri 1/72 UH-34D Sea Horse






Four aircraft


Scott Van Aken




Initially developed by the USN to provide a heliborne ASW platform, the H-34 eventually saw even greater use as a medium lift helicopter with the Army as the Choctaw. Used mostly for troop insertion in the early years of the Vietnam war, the Army had great success with it in this role. The US Marines also had a number H-34 squadrons which provided exactly the same type of service, though it the case of the Marines, they were flown from off shore ships to the landing areas on or just behind the beach.

So successful was the type that it was converted to turboshaft power and further developed by Westland Helicopters in the UK as the Wessex. I'm not sure if the type is still in service with the RAF, but if so, then it has to be one of the most long lasting designs for a medium lift helo yet developed.


Italeri's kit is a pretty new mold and as such has very nice engraved panel lines and other detailing. The flight deck and cabin are both well detailed, though for some odd reason, only one control stick is provided instead of the two normally needed by helos. I forget the name of the one that makes the helo go up and down, but that is what is missing. The rotor head looks a bit on the basic side to this non-helo expert, but perhaps they were all rather simple in the older helos.. You are provided a winch and door guns. There are options for not only different door guns, but different nose sections as well.  You can also pose the cabin door open to look at all the seats in there. A nice touch is that the blades are already molded with droop in them.

Markings are provided for four helos. One is a USMC version from HMM-362 in Vietnam circa 1962. It is in overall gloss Field Green with an upper fuselage orange marking. Next is a German Army H-34 in RAL 6003 Olive Green. Then comes two French Navy H-34s, and they are the ones that get a different nose section. Both are in overall Insignia Blue. One from 33F in 1975, the other based in Algeria around 1959. The decal sheet looks quite usable and is quite glossy, an unusual feature for Italeri, at least in my experience. A nice addition to the sheet are the upper fuselage walkway markings. Saves on painting them!

Overall, it looks like it would make into a very nice model. Once I get over the trauma of my last Italeri helicopter kit, this one will move to the top of the build pile!

Review kit courtesy of my kit collection.

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly by a site that has well over 100,000 visitors a month, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.