|KIT:||Italeri 1/72 AB.204B/UH-1F Huey|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
Undoubtedly the most successful helicopter line in the world has been the H-1 Huey and its multiple of variants. In US service, they have run out of letters with the advent of the AH-1Z. While the current H-1 versions are quite different from the original UH-1A of the 1950s, they all share an unbroken lineage.
The earliest mass produced Huey was the UH-1B or Bell model 204. This was a helicopter with a relatively small cabin area and limited carrying capability, but was used quite extensively by the US Army along with the slightly more powerful UH-1C in the war in Vietnam. Normally used as a general purpose helicopter and later a gun ship when the larger and even more capable UH-1D arrived on scene.
A variant of the UH-1B was the UH-1F that was generally used as a rescue helo. No need for large cabin areas when pulling only a few from trouble so the small size wasn't an issue. Somewhat unique to this variant, the exhaust exited on the right side through a curved pipe; the same side as the hoist. In combat this would have been helpful if one kept the un-exhausted side towards the threat so that heat seeking missiles would not have such an easy time of it.
The helo was also built by Agusta in Italy, which has for a long time built Bell helicopters under license. Few if any are still in service, having been replaced by more capable machines.
This one seems as if it is an older kit. The detail is raised with a few appropriate rivets. The molding is very nicely done with no flash, sink areas and only a few ejector pin marks on rotor head components and the landing skids. It has a well detailed cockpit with both a cyclic and collective for both sides. Separate rudder pedals too. Seats are OK with some rather weak seat belts, but good enough for an out of the box kit.
The kit is also modular to the max with separate tail boom, upper fuselage power section and a separate roof. There are separate doors to show off the rather meager cabin details (as in seats against the back bulkhead). My experience with Huey kits is that getting all the fuselage pieces to fit with each other is a major task and this one looks no different. Transparencies are well molded and quite clear.
Instructions are very nicely done with interior colors provided where needed. Markings are for three aircraft. One is the box art plane from the Italian Air Force in green/grey over aluminum with the usual yellow bits for a SAR bird. The Austrian Army plane is overall Olive Drab, while the Dutch Navy version is Extra Dark Sea Grey (or just Dark Sea Grey as this color faded fast) over Sky. The colors given in the instructions of Dark Gull Grey over Light Ghost Grey are in error as the shades I mentioned for this aircraft were standard Dutch Navy for decades. Decals are nicely done and should provide no problems. Those with white letter/number decals can do a US UH-1F in the SEA camo scheme as it was the same airframe.
This looks like a relatively simple kit and the number of possible markings you can do one in are great. Any of the kit markings will make into a very nice model.
Thanks to and the DLV company for the review kit. You can find Italeri kits at your favorite hobby shop or on-line at www.testors.com
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