Revell 1/48 Marine UH-34D Helicopter
KIT #: 85-5323
PRICE: $19.95 SRP
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Reissue


The UH-34 entered service after the Korean War, but has been used worldwide by many nations. Over 2,100 were built between 1953 and 1970. Its most famous duty was during the early space race years when it was used for retrieving Mercury space capsules after splash down. The Mercury capsule was right at the upper weight limit of the UH-34. So in 1964 when Virgil Grissom's 'Liberty Bell 7' capsule filled with water, it could not pull it up from the sea.

The UH-34 was the last of the piston powered military helicopters before the services made the transition to turboshaft power. Those UH-34s that participated in Vietnam were eventually replaced by more powerful combat helicopters such as the UH-1 Huey. In civilian life, it was used by a variety of roles such as fire fighting and airport transportation. It was able to carry 16 passengers and crew. The UH-34 was the basis for the very successful Westland 'Wessex'.


This reissue is molded in grey plastic, and looking over the sprues, I was impressed by how nicely these still are. It is a combination of engraved and raised detail which is quite appropriate for these aircraft. There is well done rivet detail along most of the airframe panel lines. I am pretty sure this aircraft did not take advantage of flush rivets as speed was really not an issue with the H-34.

The cockpit is fairly well detailed, though has room for improvement as there is no collective and no rudder pedals or harness for the seats. The cabin has a trio of seats to help fill it as well as a door opening into the bare aft section of the aircraft. Rotor detail looks to be fairly well done and while it would be nice to have a bit of droop to the rotor blades, this is not part of the deal. The tail rotor and transmission housing is a separate piece that when complete, butt fits atop the fin. The main cabin door can be built open or closed.

Though the kit comes with the harness with which it was able to connect to the Mercury capsule, no capsule is included. The cables will need to be made from thread. This can be modeled in either the stowed or extended position. Despite having no capsule, I do believe that Revell kits a 1/48 Mercury for those who wish to do a pick-up diorama.

Instructions are standard modern Revell. No parts layout, but two pages of parts listing are given. Colors are generic with FS number provided where appropriate. The decals themselves are quite nicely done and includes decals for the instrument panel as well as the various nose screen vents. There are markings for the box art helo and another from the same unit that differs only in the serial number, aircraft number and the decoration on the nose. No unit information is provided. I should also mention that most US helicopters had an insignia on the bottom which, if used on the H-34, will need to come from the spares.


Quite a few rotor-heads have been looking forward to this one and while probably not as detailed as a new one soon to be released by a Chinese company, it is also not going to be anywhere near as expensive.


Kit instructions

November 2012

Thanks to me and stuff sold on consignment for this one.

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