Tamiya 1/100 SH-3D Sea King

Kit Number: 1019

Price: 200 yen

Media: injected plastic

Decals : two versions: one USN in grey and white and one Royal Navy in in dark sea grey.

Comments: I purchased several of Tamiya's 1/100 aircraft kits back in 1976 when I was stationed at Atsugi, Japan along with a whole fleet of 1/700 ships. About half of the ships were built, but until 1994, I had not touched the 1/100 aircraft. I should not have waited so long.

The Sea King turned into a really nice little kit. I usually build a few helos a year and this one was a joy to build. It is little bigger than a 1/72 Gazelle. It has little actual panel detail, but what there is, is engraved and looks great. The cockpit is well detailed and while there is nothing in the cabin (which doesn't matter as the door is molded shut), it does include a dipping sonar which fits into the sonar well at the bottom of the hull. The rotor head is a bit simplistic but good enough for the scale. It includes pitot heads, good landing gear, and crystal clear transparencies as well as a nicely done tail rotor. It was pretty easy to airbrush, including the black areas on the nose and around the engine exhaust. The then-20 year old decals were still clear, though a bit thick, and went on without a hitch. I did not permanently attach the main rotor and it, as well as the tail rotor, spin freely. Sadly, the model has since succumbed to a class A accident.

I don't know who is currently producing this and other Tamiya kits, but I am sure that, since 1/100 is not a highly sought after scale, these kits should be pretty easy to find at swap meets and in old kit lists. If you can find one, try it. You won't be disappointed.

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