Italeri 1/48 UH-1H
Aerocalcas # 48022
Starting 1970, this famous helicopter was incorporated to the Argentine Army.
With numbers AE-400 to AE-424, the last one was received in October 1978. Cruise
speed is 204 km/h, can carry 10 soldiers and 2 machine guns in the doors, or 24
rockets in 2 rockets launchers. In the Aviation branch of the Army, there were
part of the Assault Helicopters “A”, Batallon de Aviacion de Combate 601.
On April 23, 1982 with several of the other choppers of the Batallon already in the Malvinas/Falklands Islands, four more Hueys were disassembled and were prepared to be taken by plane (Hercules belonging to the Air Force). These were AE-406, 417, 418 and 424. After a two-hour flight, they landed in the runway and immediately proceeded to push the 424 out of the Hercules TC-65. Immediately, mechanics and technicians of the Batallon proceeded to work to put them together again. The crew of AE-424 was Capt. Jorge “Picho” Svendsen, 1st Sgt Medina and 1st Corporal “Negro” San Miguel (gunner) and on April 29th the chopper was ready to fly again. Svendsen was in charge of B Flight.
The Command Post was located in Moody Brook and reserves
were built in
Between May 3rd and 8th, the Hueys carried out approximately 18 transport and recce missions.
On May 15th, AE424 and AE-417 were
sent to the
During a mission to carry weapons to the Argentine garrison
May 21st, a day to remember
The Argentine dispersal area in
Once there, and with all the choppers dispersed in the area, Svendsen heard on the radio that an Argentine Navy Skyhawk A4-Q (3-A-312) was arriving in emergency. It was the sole survivor of the first 3-plane TABANO section that had seriously damaged HMS Ardent. Hit by the guns of a Sea Harrier and loosing fuel, Navy Lt. Jose Arca decided to try to land in the runway in Argentino/Stanley. But it was then discovered that one of the main landing gears was lost and he was therefore forced to bail out. Svendsen had helped on the radio to guide him to touch down. Arca ejected over land but the wind carried him out to the sea, where he landed approximately 800 to 1,000 meters away of the coast. Capt. Svendsen did not think it twice and took off to rescue the pilot from the freezing waters. While “Picho” was flying the helicopter, Sgt “Vinagre” Santana was controlling the gauges and 1st Corporal San Miguel was trying to get hold of Arca and get him into the chopper. As Arca had his survival jacket and could not move his arms, this approach proved to be impossible. After 15 minutes of failure, Arca removed his jacket/vest and Svendsen sunk the skis of the Huey in the sea. Standing on these, San Miguel was able to take Arca from the arms and in that position; they flew very low back to the coast, from where he was immediately taken to the Hospital. Arca later commented that what hurt him most was the pain of the hits in his face that San Miguel was giving him, to prevent him from falling asleep. But San Miguel was following the orders to keep Arca awake, given by Svendsen.
For his action on this date, Svendsen and San Miguel were decorated with the medal issued by the Argentine Congress to Bravery in Combat.
On May 26th AE-412 / 13 / 22 and 24, led by Svendsen in 424 took off to the Douglas Paddock area (20 km. away from San Carlos) to retrieve the Combat Team Guemes, who had been walking for 3 days after trying to fight off the landings in San Carlos on the 21st. This team had managed to defend themselves by shooting down two helicopters and damaged another one that had the mission to capture them. 1st Corporal San Miguel saw the movement of people beneath them, after they had flown the area without finding anyone. The team led by 1st Lt. Carlos Esteban thought originally that they were British helicopters looking for them and were hiding.
May 28th: with the British
paratroopers closing in on Darwin-Goose Green, a mission to reinforce the
Argentine troops was ordered. One Puma (AE-508), Two
May 29th: AE-424 with Svendsen took
June 5th: A nocturne mission to make
the British believe that they were taking troops to some hills. At
Svendsen took off in AE-424 with 1st Lt. Perez Cometto and Corporal
San Miguel. They saw some enemy helicopters in the
On June 6th, AE-424 / 18 and 22 took
commandos behind the enemy lines in the
Between June 8th and the 9th the Hueys repositioned several troops in hills and the coastline.
On June 11th, a second machine gun was installed on the other door of AE-424.
June 13th: AE-424 flew between 3.00 and 3.40 am to coordinate the fire of the Argentine guns, but at that moment the British ceased firing so the crew was unable to pinpoint the location of the enemy guns (west side of Mount Challenger).
After the cease-fire on the 14th,
the six surviving Hueys were taken to the racetrack; among those, UH-424.
Svendsen took injured soldiers to the
On June 15th, Svendsen now flying for the first time AE-409, was authorized by the British to look for stranded and injured soldiers. But the bad weather conditions prevented them from completing their mission.
AE-424 was one of the Hueys captured in flying condition by the British troops. “Picho” Svendsen retired from the Argentine Army with the grade of Lt. Colonel.
The interior of the cockpit goes together very well. The only considerations are that the armrests are too wide and therefore I had to cut out some plastic of the already painted seats. The locating pins don’t fit either.
The Italieri instructions state that the
cockpit is all light gray FR35237 but later
Another difference is that, looking at a
picture and video I found in Internet, the seats for the troops face forward
instead of backwards (per Italieri instructions). At least, this is the
configuration for the Argentine Hueys.
Red was used here and there to highlight some
details, along with dry brushed silver and Future for the dials.
Some putty and sanding are required in some unions (not very good, in fact, in the area around the engine) but nothing critical.
The sliding doors were put in place with big blobs of BluTac. This I did for them to protect the interior while painting, and it was easy to remove the doors after this operation was finished.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
With all the windows masked, I sprayed the kit with MM Acryl 4728. Then the yellow ID band applied to all Argentine flying machines in the Theater was painted on.
The ones from Aerocalcas give you all what you
need for the Argentine Hueys. The only detail is that I found a picture of
Svendsen along a Huey and the badge on the door of the pilot was painted in
colors, instead of being a black outline as supplied by Aerocalcas.
Some rust pastel was applied to the engine exhaust.
The Italieri kit shows its years but it’s fun to build. It took me one month to finish this very important subject in the History of the Argentine Military Aviation.
Angeles sobre la Turba (Antonio Falcon)
A4-Q (Nunez Padin)
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