Atlantis 1/48 H-25 Army Mule

KIT #: A502
PRICE: $20.00 or so
DECALS: Four options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES:  Rebox of Aurora kit


The Piasecki HUP Retriever/H-25 Army Mule was a compact single radial engine, twin overlapping tandem rotor utility helicopter developed by the Piasecki Helicopter Corporation of Morton, Pennsylvania. Designed to a United States Navy specification, the helicopter was produced from 1949 to 1954, and was also used by the United States Army and foreign navies. The HUP/H-25 was the first helicopter to perform a loop and to be produced with an autopilot.

The Army decided that the type did not meet their requirements so transferred most of them to the US and Canadian Navy. A few were kept for training.


This kit was originally issued in 1952 by Helicopters for Industry. It then went to Aurora in 1956 who re-released it several times. When Monogram bought Aurora, the kit went with them as it did when Monogram was bought by Revell USA. Due to the simplicity of the kit, it was not released when owned by Revell-Monogram. Atlantis purchased all of Revell USA's old molds that included this kit and so we now have it.

Despite the paucity of parts and details, it is not a bad kit for one that is nearly 70 years old. lt has the required rivets and thanks to the thick plastic, it also has some fairly major sink areas. The most noticeable are on the upper rear pylon and on the rotor heads. I have included photos of those two areas.

There is really no accurate interior. There are seats molded into each fuselage half and a slot in front of them for the cyclic. No floor, no rear bulkhead, but it does have an instrument panel/console.  There is a nose transparently with no frame lines. The side windows have sills that are sunken into the fuselage by several mm. No transparencies are provided for these and if you did use acetate, you'd still have to deal with the sunken in areas. You might be able to get away with swiping  white glue over the areas once the kit is complete.

Landing gear is adequate enough for the task, but nothing fancy. Each of the rotor assemblies consists of two pieces. One has the hub and two blades cast as a single piece. You then slot the third blade into the hub. Each rotor assembly is designed to simply slot into the upper fuselage so it can spin.

Instructions are simply an exploded view. You have four markings options. Two of them are US Army planes in gloss olive drab. One is the box art plane and the other is that same plane in the Army Aviation Museum. An overall yellow plane from MCAS El Toro is provided as is an engine grey and flourescent red plane from HU-2 in 1962. The decal sheet is probably the best part of the kit.

The last few pages deals with the coloring and decals. A sample of a painted and weathered ship is also provided to give you a good idea of what the ship supposed to look like.


This is probably more of a nostalgia build kit than anything else. It does seem to be the only kit of this aircraft in this scale, so perhaps it will encourage the aftermarket folks to do something about the cockpit/interior of this beast. Regardless, it will make for a fairly quick build for some and the basis for some scratch-building for others. 

April 2020

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