Revell 1/35 Bell H-13H Helicopter

KIT #: 4334
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 1994 release


In 1947, the United States Army Air Forces (later the United States Air Force) ordered the improved Bell Model 47A. Most were designated YR-13 and three winterized versions were designated YR-13A. The United States Army first ordered Bell 47s in 1948 under the designation H-13. These would later receive the name Sioux.

Initially, the United States Navy procured several Bell 47s, designated HTL-1, between 1947 and 1958. The United States Coast Guard evaluated this model, and procured two HTL-1s for multi-mission support in the New York Harbor. The most common U.S. Navy version of the 47 was designated the HTL-4, and dispenses with the fabric covering on the tail boom. The U.S. Coast Guard procured three HTL-5s in 1952 (similar to the HTL-4 but powered by a Franklin O-335-5 engine) and used these until 1960. The Coast Guard procured two of Bell's Model 47G and designated them HUL-1G in 1959.

The H-13 was one of the principal helicopters used by the U.S. Army during the Korean War, with the H-13D variant being the most prevalent. During the war it was used in a wide variety of roles including observation, reconnaissance, and medivac. It was also used as an observation helicopter early in the Vietnam War, before being replaced by the Hughes OH-6 Cayuse in 1966.


There have been some H-13 kits released before this one though they have been multimedia kits that used p.e. for the open framework and were tricky to construct. This one is all plastic and is quite complete and well engineered. Naturally one starts off by building up the open framework that includes the engine mount, landing skids and a number of other ancillary bits.

A full six cylinder engine is provided that has enough detail for most and provides a good bases for those who want to add more. Engine installation and all the bits that go with it are next before moving to the cockpit. It has a fairly complete cockpit with cyclic, collective and foot pedals. The instrument panel is well detailed and will benefit from careful painting. A pilot figure is provided for those who like to add these sorts of things.

Once the forward bubble is attached, the cockpit assembly can be attached to the rest of the airframe. A few more bits like the fuel tanks are added along with the stretchers if you are building the MASH version. Finally, the main rotor assembly and the tail rotor are added. In all, what looks to be a fairly straight-forward build.

Instructions are quite well done with generic color information. Decals are for two versions. One is the box art aircraft in overall OD with a yellow warning area on the small fin. The other is one in white with either red or da-glo covering a fairly large portion of the airframe. A quick search showed no aftermarket decals for this one, which is a bit strange as dozens of countries had them in their armed forces.


Since the release of this kit, Italeri has produced a 1/48 version, which seems to sell fairly well. It looks like it will make into a very nice model and hopefully the landing skids will prevent it from tail sitting as there is little room for weight.


September 2023

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