Dragon 1/144 SH-60B Seahawk

KIT: Dragon 1/144 SH-60B Seahawk
KIT #: 4600
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Double kit

The Seahawk evolved from the Sikorsky-built UH-60A Black Hawk which is operated by the Army. The SH-60B has dramatically improved maintainability and reliability characteristics with advanced crashworthiness and survivability over any helicopter in the Navy's inventory. Its avionics/electronics package, of course, sets the Seahawk apart from all other ASW helicopters.
The SH-60B Seahawk, better known as the LAMPS (Light Airborne Multipurpose System) Mk III helicopter. It deploys on Ticonderoga-class cruisers, Burke-, Spruance-, and Kidd-class destroyers, and Perry-class frigates, and provides all-weather capability for detection, classification, localization, and interdiction of ships and submarines. Its secondary missions included search and rescue, medical evacuation, vertical replenishment, fleet support, and communications relay. Since the first Seahawk squadron was formed in 1984, it has enjoyed remarkable success. This helicopter eventually displaced the much smaller SH-2F Seasprite

The Navy has also acquired a modified version of the Seahawk as its CV ASW helicopter to replace the SH-3H Sea King. The SH-60F operates from carriers to protect the inner zone of a carrier battle group from submarine attack. The first production model was delivered in late 1986. A third Seahawk variant, the HH-60H, also deploys on carriers and provides combat search and rescue as well as Special Warfare support.



This is one of Dragon's double kits that includes two SH-60B Seahawks. Actually, there is a lot more in the kit besides two Seahawks as the way Dragon and others do their kits nowadays, you get much of what is needed to do a pair of Blackhawks as well. Of course, this is to use extant sprues to provide parts and in this case it is rotor blades and horizontal stab that are pulled from the second set of fuselage sprues.

The Seahawk sprues provide all the needed bits and pieces and includes a nicely done cockpit section. Also provided is a nicely done cabin, complete with operator's station and additional seats. This is not the norm with 1/144 scale kits and it is very nice to see that Dragon has added in this detailing. Thanks to a separate cabin side door, you can display all the work you put into this art of the kit. The seats even have harnesses molded on them. One thing you may wish to replace is the oversized cyclic and you also may want to install the collective as none are provided. Frankly, I doubt if you could see them even if they were included.

In line with other 1/144 kits from Dragon, the detailing is very well done. It may appear to be somewhat exaggerated for the scale, but once painted it does look quite nice. The entire nose section is clear plastic. This allows for hassle free clear bit installation, somewhat easier masking and the ability to fair in this part without too much worry about goofing up the clear bits.

Instructions are quite nicely done with Gunze and Model Master paint references. Both subjects are CAG birds with fancy tail markings. They are from HSM-41 in 2006 with the blue tail markings, and HSL-43 with the Tiger markings. Decals are nicely printed and should provide no surprises.

 It is interesting to note that this latter unit is listed as being based at Brown Field in 2005. This was a civilian air field when I left San Diego in 1993 with the HSL units themselves being based at NAS North Island. There was also NAF Rheem Field near the US border that was home to helo units for many years. Apparently there is now also a Navy presence at Brown Field. Anyone living in that area who can give me more info, please feel free to contact me about it.


Another superb small scale kit from Dragon. These two for one boxings seem to sell quite well as the LHS generally has difficulty keeping them in stock.

My thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the review kit. Get yours at your local shop or ask them to order it for you.

March 2008

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