Sea King HAR.3 'Falklands'
6000 yen (about $55.00 SRP)
Scott Van Aken
2017 Limited Edition kit with resin and p.e. parts
Westland WS-61 Sea King is
a British licence-built version of the American Sikorsky S-61 helicopter of the
same name, built by Westland Helicopters. The aircraft differs considerably from
the American version, with Rolls-Royce Gnome engines (derived from the US
General Electric T58), British-made anti-submarine warfare systems and a fully
computerised flight control system. The Sea King was primarily designed for
performing anti-submarine warfare (ASW) missions. A Sea King variant was adapted
by Westland as troop transport known as the
In British service, the Westland Sea King provided a
wide range of services in both the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force. As well
as wartime roles in the Falklands War, the Gulf War, the Balkans conflict, the
Iraq War and the Afghanistan War, the Sea King is perhaps most well known in its
capacity as a Royal Navy Search and Rescue (red and grey livery) and RAF Search
and Rescue Force (yellow livery) helicopter. The Sea King was also adapted to
meet the Royal Navy's requirement for a ship-based airborne early warning
As of 2014, the WS-61 Sea King remains in operation
in Britain, as well as several export customers: Germany, Norway, Egypt and
India. Some operators have replaced, or are planning to replace, the Sea King
with more modern helicopters, such as the NHIndustries NH90 and the
AgustaWestland AW101 Merlin.
The HAR.3 and subject of this kit is the search and
rescue version for the Royal Air Force. Fitted with relocated rear cabin
bulkhead giving greater cabin length, extra fuel and additional observation
windows; 19 built
has done a number of Sea King boxings over the years and while the kit does
have one major omission (no cabin detail), the rest of the kit is considered
to be very nicely done. Indeed, even though the original boxing is 20 years
old, the quality of the parts is high with no evidence of flash or sink
areas readily apparent.
The cockpit is very nicely done with both collective and cyclic along with
separate pedals. All of the instrument areas have raised detail and you are
provided decals if you wish to use those. There is harness detail on the
seats as well.
One thing about doing a 'one size fits all' kit is that there are a myriad
of holes that need opened and features that need filled and this kit is no
exception with the instructions dedicating two full pages to ensure that you
take care of those issues. In addition to opening up some cabin windows some
need to be closed off and blanking plates are provided for this and to cover
the dipping sonar opening in the bottom of the hull.
The doghouse is partially molded in place, but there are bits and pieces
that need to be added including the intake sections and the exhaust. The
latter is split into upper and lower sections which means a seam that will
be difficult to deal with on the inside. Most of the included resin pieces
are destined for the forward underside of the hull. Hasegawa has provided a
scale representation of where these all fit as they are butt joins.
Both of the landing gear sponsons are nicely done and the attachment points
for these to the fuselage are large so they should be solid. Hasegawa has
provided a separate tail section for this kit. Two reasons for this is to
provide the correct size stab and tail rotor for the Sea King being modeled.
The other, though not specifically shown in the instructions, is to allow
the tail section to be folded. However, you'll have to deal with aftermarket
or scratchbuilding to duplicate the inner framework to do this feature.
rotorhead is very nicely represented and you are provided optional bits so
that you can model the rotor blades folded. I think this is a great option
as one of the 'problems' with big helo kits is the display space they take
up due to the rotors. There are also a lot of other antennas for the
underside, and this is where most of the photo etch will be used.
Markings are provided for two helos which are pretty much the same except
for serial and unit badges. One is for 78 squadron based in the Falklands in
1990 while the other is with 1564 flight in 1983. Both are aircraft letter S
but have different serials. The decal sheet is very nicely printed and
provides tail rotor markings as well as the black areas around the exhaust
that are typical of Sea Kings.
As is usual with Hasegawa limited edition kits that include resin bits, this
one, at 6,000 yen (about $55.00 at today's exchange rate), is not inexpensive.
However, it can be found for less than retail and if you are a fan of this helo
and work in 1/48, you may wish to search it out as often these limited edition
kits sell out rather quickly.
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Thanks to me for ordering this one direct from Japan.
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