Italeri 1/48 OH-58D Kiowa
KIT #: 2704
PRICE: $2.00 (raffle win)
DECALS: Three options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 2011 release


WhilThe OH-58 was primarily produced for the United States Army, only two months after the type's entry to service, it was first deployed into the Vietnam War. The US Army would make extensive use of various OH-58 models across numerous warzones over the decades, seeing active combat during the Gulf War, the Invasion of Panama, and the War in Afghanistan amongst others. During 2017, the US Army opted to withdraw its remaining OH-58s and replace them with newer rotorcraft, such as the Boeing AH-64 Apache and Eurocopter UH-72 Lakota, as well as increasing use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Furthermore, the OH-58 has been exported to Austria, Canada, Croatia, the Dominican Republic, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, and Greece. It has also been produced under license in Australia.


This kit has a 2011 release date so is not a rehash of an older kit, but a quite modern tooling. The well appointed cockpit has all three controls and builds into a nice cockpit tub. The cockpit roof piece also contains some of the main rotor drive detailing. This assembly is trapped in the two fuselage halves. THere really isn't much room for weight, though you could slide some sheet lead under the cockpit prior to gluing the nose assembly in place.

The cockpit doors are marked as 'alternative' so apparently this would often fly with them removed. If using them, the door windows are applied from the inside prior to door installation. With those and all the clear bits in place, the landing skids, lower cable cutter and search light (which can be posed extended or retracted are installed.

Next few assemblies concern the addition of upper fuselage items along with the two seven shot rocket pods and the horizontal stabilizers. It isn't until the final assemblies that the tail rotor, disco lights IR jammers, main rotor assembly and the mast assembly are constructed and attached. The rotor blades are molded with some droop so that is a nice touch.

Instructions are quite well done and provide Model Master and Italeri paint references. Three options are provided all in an overall flat OD. One is the box art plane from an unknown unit in Iraq. Second is an SFOR aircraft in Bosnia during 1999, while the third options has large orange panels used on training aircraft at Fort Rucker Alabama n 2010. Decals are nicely done and should cause no issues.


Many years ago I built a Fujimi 1/48 OH-58A. It is not a large helicopter and so won't take up a lot of shelf space. This one is nicely tooled and doesn't have a ton of parts, so should be a pleasant build.

October 222

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