Airfix 1/48 HAS.1/HAS.5/HU.5 Sea King

KIT #: A11006
PRICE: $91.00 delivered
DECALS: Four Options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 2023 tooling

The Sea King has proved to be popular on the export market with foreign military customers, and has also been sold to civil operators as well. As of 2015, many examples of the type remain in service in nations around the world. The Sea King has been built under license by Agusta in Italy, Mitsubishi in Japan, and by Westland in the United Kingdom as the Westland Sea King. British Sea Kings were operated by both the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force. They have only recently been retired.

Prior to this release, the best Sea King in 1/48 was the Hasegawa kit. The Hasegawa kit is still an excellent kit and is, so far, the modeler's choice for non-British Sea Kings, including the later SH-3H, which Airfix does not yet kit. It is not surprising that Airfix would focus on the home market first and so that is what they have done.

This kit builds basically the same helicopter in various periods of its existence. It was initially built as a HAS.1, then modified to HAS.5 standards. The ASW suite was removed and it became a HU.5 rescue/utility aircraft. Finally, there is the HU.5 in civil operations (I guess that is what Heli-Operations is).

Since you have so many options, there are a number of physical differences between the variants so this is dealt with in the instructions. It means you need to choose which variant you are doing from the very first of the 186 construction steps. This is because you need to get the right cockpit, cabin, and external pieces correct. Now, it does look like you may be able to do a US SH-3A/D from what is included in the box, but it means the research onus is on the builder in this case and you'll need aftermarket decals. Not surprising is the the first several preliminary steps will have you opening holes or filling holes or sanding away details, but if you want accuracy, that is what you need to do.

The cockpit is very nicely detailed with optional instrument panels, both of which have decals if you so wish. In the cabin you can build up the ASW equipment or install the mesh seats for the utility version. All this is encased in an interior 'shell' which is then plunked into the fuselage. From there, you have a number if items to fit atop the fuselage as well as the installation of the fuselage bottom. Different radar pods are provided for the upper fuselage and you have different nose sections depending on version.

Landing gear sponsons are quite complex and offer the option of building this with gear up if you so wish. Since the tail section is separate, you are offered the opportunity to model it folded should you desire. Also able to modeled folded are the rotor blades, a real benefit if shelf space is at a premium. The area in front of the engine intakes can have a spray guard or an air filter box, again, depending on your choice of option. The last bits are the myriad antennas, again depending on what holes you opened up for your version of choice at the beginning.

Instruction booklet is well done with Humbrol paint numbers for the most part. As mentioned at the start, you have four markings options for this one and you get a very large decal sheet to cover them.  


This is an impressive kit. There are enough bits here to keep most of us busy for several months and I'm almost tempted to get started on it right off, but I have to clear a few other things away before I can contemplate doing that. If you can get past the premium price tag, it should make into a super model.


April 2024

Copyright All rights reserved. No reproduction in part or in whole without express permission from the editor.

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

Back to the Main Page

Back to the Review Index Page

Back to the Previews Index Page