ESCI 1/48 AB-206 Jet Ranger
KIT #: 4061
PRICE: $3.00 (started)
DECALS: Five options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken


The Bell 206 is a family of two-bladed, single- and twin-engined helicopters, manufactured by Bell Helicopter at its Mirabel, Quebec, plant. Originally developed as the Bell YOH-4 for the United States Army's Light Observation Helicopter program, it was not selected by the Army. Bell redesigned the airframe and successfully marketed the aircraft commercially as the five-place Bell 206A JetRanger. The new design was eventually selected by the Army as the OH-58 Kiowa. The aircraft was also built under license by Agusta in Italy. Most European 206s were built by Agusta.


Back when I had a local hobby shop, they would sell kits that were missing parts or already started on deep discount. This is one of those. The builder had started on the interior, removed a number of parts from the sprues and had assembled the floats.

The kit comes with a very nice interior that provides foot pedals, cyclic and collective controls. In addition to cockpit seats, there is a cabin bench seat. A center console contains the instrument panel and a roof section accepts the rotor shaft assembly. With that complete, it is trapped between the forward fuselage halves. There isn't much room for nose weight, but there is some under the floor so it should be filled.

The tail boom is a separate assembly that includes the tail rotor and the tailplane pieces. With that in place, all the clear bits and doors can be assembled and installed. The upper small windows should be painted a transparent green. The kit offers three landing skid options. One is the standard skid as shown on the box art. To these one can attach skis or a set that includes a pair of floats

Instructions provide color info in generic and FS595 references. Five options are provided. Two are Italian with one in standard air force camo and the other in police markings. Also included are a Swedish, Australian, and Israeli aircraft. The 40 year old decals may not be useful, but aftermarket is out there if you so wish.


Several kit companies have done the jetranger and though old, this one looks to be very nice. Worth looking for.


July 2022

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