Fujimi 1/48 Westland Wasp AS.1




$1 when it was new about 30 years back!


One aircraft


Scott Van Aken


AHM boxing


The Wasp was based on the Army Scout helicopter and originally named Sea Scout. Many trials were carried out with prototype aircraft to asses the viability of operating small helicopters in an anti-submarine roll off frigates. When these trials were shown to be a success, greatly increasing a ship's ASW capability, the RN ordered the Wasp HAS1.

The first production HAS1 was delivered in 1963. The type served on RN frigates until the late 1970's when it was replaced by the Lynx, but it had a reprieve in 1982 when several old frigates, incapable of operating the Lynx, were recommissioned due to the Falklands war. It was finally withdrawn from service when the last of the older frigates decommissioned in 1988.

98 Wasp HAS1 were built for the RN.




Molded in a very dark blue plastic, this kit is undoubtedly from the early 1970s or perhaps late 1960s, when Fujimi kits were imported by AHM as the instructions are in English. Just to let you know how old it is, the MSRP of it on the box is $1. The level of molding is excellent with finely raised detail and rivets. The plastic is a bit thick as was the norm for Japanese kits of that era. The rivets are also very much in scale as helos don't usually do the flush rivet thing. No need for something that travels at such slow speeds. While there is some flash on parts, they are devoid of sink areas and ejector pin marks in the wrong place. A rather complete cockpit is provided with seats, instrument panels and a single cyclic control. No collective is provided, but there is a nice jump seat in the back. If you are wondering why the bulges on the side of the back doors, that is so a stretcher can be carried.

The clear plastic bits are rather thick, and somewhat distorted. There is a relatively well done engine and the rotor head is convincing. Unfortunately, part of mine has some broken parts that will need repaired before construction. The blade attachment points are usually fragile on helo kits and this one is no exception. A well done undercarriage is provided as are a pair of torpedoes, the usual armament of an ASW helo. Fortunately, the attachment points for these torpedoes are benign so you can leave them off with no filler necessary. Two crew members are also provided if you want your Wasp occupied.

Instructions are typical of the older style with several exploded drawings and a step by step written construction sequence. Only one set of decals is provided and that for a very generic Wasp. Due to the age of the kit and the conditions under which it was stored, the decals on this kit do not appear to be viable any longer. However, thanks to the generic markings, replacing them from letter/number decal sheets shouldn't be a problem. Same with the roundels and Royal Navy markings. There is no specific decal placement guide, that information being provided in the construction drawings.



Overall, it looks like a nice kit that should build up into a fair model of the type. To my knowledge, the only other Wasp kit is the equally as ancient Airfix kit, though undoubtedly a Helo fan out there will let me know the error of my ways if I'm mistaken!

Review kit courtesy of me.

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