1/48 Bell UH-1D Iroquois Helicopter

One of the more famous aircraft of the Viet Nam war was the Bell UH-1 helicopters. They were used for many different types of missions. These missions included troop transport, medical evacuation, and as gunships to support the ground troops. This model represents the “D” version which has a stretched body to carry more personnel.

I built this in February of 2018. The kit comes with two trees molded in gray and one clear tree. I started with the cockpit. I used the Eduard cockpit detail set (48292). The seats were detailed with the seat belts and the armor side plates. I scratch built the seat springs using .04 wire wrapped around a dental pick.

 

 

Next I looked at the jump seats. The kit jump seats are very narrow and look very thick. Using reference photos I located on the internet, I scaled the photos to match the 1/48 scale of the model then scratch built my own. I made my seat frames from .04 styrene rods. I then took some thin nylon cloth, painted them olive drab and cut out the seat bottoms and seat backs as needed to simulate the canvas of the actual seats.

 

The photo etch dash was then installed and the interior was weathered with dark gray and black pastels. The roof interior lights were painted chrome silver then coated with acrylic gel to simulate the clear cover over the lights.

The cockpit/interior was installed into the fuselage. The fuselage halves did not line up very well. I had to cut the locating pins and shift the left side about 1/16” forward. Once lined up it required very little putty at the seams. The exterior was then painted with Model Master olive drab and flat black for the non-skid on the roof and anti-glare on the nose. The rotors were painted flat black with yellow tips and the main rotor had  the center of each rotor painted white. The kit decals for the 7th Army 1st Calvary were used.

The decals went on easily and worked very well. The kit also included Germany and Australian markings. Aside from the fuselage fit and the jump seats being too small, it was a decent kit and it presents itself very well.

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