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Hajo L.

HH-53C in 1/72, Airfix-kit

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While I was on vacation in sweden I took the Airfix-kit of the HH-53 with me. I think most of you know this quite old kit from 1981, so I don´t have to tell you that in my eyes it´s still the best available in 1/72-scale. I have chosen to build it as an "early" HH-53C in grey markings, a pre-SEA-version.

I started with only little additonal detailing in the cabin. I just added some kleenex-paper to give the halves some structured look and also improved the ceiling a little bit:

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Even though more than 25 years old, the kit went together like a charm. Only problem so far had been the decals for the panel, they were quite resistant to Mr. Mark Softer. Looks like I will have to use the decals of the Italeri HH-53, which are nearly exactly the same, concerning serial-numbers and markings.

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The typical big orange wrapped up life-raft completed the interiour detail:

IMG_2129.jpg

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Here´s the crew, the two airfix-pilots (well, they look like being part of a nearly 30 year old kit :) ) and two additional crew-members, coming from Italeris ground crew set, and two GIs, who will act as some sort of PJs. Also a yellow life raft.

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Crew, raft and PJs placed in the helo:

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Both fuselage halves glued together, and the engines already mounted.

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The backseaters at work:

IMG_2134.jpg

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The winch-operator is peeking outside:

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I also added some hydraulics to the open ramp:

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Unfortunately there are quite a lot of sink-marks in the model, I took care of them using Revells Plasto.

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Await some progress in the next days!

HAJO

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The kit comes with decals for a SEA-version of the aircraft that took part in the Son Tay-mission. I will use the decals (which are nearly the same) from the Italeri SEA-version and have a deep look in my spare-box to get some decals for the grey version.

HAJO

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Wasn´t able to do much over the weekend, but I did some search concerning the Tail-No. It revealed that Airfix (and then, later, Italeri) made a mistake when they labelled their HH-53 as one of the Son Tay aircraft. According to thepavecave.com the aircraft with the serial-no. 785 (coming with the kit) has an impressive history as well:

Oct 1980 – 3 week TDY operating from the Royal Aircraft Establishment airfield at West Freugh, SW Scotland. Task was to sling load RF-4C wreckage from Cairnsmore of Fleet and F-111E wreckage from Craignaw. Artifacts and photographs from the task are displayed at the Dumfries and Galloway Aviation Museum, Dumfries, South West Scotland. Pilot was Capt Frank A Gray. (68-8284 also rotated through this task).

- Possibly the first operational mission of PAVE LOW (1979, 1980, or 1981?)

-- Steve Connally (AC or CP?), Barry Walls (deceased) (AC or CP?), John Adrian (FE), Mike Brown (PJ) and Pat Sinon (PJ)

-- A priest en-route to ABQ crashed his light plane on the mesa on a snowy zero-zero night (fractured ankle).

- Operation EAGLE PULL:

-- U.S. Embassy in Phnom Phen - Carried out the very last load of Marine Guard (Chalk 2 of two ARRS HH-53 Super Jolly Green Giants) and thus the absolute last to leave the Embassy and Cambodia

-- The RVN was attacking outside the embassy and as the helo lifted away, had zeroed mortars virtually onto the spots just departed from (Thanks to Mike Brown, PJ)

- May 75 - Assault on Koh Tang Island (Jolly Green 42)

-- Bob Dube (Co-Pilot)

HAJO

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OK, nearly all parts are glued on! I realized that the panel can be clearly seen through the front screen so I decided to add some wirings. I used a piece of paper, a needle and a thread: Just pinched the needle several times through the paper, cutting off the thread at appropiate length after each "leg" and finally glued the paper with all the "wiring" on the backside of the panel.

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The next step will be the mounting of the front screen and then painting the whole bird.

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HAJO

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Ah, the last "proper" Airfix kit - lovely!

I remember building the USAF version as well, when the kit came out. It makes an impressive, large model. There was also a German boxing.

John

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Looking very good! I just started a Revell CH-53G boxing of the Italeri kit...

Cheers,

Andre

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Keep coming along very nice!

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What version are you going to build?

From the Revell kit..? That one will end up in the kit decals (which look pretty good) for an allover RAL 6014 Heeresflieger bird with dayglo sponsons and rotorhead.

My LHS has these kits on sale, and I'm contemplating getting two more - one for another CH-53G in the later RAL 6003 / RAL 7021 / FS 34079 scheme, and perhaps one for a Vietnam-era CH-53D (which I think is identical to the 'G) with folded tail and rotors.

Temptation... temptation...

Cheers,

Andre

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First coat of the final colour! For some reason the paint went on reeeaally bad, which is quite unusual for Revells grey 374. Maybe the model itself was a bit greasy...

Anyway, here is what it looks like at the moment, I defintely need to apply another coat:

IMG_2181.jpg

HAJO

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Lookin good. Could be the color of the plastic, could also be you might have thinned the paint a little too much. But looking like a really good start. Isnt it such a wonderful feeling when you get to the point of putting on that final color?

Edited by Adam Baker

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Yeah, a really good feeling. Especially since I applied the second coat yesterday and it worked like a charm! Maybe I find time today to start the white coat that will be the base for the yellow tail-band.

I will post pictures later on.

HAJO

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OK, here is a picture of the current status. Unfortunately I just checked the pictures of the original and had to discover that my yellow tail-band is a bit too far to the aft... :thumbsup: Need to correct that today.

IMG_2185.jpg

HAJO

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That's more like it!

Great progress.

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OK, I corrected the yellow tail-band and also already applied the majority of the decals. So far I´m not sure if I keep the black stripes on the yellow band like they are now or broaden them up by applying a second stripe on each side.

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As you can see, some areas, especially all the black exhaust-spots and so need a final touch-up with the original grey again.

HAJO

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