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Italeri 1/48 AH-1W Cobra


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Hey-

With the re-release of the Italeri 1/48 AH-1W Cobra and the availabilty of some aftermarket parts to modernize it a little, I decided it's finally time to build a Whiskey Cobra. I'd like to try to make it as modern as I can, so I picked up an Olimp AH-1W Super Cobra NTS set for the turned exhaust and new nose (among other parts). I also have a Cobra Company cockpit set. The rest I guess I'll have to figure out as I go.

In searching these forums, these seems to be plenty of 1/35 scale Cobras, but not so many in 1/48, so I thought I'd post a few pics as I build this. I'd rather put this here in Helos rather than in the In-Progress forums, since most of the smart rotorheads seem to be here. I hope nobody minds.

Speaking of smart rotorheads, has anyone done this? Used the Olimp set? If so, any advice would be appreciated. Also, if anyone knows of any issues with the basic kit, I'd be interested in that also. I already know about the backwards rotors, and I'll probably replace the faired skid tubes. What else?

Here's a pic to get started. I thought I would start with the nose, since that looks like the tricky part.

DSC07218.jpg

Thanks for looking,

Phil

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I have that build in mind myself. I don't have the Olimp set, but it might be worth it for the turned exhaust.

I am not sure about NTS nose that they give you. The nose and canopy change quite a bit for the NTS conversion, and the fact that they don't give you a new canopy is annoying, it makes me wonder how accurate the nose is. Dig around and check out the nose profile and compare it to the resin. It's similar to the issue that Academy had when they converted their AH-1W to a NTS kit.

I have a Monogram AH-1 that has volunteered it's nose for my conversion. I am planning to rebuild the canopy and vac form a new one.

If you use the kit canopy, be aware that it is set up incorrectly, and has the reinforced frame for the canopy opening on the same sides even though they have them open on opposite sides. I forget which one is wrong, maybe the guy in front's but on the side that open the canopy framing should be heavy at the bottom and it is not. I'll dig up pics later, I know this may not make a lot of sense. Dan, Marine4ever, also has mentioned that he doesn't like the profile of the canopy, but I haven't looked that closely to it.

mason

Edited by doupnik
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I'll be interested to follow this build as I have a 1/48 Whiskey in the stash. One thing I know is wrong with the Italeri 1/48 AH-1W is the main rotor blade. It turns backwards if built OOB. Basically you need to flip the main rotor if you want it to be correct. Good luck!

Ray

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If you really want it up to date, you'll also need to scratch up the dual flare/chaff buckets for each side.

mason

Both 1/72 and 1/48 sets include the dual buckets. Beside the canopy, the biggest issue with Olimp set is lack of cockpit help. Cobra Company has you covered for early NTS, I say that as a few months back looking at a photo shot of a pit I think by Ray and resin parts there was a difference. Unfortunately I don't think there is any for 1/72.

At a place that can't be names SuperCobra has detailed out the 1/35 kit and has many 1:1 photos in the Helicopter Tweak Lists.

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Hey-

Thanks for the replies. I'll take a look at the copy framing, and see what I think. As for the canopy profile, it will have to do as is, I'm not too skilled at vacuforming. The cockpit I'm not too worried about, I have lots of reference photos. And right, the Olimp set does come with the dual countermeasures pods and some other ASE gear.

Thanks again,

Phil

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Hey-

After seemingly endless cutting and fitting, trimmimg and fitting and then sanding and more fitting, I have the new nose and the turned exhaust roughed in. The new nose fits pretty well. I cut back the canopy to fit the new nose. I'll have to replace the lost framing at the front of the canopy, but that shouldn't be too hard. As for shape, here's what it looks like:

DSC07242.jpg

I haven't done much comparing to photos yet. The The turned exhaust didn't fit quite so well. The cowling shape where it mates to the kit cowlings is slightly too tall requiring some careful trimming around the bottom to match the forward cowling. It's also a little too flat on the sides. But I think it will look pretty good once I finish the final fitting. Here's what it looks like:

DSC07231.jpg

So far so good, and good enough to press on.

Thanks, for looking,

Phil

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Hey-

Been making some progress. With most of the big cutting done, I moved on to work on the fuselage. I filled the stab slots, added some panels to the bottom. The large oil cooler housing is included in the Olimp detail set. For such a delicate resin part, it fits very well. It has a PE mesh for the lower surface. I've been using Archer's rivets for the first time. I think they look great and are easy to install. I used them to correct the panel lines around the nose.

DSC07249.jpg

DSC07252.jpg

Probably start to work on the cockpit next.

Thanks for looking,

Phil

Edited by Par429
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Hey-

Thanks. I decided to work on the inlets and exhausts next. Here are the Olimp inlets compared to the kit inlets. The resin ones are a little wider, and actaully look a little better compared to photos. Wih some careful trimming they fit great.

DSC07257.jpg

Next I added the turned exhasuts. As I noted, they fit OK, but not as good as I would have liked. Some careful trimming and fitting required. I added the PE screens and some rivet detail to both the exhausts and the upper fuselage.

DSC07262.jpg

Here's everything fit together, Overall, I am fairly pleased, it looks like a Cobra to me!

DSC07270.jpg

DSC07272.jpg

It will be a bit of a pain to finish the seam between the upper and lower fuseage parts, but I wanted to be able to get the major mods done without having a finished cockpit in the way. Hopefully it will work out.

Thanks for looking.

Phil

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey-

Short update, before I'm off on a couple week work trip. I started to work on the cockpit. I'm using the Cobra Co. cockpit, which is really excellent. I did add a shim to the back of the pilots panel to keep it from interfering with the gunners seat, I think it looks a little better.

DSC07278.jpg

It needs a little updating to modern configuration, though. I removed the first aid kit from the aft bulkhead and added a shelf with a new box on it behind the pilot's left shoulder (Don't forget to set that one before takeoff!). There's also a panel in front of the gunners seat.

DSC07282.jpg

I removed the molded seat belts from the Cobra seats. I added the seat cushions with fabric tape and added some pe seatbelts from a Eduard Apache detail set.

DSC07289.jpg

I started to paint and detail the cockpit. I added some more wiring, a new collective and a few other details. Here's where it stands now. Still need to finish the gunners seat and instrument panels.

DSC07290.jpg

DSC07292.jpg

Thanks for looking,

Phil

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Looks great! I wonder if the 1/72 set has similar fit issues...

Take care,

Austin

I agree it looks great. I plan to start the build in 1/72 shortly so you will be able to see.

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I like this build and seeing the mechanics has got me thinking. Olimp made the same mistake MRC did, they did not build the nose to fit the canopy they built a nose and tried to make the canopy fit. The Cobra Company 1/35th NTS was built by modifying the canopy as close as the real one and then building up the nose to match. Since I have to do this for a presentation in 1/48th I may make this into a 1/48th Cobra Company set. Just the nose and cockpit, not the exhaust.

Chris M

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Phil, really nice work. Those rivets look great and it looks like they are nearly spot on to the kit rivets! Nice work on the interior as well.

I like this build and seeing the mechanics has got me thinking. Olimp made the same mistake MRC did, they did not build the nose to fit the canopy they built a nose and tried to make the canopy fit. The Cobra Company 1/35th NTS was built by modifying the canopy as close as the real one and then building up the nose to match. Since I have to do this for a presentation in 1/48th I may make this into a 1/48th Cobra Company set. Just the nose and cockpit, not the exhaust.

Chris M

That is great news Chris, I will be looking forward to hearing more. I really want to do a 48th NTS Whiskey.

mason

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Hey-

Thanks. Right, Archer's medium rivets are almost a perfect match for the ones on the kit.

The Olimp nose looks pretty good to me, but it sure would be nice to have a new canopy, as i'm not looking forward to fixing the kit one. I should stop putting it off and just do it. Also would be nice to have a PE HUD for the pilot (for the top part that holds the glass). Not certain what the best approach for that is. Either scratchbuild or steal one from the PE set for another helo, I guess.

Thanks for looking,

Phil

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey-

Small update. Spent this week on the instrument panels. The front panel has changed considerably since the CC set was released. I only added the center MFD, and left the rest as is. Here's what I have:

DSC07298.jpg

Thanks for looking,

Phil

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Hey-

Another quick update. I have the cockpit mostly finished and put it in the fuselage to check the fit. Fits pretty well. Here's some pics.

DSC07303a.jpg

DSC07301a.jpg

DSC07300a.jpg

A few things left to do, like paint the sidewalls,add the side armor panels and I have couple M4s I'm going to put in. And I have to figure out what to do about the HUD glass, whether to try and borrow the frame from the detail set from another kit or just scratchbuild one. Any suggestions? But that stuff will wait until I am ready to add the caonpy so I don't break those things off while doing other stuff.

Thanks, for looking.

Phil

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey-

Thanks. Still working on this. Here's where it stands at the moment. I removed the skid fairings by simply cutting and sanding them to a round profile. Worked better than I thought it would. I enlarged the holes in the fuselage where the skids attach and put a piece of breass tubing across the fuselage to attach the skids to. I wanted the skids to look like they were attached through the skin to internal structure and not attached to the skin.

DSC07307.jpg

I weighted the nose with some lead sinkers, so it sits on the skids. With all the resin parts, it's getting pretty heavy, and I'm a bit concerned about the skids holding up, but so far it seems OK. Then I worked on the canopy. After much deliberation, I decided not to fix the incorrect canopy framing. (It's correct on the left side and incorrect on the right) But I re-worked the lost forward framing where it was lost due to the new nose.

DSC07313.jpg

DSC07317.jpg

Thanks for looking.

Phil

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