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1/35 Academy Kiowa Warrior

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Hi gang,

This build will involve something I don't usually do. I don't usually build any scale besides 1/48, and I've mostly build fixed wing aircraft. I say usually and mostly because I've previously built only one other in kit in a scale other than 1/48 (the Revell 1/32 Corsair for the Pacific Theater GB), and only one other helo in my day (and a WIF at that). I'm heading into uncharted waters here...

So, while another project sits idle while I await some parts, I went ahead and got started on this one.


I haven't done much. Very little, actually. I've started by gluing on the cabin's back doors and the engine compartment covers. (Fit was great!) My plan is to build this one pretty much buttoned up, except without the front doors.


I've also got around to gluing some of the cockpit components together. I haven't assembled some of the subassemblies because I want to paint them separately before sticking 'em together. My goal's to use a few different shades of dark grey and black to give some subtle color variations to the cabin.


Anyway, this is as far as I've gotten. Feel free to share your comments and criticisms. I'll post more pix as the build progresses.

Thanks for lookin'!


Edited by oortiz10
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you should look into zactoman stuff Here pretty cheap for zacto quality

Hey Neo, I've heard nothing but great things about Zacto's awesome stuff. Problem is, I'm working on a limited modeling budget, so I can't afford to add a bunch of aftermarket bells and whistles.

Good luck with your build. I'll be following with interest.

Aw man! Alexander, you're gonna be watching this build? Talk about pressure! I've followed your Kiowa Warrior with my mouth hanging open. There's no way I can even come close to your Warrior. I think I'll go the safe route and build this one straight out of the box. Still, if you (or anyone, for that matter) have any suggestions, comments, or criticism, I'd love to hear 'em.

Thanks for looking everyone!



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There's nothing wrong with building OOB - after all, the kits were supposed to be designed for building without AM parts! I also like the way you're going to button everything up. A lot of detail inside is not always appreciated or even noticeable, and closing stuff up simplifies things and lets you put the time in to making the overall airframe look good.

Welcome to the GB.


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There's nothing wrong with building OOB - after all, the kits were supposed to be designed for building without AM parts! I also like the way you're going to button everything up. A lot of detail inside is not always appreciated or even noticeable, and closing stuff up simplifies things and lets you put the time in to making the overall airframe look good.

Welcome to the GB.


Well said, ALF18.

The point is how skillful you are with the use of airbrush or paintbrush. You may bring tons of aftermarket stuff to your build and lots of scratchbuilding but... If you will have screwed the pooch on the paintwork, it would mean you just wasted your time.IMHO.

Hey oortiz 10,

Thank you much for my Kiowa build appreciation so high. Unfortunately I'm absolutely lacking of time to get back to my bench... Some day...

Cheers and... happy brushing! :)/>


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OK, so I had an opportunity to get some work done on my Kiowa Warrior. I decided to build by kit buttoned up, but without the front doors. I've seen a lot of photos on the web showing KWs flying around in this configuration. I mocked up the cabin and found that most of the electronic equipment in the rear of the cabin won't be visible once the fuse halves are closed up. So, instead of spending alot of time in this area, I simply used various shades of blacks and greys, drybrushed with differenct shades of the latter, to give some variation in color.


The seats aren't attached yet. I left 'em off because, well, for a couple of reasons. One of 'em being that I'm still gonna gloss coat and wash the cabin. Another is I'm gonna figure out a way to add some texture to the cushions. And last, I wanted to add some seat belts to 'em. While the rear of the cabin won't be visible, I decided to add some detail to the front seats, since they'll be totally visible with no doors to hide them.

I started with a few shoulder belts that I made out of foil.


I was fairly pleased with the way they turned out, but I decided to add what I'm gonna call a "harness guide" to the top of the bulkhead. I basically bent up some wire and glued it to the backside of the partition.


Once that was done I moved on to lap belts. I started by punching out two styrene disks. Then I found a piece of PE fret in my junk drawer. I decided to use a piece of the fret gate to make a handle.


Then I glued the disks to each other, topped 'em with the PE, and stuck 'em onto a piece a foil.


I finished up by making up the last two pieces of the lap belts for each seat.

Here's what the mock-up looks like:


100% accurate? Nope. Better than nothin'? I'd say so. Once everything's glued down, painted up, and weathered, I think it'll look the part. Especially through the open cabin doors.

Anyway, thanks for lookin'. Feel free to share your comments or criticisms. Stay tuned for more!



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Alright everyone, I have an update. Not much, but something.

I spent a little more time working on the KW's front office. After a few mock-ups, I came to realize that a whole lotta stuff is gonna be visible if I leave the doors off. Especially in this scale. So, I decided to add a few details to the front seats.

I continued work on the seat belts, but also decided to add some detail to the area between the seats. This area is very visible on the real aircraft, so I figured I could add a little visual interest to my build. I started by using some wire and rod stock to make the map light. (I'll add the coiled wire right before I close up the fuse halves.) I punched a small disk of plastic to serve as the light's base, then used some punched foil to go down between the seats to give the area some texture.


I also decided to remake the map box that goes between the seats. I'm gonna see if I can find some scale maps to put in it. I may end up using paper or tissue to make this box, but I'll show you the first attempt using foil.


Before I finished up the seat belts, I used a bit of painted up Band-Aid to give the seats some texture. Once that was done, I glued the seat belts and cushions onto their bases, then folded up and glued down the belts. Once that was completed, I painted 'em up.

Here's where I'm at.



I know it's not totally accurate, but I'm going for representation, not replication. I still need to add the extinguisher to the column, and I'm thinking of adding a first-aid bag, too.

Anyway, that's all for now. Thanks for lookin'. I'll post more progress as it comes.



(Sorry about that last pic. Stupid Photobucket! :angry: )

Edited by oortiz10
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  • 1 month later...

OK, it's been more than a month since the last time I updated this thread. I've been busy on other projects, and unfortunately, this one took a back seat. Although I am happy to report that I've made some progress on this kit and I have an update for the GB.

After finishing up the cabin, I was able to close up the fuselage halves. I made a few changes to the basic kit. I added a map light and its wire, some comm boxes and their cables for the pilots, a first aid kit made out of Milliput, a map box made out of foil, and I added a Verlinden manual to it.




I finished up the IP and added some wiring to the back of the instrument shroud. The latter will be visible through the canopy, so I figured it needed a little detail. It just needs a little paint and it'll be ready to be stuck in place.




I haven't glued the nose together yet because I'm waiting to see how all the transparencies line up. I figured it'd be easier to line up the transparencies with the fuse halves and fill a gap in the nose than to try to fill any gaps around the doors and windows.

My other project is nearing completion so I'll be able to direct a little more attention to this build. Now that the interior's done I expect the rest of the build to go rather quickly.

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look. Feel free to drop your two cents in the bucket on your way out. I'd love to hear what you have to say.



Edited by oortiz10
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I'm really liking this. I have this kit, and one of these days real soon I hope to get started on it-my first helo kit. I'll be using this as a step-by-step. Your philosophy mirrors mine, and I really like your results!


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Hi again everyone,

I'm back with a small update. First, thanks for all the pats on the back. Much appreciated.

JP, if you're looking to follow a step by step on how the KW should be done, you need to check out Eastern's build. It's amazing! In case you haven't seen it, here's the link: Eastern's KW. I'm sure he has a lot more "how tos" than I do. However, I can offer you two small pieces of advice. Each is addressed in my post below.

As you may recall, I joined the fuse halves but left the nose section unglued. The reason was I figured it'd be easier to get the edges of the windscreen in place then deal with a nose seam, than get the nose lined up and wrestle with seams along the edges of the transparencies. Let me tell you, this was the way to go. (That's tip #1.)

While everything was still loose, I did quite a bit of dry fitting and learned that the instrument panel shroud's too wide for the windscreen. What I had to do was sand off some of the plastic from the edges of the shroud. (Tip #2.) The starboard side needed more attention than the port side.

You can see that here:



After a little paint, you can't even tell under the windscreen.

In the next two pix you can see now nicely the transparencies and fuselage fit together. In the second you can see the minor gap on the nose. It looks like it's not filled, but it's filled with CA glue.



I'm not saying that my method will work with every KW boxing, but with mine, that was all the clean up I had to do with the transparencies.

Finally, I added a couple little details to the airframe. I added a wire to the "disco ball" assembly...


...and what I think is an oil filler and some wires to the tail...


Here's where the build stands as of now.


Just a few more odds and ends and it'll be ready for paint.

Thanks for lookin', and feel free to share your thoughts.



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  • 4 weeks later...

Hey there ARC,

I'm back with a small update. First, a rant. I've read over and over that the MM US Army Helo Green Acrylic is the more accurate between the acrylic and the enamel, but I would have rather have used the enamel and dealt with the color difference. I started painting my KW with the acrylic, but I hated the way it sprayed. I tried different paint/thinner ratios, different pressures, different thinners, but it just didn't spray well. I carefully pre-shaded the fuselage before spraying paint, but it was all for naught. The problems I ran in to with the paint ended with me all but drowning the plastic in paint. Oh well, I guess I'll have to focus on post-shading...

Anyway, I last left you with a fuselage that was just about ready for the paint booth. I added the fiddly bits, the struts and skids, and assembled the rotor mast E.T. head. I was a little disappointed with the way the skids went together. The instructions are a little vague, and it turns out I installed the rear strut assembly backwards. Further, the strut attachment points to the fuse and their attachment points to the skids, are a bit dicey. I made do and did my best.

I am happy with the way the rotor sensor assembly came out. While celebrating Easter with the family, I had an epiphany. The kids had some Easter Eggs with some confetti in them...


It turns out they were the perfect size to fit in the sensor openings...


I glued them into place before I attached the "lenses" and closed up the sensor...


Once that was done I turned my attention to the gaps surrounding the lenses. I filled 'em with CA glue, sanded, smoothed, and polished 'em up. Then I masked 'em before I sprayed some paint.

Here are some pix of where I'm at. As you can see, I've started decaling, and lurking in the background is the painted fuse with decals drying in place...




When the decals are dry, I'll seal them with another coat of gloss before starting the weathering. Seeing as how a lot of KWs show some serious wear-and-tear, the weathering stage is going to make or break this build.

Anyway, thanks for looking. Feel free to share your comments. Stay tuned for more progress.



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Hopefully the kids parted with their egg glitter willingly - otherwise, it could have been ugly! :rolleyes:

I remember many years ago having my mother melt down wax crayon stubs and dripping them over an empty wine bottle with a candle in its spout for decorative effect - I was 7, and my siblings and I caused a major crisis until she gave us a new pack of Crayolas...

Just kidding! I'm sure they had moved on to chocolate munching, and didn't much care about the confetti at that point. Brilliant idea to make the sensors come alive.

I'm looking forward to seeing how the weathering gets done.


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Hopefully the kids parted with their egg glitter willingly - otherwise, it could have been ugly...I'm sure they had moved on to chocolate munching...

ALF, by the time I thought to grab some confetti, the kids had already moved on to the chocolate. What do you think distracted them long enough for me to get in there?

Anyay, I thought I'd post some pix of my progress and get some feedback from y'all.

This is my first Kiowa Warrior and my first attempt at recreating the weather beaten look of exposed US Army Helo Drab. I've seen quite a few pix of KWs that show some serious weathering, staining, and discoloration. I'm not trying to replicate any one specific method of weathering, but instead am trying to show different forms of wear-and-tear.

Please take a look at my pix and tell me what you think. Am I on the right track? Any comments, criticisms, suggestions; tips? Keep in mind that the airframe hasn't been "dulled" yet. It's still wearing it's gloss coat.








Also, here's a pic of E.T.'s head all ready for install:


I'm likin' the way it turned out.

Anyway, feel free to speak your mind. I'm posting here to get some feedback. I'll be posting more progress as it happens, but I'm hoping to get some direction from you guys.



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It's a good start, and ET's head looks very close to the images I just Googled.

Your weathering might be a bit subtle, but it's hard to tell with photos sometime. I've found a couple shots on the web that show more very light-coloured splotches, around the engine/transmission housing, and around the lower sides and nose just forward of the canopy. Some examples:




Just an opinion!


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It's a good start, and ET's head looks very close to the images I just Googled. Your weathering might be a bit subtle, but it's hard to tell with photos sometime....

Just an opinion!


ALF, thanks for sharing your opinion (and the pix). You think the weathering looked a little subtle, so did a couple of other opinions from the Helicopter Forum. One was Floyd Werner, the resident ARC KW pilot. So, I took the suggestions and went heavier with the weathering. (It probably still looks lighter than it really is because of the lighting.) For the process I'm using pastels instead of my airbrush, since they seem to give me a little more control.

Well, here are a couple of shots of the updated weathering. At the time of the pix, I had only completed the port side.




Again, your feedback's welcome.



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The airframe's pretty much done, so I decided to move my attention to the rotor assembly. As I looked at photo after photo of KWs, one of the obvious details that was missed in the Academy kit is the rotor blade droop. I did a little research on the interweb about how I could add some droop to the blades, and tried a few different techniques. Unfortunately, none worked. So I tried submerging them in very hot water to soften them up for a mild bending. Well, it didn't work either. Not in the way the previous methods didn't work, i.e. by doing nothing, instead it melted and deformed one of the blades.


I have an email into Academy's US distributor, MRC, to see if there's a way I can get replacements. For now, this build is indefinitely on the shelf.


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