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Dave Roof

Kittyhawk 1/48 UH-1N Build Review

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I received the UH-1N from my good friend Stanton Fodness and got started on it this morning. From the review on The Modeling News, I had already noted a number of errors in the instruction sheets, as well as the kit itself. These, along with the failure to include the correct main rotor blades, set the tone on how this build was going to go. My plan from the get go was to use the main rotor blades from the Italeri UH-1N. A proposed fix using the included D/H blade, while making them look the correct shape, made them too wide. Basically the fix introduced a new error.

 

After some careful cutting and test fitting, I was able to assemble the main rotor blade system using a mix of Kittyhawk and Italeri parts. I cut off the blade tip tie downs, attached them to .020 x .020 evergreen strips, then glued them onto the tips of the Italeri blades. If you plan on using the Italeri blades, a small correction to the trim tabs needs to be made. They are rectangular, but need to be cut as shown in the last photo. Just as a general FYI, the Italeri main rotor blades measure out almost perfectly to the real blade.

 

During this process, I made several changes to page 1 (technically page 3) of the instructions, steps 1 through 4.

 

I did not use parts C43, C80 (x2) or C18 (x2) from the kit. Paint will be applied tomorrow and the assemblies set aside.

 

Page 2 (technically page 4) Steps 5 - 7, the tail boom will also be addressed tomorrow.

 

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Ohh this is gonna be good. It'll be nice to see how you finish the main rotor problems.

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I fail to understand why kit makers never get it right. There is more than enough reference material out there.

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Posted (edited)

One of the more annoying aspects of Kittyhawk is their complete and utter failure to provide thorough instruction sheets. It's a consistent issue with their kits and this one is no exception. A perfect example are parts B70 and B71, the chaff/flare bucket fairings. While they are shown on the tail boom drawings in step 5, they aren't identified anywhere, nor does Kittyhawk provide any information on their correct placement. The fact you need to open the flashed over holes to install them is also an item KH failed to mention.

 

Another useful item they forgot to include? The actual chaff/flare buckets! You're on your own fashioning buckets if you want to depict them installed. Furball makes a PE set, just be sure to use the AN/ALE-47 parts with the round holes.

 

The bucket fairings are 'handed' as shown in my drawings added to step 5. If the aircraft you're modeling has the chaff/flare fairings, open the flashed over holes and insert part B71 to the port side and part B70 to the starboard side. Note the angle of the bottom edge of the fairing. I have attached a photo showing how they should look once installed.

 

The formation light strips are also one of those "what were they thinking" details. They are molded onto the vertical tail and main fuselage, but are provided as optional photo-etch pieces for the boom. They are not "optional" on the boom if the other strips are on the air frame. They all should have been molded on or all provided as PE parts. Actually, this would have been the better option. Early UH-1N's, as well as most of the aircraft depicted on the decal sheet didn't have them, so you have the added fun of removing them if necessary. There is no mention of this anywhere in the instruction sheets either. I accidentally placed one PE strip slightly higher than the other (and slightly out of place), but will not worry about it on this build.

 

The assembly of the boom and all of other parts went very smooth. The fit of the boom parts is actually very good and I used no filler other than a little bit of Tamiya liquid surface primer on the bottom. For my build, I chose to cut off the small tab of the stinger (part D10) and will insert it into the fuselage just prior to painting. I will also attach parts B40, B41 and the tail rotor at the end as well. The photo etch parts (PE21 and PE26), while tedious to attach, fit almost perfectly.

 

The interior components all went together with no problems. The fit of the bulkheads in the cabin are near perfect and the details are exceptional. The center console, part B64 is nicely detailed. However, it does have some weird 'swirl' details that shouldn't be there. Not sure if they're intentional or not, but they are there. Will they effect the finished look? Absolutely not, but thought I'd mention them anyway.

 

In my kit, the holes for the cyclic's (parts C41) on the deck (part D17) were flashed over. A quick swipe of the X-acto was enough to open them. In step 9 the collective is two parts (C91 and C14). Why I'm not sure. C91 is really small and getting it to fit onto part C14 was a pain in the rear. 

 

Everything else was installed according the steps 8 through 14 with the following exceptions. I will attach the seats and instrument panel after painting the interior.

 

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Edited by Dave Roof

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Awesome Dave!!!!! Thanks for sharing all the info!!

I didn't want to rob the main blades from my Italeri kit, but now I will convert it to Griffon...just have to get me the Belcher Bits set now 😋

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Two things I noted immediately, the Scissors attached to the stab bar can't physically both be down, it's not possible unless the collective is full pitch up. and even then I doubt it, the stab bar makes the helicopter more stable by acting as a gyroscope.

 

Also the Collective levers are for the UH-1D/H, with single twist grip and small control head, it needs the bigger square chunk at the end. and like you previously noted, the rotor blades....

 

The T400 engines look nice though.... doh!

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17 hours ago, midnightprowler said:

I fail to understand why kit makers never get it right. There is more than enough reference material out there.

 

Don't generalize.   Some kit makers do get it right (try building one of Tamiya's 32nd scale kits for example).  On the other hand, KH has a history of issues with their kits.  Pretty much comes down to sloppy execution and not sweating the details.  Reading this thread just reinforces my opinion on these guys.   

 

Dave -  with regard to the formation slime lights, I'd argue that neither PE, nor molding on is the way to go (can't understand why KH opted to go both routes, typical...).  I'd prefer just applying decals for these lights.   The other two options seem too thick, especially in 48th scale.    Appreciate you taking the time to detail all these issues, your build is coming along great!

 

 

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46 minutes ago, 11bee said:

 

Don't generalize.   Some kit makers do get it right (try building one of Tamiya's 32nd scale kits for example).  On the other hand, KH has a history of issues with their kits.  Pretty much comes down to sloppy execution and not sweating the details.  Reading this thread just reinforces my opinion on these guys.   

 

Dave -  with regard to the formation slime lights, I'd argue that neither PE, nor molding on is the way to go (can't understand why KH opted to go both routes, typical...).  I'd prefer just applying decals for these lights.   The other two options seem too thick, especially in 48th scale.    Appreciate you taking the time to detail all these issues, your build is coming along great!

 

 

I'm talking Huey kits here. There is not a accurate one out there, including any of Kitty Hawk's.

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49 minutes ago, midnightprowler said:

I'm talking Huey kits here. There is not a accurate one out there, including any of Kitty Hawk's.

YES YES YES.

 

It isn't a terribly difficult machine to get right, and KH seem to have the idea, but they are making the kits too technical, and then screw the pooch in some issues. 

 

In this case, the swash plate, the rear nub is for the horizontal stab and is connected via a lever and springs, collective actuator under swash plate is behind to the left when seen from above. The swash plate to control tubes are on the opposite side to what the assembly is, the scissors, a great issue, but they are usually flush, or one up, one down, never both down, it is physically impossible.

the blades... come on, huge difference. The cockpit, ok they got the main panel ok, the overhead I'm not too sure on, I didn't see a good enough rendition to critique it. The collective levers are both for the single engine machine. The rear bench, has the wrong number of supports in the wrong spots.

 

It's frustrating when things like these show up. They had some expertise, and could have asked others, but they chose the cheap option because "It's just an upgraded Huey"...

 

Disappointing to say the least.

 

Now, an apology to Dave, obviously this is a KH problem, and nothing to do with your build as it is as per usual very good!

 

Cheers

Harald

Previous Bell 212 Pilot.

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Looks awesome Dave.

Do the chaff/flare buckets comes with the kit? 

Ive noticed also that the kit comes with some raised detail on the fuselage to install the NV formation lights, some missile sensors and other modern bits, i understand the kit comes with different eras for the November, the old ones didnt have all this modern bits so we will have to remove all this and lose the surface detail thats ridiculous for me.

 

Rod.

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3 hours ago, Clinstone said:

The copilot collective lever still works for an Air Force UH-1N.

 

Missing one throttle, other than that, yup, civvy too.

The Pilots collective is missing the cable route too.

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Moving to the interior of the November, I found one odd part of the seats. Part B23 has a center piece that is supposed to attach to the seat. However, no matter which way I placed it, the support braces would be in the wrong position. After a couple of unsuccessful tries, I decided to cut it off and just place the lower brace in place as shown.

 

After assembling the seats, I turned to the engines. Everything here went together with no problems. Just take care when installing the completed assembly to the fuselage. The tolerances are very tight and the slightest misalignment will cause slight fit problem later.......ask me how I know!

 

Just a note, unless you plan on depicting the aircraft in a maintenance scene, parts B3, B46, B47 and B48 (circled in red) can't be seen once everything is closed up.

Also, the two parts in step 20 are reversed. B14 should be B15 and vice versa.

 

In step 26, the parts labeled B10 are incorrect. These should actually be parts D3 and D4 as noted in the corrected instruction sheet attached. Parts B10 are the SU-130/AVR-2 Laser Detecting Units that attach to parts D25 later in step 47.

Due to the use of a slide mold, there were a couple of mold seam lines on the bottom portion of the fuselage halves. The starboard side of my kit was barely visible, but the port side stuck out like a sore thumb! Careful sanding took care of it. Another issue were the formation light strips. They have a noticeable curve to them, but they should be straight. These were removed with a file and sanding sticks. The base of the light strips is 39 x 4 inches. Using .010 x .080 strip, I cut four pieces to the correct length (.080 scales out to 4.25 inches in 1/48 scale) and applied them in the correct position. At this point, I removed the PE strips and replaced them with plastic bases as well. I'll use decals to replicate the actual formation lights.

Other than these changes, everything in steps 14 through 28 was followed as shown. I did however jump a head a bit and added parts from other steps. The interior was painted at this point using Tamiya XF-69 Nato Black. A dry brush of Model Master FS36375 was applied to bring out the details, then various applications of Tamiya panel line wash (Light Gray and Brown) and Tamiya Weathering set A were used. A handful of knobs and switches were painted red and yellow using Vallejo paints. Finally, the dials in the instrument panel were given a coat of Tamiya Gloss (X-22).

 

The fit of the fuselage halves was almost perfect. A couple of minor adjustments needed to be made to get a tighter fit, but in the end, very little filler was needed on the bottom seam. Oh, the photo with the tail boom installed? That is without glue!

 

More tomorrow night!

 

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Great paintwork on the interior, I like the way you toned down the black.   Very realistic.  

 

 I’m not an expert on Marine November’s, are the pilot’s seats not armored like the Army variants?  

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Haven't had the time to finish the write up, but here is the kit as of this weekend. 

 

Accuracy could have been better

Instructions are horrible

Details and fit are excellent!

 

Just need to find decals and touch up the paint on the ALQ-144.

 

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On 6/9/2019 at 4:35 PM, Dave Roof said:

 

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Did the roof top interior come with the kit parts or those are photo etch?

let_models,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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