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Kitty Hawk HH-60G build -- Completed

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I have started on a build review of Kitty Hawk's 1/35 HH-60G.  I will build it mostly out of the box with a few extras added here and there to add some details to it.  The kit is pretty complete and full of details as-is, but there is always room for more details and improvements.

Here is the teaser boxart.



The kit comes on seven grey sprues, one clear sprue, a large PE fret, and a large decal sheet with two marking options.  One option as a modern HH-60G in overall AFSOC Gray and the other a slightly older (around 2003-ish) HH-60G in Euro-1 camo.  Overall, it is very detailed and very complete.  


I plan on building mine as an early 2000s HH-60G in Euro-1 camo from the Alaska Air National Guard using Werner's Wings Skis on it.  It will look something like below.


There are only a few shortfalls that I have identified so far.  One is pictured below.  There are three small structural spars on each side of the ceiling in the cabin.  Kitty Hawk missed one side of these.  They are easy to add though using a few strips of 0.040 sheet styrene.


Added on my ceiling.

I have found a few issues with the instructions so far.


In the first step, the seat back for the gunners' seats are misnumbered.  They are listed as E8, but that is the seat back for the troop seats in the rear.  They should be G37, which are the correct gunners' seats with head rests.  


In step two, you are supposed to build an additional seat for the middle between the gunners' seats facing forward.  This seat is very infrequently carried, especially facing forward.  If anything it faces rearward.  If facing forward, there is no way for anyone to get into the seat as it is blocked by the gunners' seats. I decided to leave this off.  



In step 3, I fixed the H-Bar seat support that the gunners' seats attach to.  The kit part is more of a "U" bar and turned 180 degrees from where it should be.  I turned it around and added the forward leg making it an H-bar, which is shaped like a lower case "h".    



Actual H-bar.  You can see the open end facing rearward and the forward, single bar, making a lower case h.  In this case, the extra seat is facing rearward.  


On HH-60Gs with the internal ammo cans, the ammo cans go between the gunners' seats.  The H-bar can be seen here as well.


I have not decided if I will go with the internal or external ammo cans/gunmounts yet.


In steps 4 and 5, you build the gunners' side bulkheads.  There is one small correction here.  On both side bulkheads, there are raised strips that are to mount the hoist control box and a guard for it.  The issue is that only the strarboard side one should have these mounts as these parts are only on the starboard side.  I shaved the port side mounts off with a sharp xacto knife.


I also added the release handle and cable for the sliding armor plates along the pilots' seats.  Lastly, I cut the tabs off the bottoms of the side walls as I have heard the cabin is slightly too wide for the fuselage.  I plan to attach the side walls to the fuselage insides and not the cabin structure to hopefully correct this issue.


So far, I have most of the cabin parts built up, but need to paint them and put them all in place.  I had no real issues with all the parts and they went together well.


Below is my corrected H-bar, the pilots seats with cloth bandaid fabric added to replicate the sheepskin seat covers and the seat belt retractors added to the rear of the seats, sidewalls with handles added, and electronic boxes that will go into the open ceiling  structures and under the pilots' seats.  I cut up the pieces for the front electronics compartment in the nose (B18 and forward part of cockpit floor) since I was not leaving it open.  Most of the above electronic boxes come from it and a few I had left over from resin sets.



A few other small corrections/additions I found when going through the steps to build the cabin and cockpit.  These are pretty self-explanatory.



That is it so far.  More to come later.

Edited by HeavyArty
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I have continued work on the cockpit and cabin.  As I was building it, I was looking at the decals for the instrument panels and the pieces they were supposed to go on.  The pieces have a lot of relief representing the various instruments and knobs, etc.  I almost didn't use the decals for fear of them not snugging down over all the relief and looking horrible.  I am glad that I did.  The decals went on perfectly and snugged down over the relief excellently.  I did use a bit of decal sol and a couple coats of decal set to help them out, but there were no issues.  They turned out looking awesome.



I wish there was a decal for the overhead panel though.  To the ceiling, I added the H-bar rapel/fast rope rig.  I also added a drain tube coming from the transmission drip pan. 



On the gunner's side bulkheads, I added the wiring and a joystick for the hoist controller.  You can also see how the port side bulkhead looks with the mounting bars removed.



The seats went together well and detailed up nicely.  Of note, there are no seat belts for the gunners' seats in the kit.  I had an extra set from an Eduard PE set for the Academy Black Hawks that I used on the pilots' seats.  On the gunners' seats, I used the kit belts and I added the side belt retractors.  Also of note, there are no decals for the seat tilt-back warning decals.  I used a couple left over Academy ones here as well.



The inner door detail is awesome.  The pockets are even open, so I may place a map or log book in them.  There is an issue here with no inner door decals for the pilots' door too.  Again, I had some left over Academy ones that I used.  The kit does provide the inner cabin door decals, but I liked the Academy ones better and used them again.  I also sanded all the rivet details off the rear side walls as they should be cloth covered, not metal.



Here is an exploded view of the interior so far



I still have some work to do on it.  Next up is adding the straps to the aux fuel tanks.  The straps are all photo etched with plastic ratchet mechanisms.  They will look good, but it will be tedious work.  Then I have some smaller details like the fire extinguishers and such to add.


So far it has gone together without any major issues.  More to come as I continue the build.

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Thanks Tim.  The tubing is a wire with a clear (yellowish) insulation and a copper wire inside.  I think it looks just like the clear drain tube with oil in it.  The soundproofing is painted with OD Green from Testors Model Master.


Edited by HeavyArty
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Thanks Oliver.  I am enjoying it.


Work continues.  I have completed the interior detailing and closed it up.  


I added some gear bags, assault packs, first aid pouches, water jugs, and a back board from the spares bin.  I also used a metal stokes litter basket that a fellow modeler made and sent me a few of many years ago. It is a really nice piece.  I added the straps to the Robinson Aux tanks.  They were not that difficult and the provided ratchet strap pieces (F8) are really nice.  I used extra PE straps to strap the stokes litter to the ceiling and string to secure the back board.




I decided to use the GUA-2 (M134) miniguns with internal ammo cans.  Even though not shown on the instructions, the internal ammo cans and GAU-2s are in the kit on sprue F.  I used the KH MH-60L instructions (found at Hobby Search) for the ammo cans and GAU-2s.  The ammo cans are parts F30, F38, and F50.  I also added a couple left over parts from the bodies of Academy's GAU-2s for the ammo can feed motors.  The guns will be built as per the instructions. 

I tried using the PE for the ammo chutes, but was unsuccessful.  I was able to fold them into their square shape, but could not get them to bend and flex into position without kinking. As an alternative, I had some vinyl/rubber(?) flexible ammo chutes from Cobra Company that worked perfectly.




As I said earlier, I had heard of issues with the internal cabin structure being too wide if built as per the kit instructions.  To (hopefully) remedy this, I cut the tabs off the bottoms of the gunners' bulkheads (parts D30 & D31).  I then glued the bulkheads into the fuselage sides.  This is the same manner that Academy had you build their H-60 kits.  I also scraped a bit of plastic from the openings for the side bulkheads on the roof to allow them some more freedom to slide in easier.  So far, I have found pretty much every slot and locating hole really tight on the kit and opened up most of them to make everything fit better once painted.




It seems to have worked pretty well.  The fuselage closed up pretty tightly with just a small gap along the topside and underside.  I was able to fill each gap with a strip of 0.015 sheet on the underside and 0.020 sheet on the top (which looks wider since it is a piece of "L" shaped stock).  All the topside engine panels still fit perfectly upon dryfitting as well.




Next up is to start on the engines, transmission and other drivetrain components above the fuselage roof line.   I'll let you know how they go in a couple days. 

Edited by HeavyArty
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Hi Oliver.  I am not sure on the big orange one, the yellow one in the center or the oblong one on the aux tank.  They were resin pieces I had in the spares bin.  The yellow one might be an old Verlinden WWII pack.  The green duffle bag is from Tamiya's Modern US Military Equipment set, #226.  The two assault packs are from Meng's Modern US Military Individual Load-Carrying Equipment set, SPS-015 (tan one) and Legend's US Backpack set, #12A9 (green one).  The first aid pouches on the pilots' seat backs are from a Trumpeter modern figure set.  Hope that helps.

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1 minute ago, hawkwrench said:

A certain aftermarket helicopter company has an update set coming out soon for the interior of hawks, just sayin.

Stay tuned!!!


I know.  I can't wait to see what all is in it.

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Yes, the most important change to backdate it to an Operation Desert Storm (ODS) MH-60G would  be the internal ammo boxes and guns mounted in the gunners windows.  The external gun and ammo mounts were not used during the ODS time frame; they were not used until the early 2000s.  The rest of the changes would be in antennas and external fittings such as the weather radar location (snoopy nose or under left side; dependent on unit) and leaving off the plume detectors and most of the chaff/flare boxes.  Your best bet is to find a picture of one you like from ODS and use it as your as example for your build.

Edited by HeavyArty
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I am still plugging along and have gotten pretty far.  


I ran into another minor problem with the kit in step 14.  Here you build the engines.  I will not be installing them as I will close the engine bays, but built one to see how it goes together.  There is an issue with part F58 not fitting properly.  Either the part is too log, or one hose is too short.  Either way, you are left with a floating hose and the part resting on the engine support.



The rest of the engine goes together well and they fit in the bays fine.  Note that the mounts need to be reversed for each side as the instructions only show one side being built.  I did mount the turbine faces (F65) to the bulkheads (C12, C13) since these will be needed to attach the prop shafts to later.  


The next issue occurred in step 18 when you add the forward gear boxes to the turbine fans.  The cowl (C66) has a couple of support pieces that interfere with the gear boxes and will not allow them to be installed.  To fix it, cut the supports and remove them; they won't be seen anyways.  They will then allow clearance for the gear boxes.  Kitty Hawk also left the part number out for the transmission here.  It is part C44.  I also glued the transmission to the roof first, before attaching the gear boxes and cowling (C66).



The rest of the roof/transmission/engine parts went together without any issues.


Step 20 starts builds the main rotor blade.  There is an omission here as well.  Part C48 is the vibration damper for the main rotor shaft.  In the instructions, it shows pins on the end of it.  However, there are no pins molded on the part.  Without the pins, the part floats above the swash plate (C45).  I added 2mm pins from 0.030 styrene rods to both ends.



Step 21 has you add the rotors to the roof section, which I did not do.  I always leave my rotors removable to make transporting the model easier.  


Step 22 has you open a bunch of holes from inside the fuselage before you close it up in step 23.  They missed a couple though.  There are two slots on the sides of the tail for a couple of antennas (E47) that are added later.  These should be opened up as well.



In step 25, you add details to the fuselage.  Here, again, a couple parts are mislabeled.  An antenna is labeled as G2, but should be D2, and the landing light should be GP10 (clear part), not G10.  They also would have you add the APR-39 Radar Warning Receivers (E28) in two places on the tail, at the rear tip and on the upper tail.  They should only be on the upper part.  If you add them to both parts, you will not have two for the nose since there are only four, not six of them.



Another area that needs attention is the pilots' windows in step 27.  Whether you use the older style with the small sliding window or the newer one-piece windows, both need to have part of their flanges removed so they sit properly in the door frames.  You will need to remove the bottom piece of flange and about 1/3 of the way up both side.  Once thees flange pieces are removed, the window will fit properly into the frame.



The rest of the steps are pretty straightforward with no issues.  There are just a few more mislabeled or not labeled part shown below.


Now on to the model.  Here it is so far.




Even though the kit is well-detailed, you can always add some more.  


I added the wiring to the main and tail rotor.




I also added the wiring for the flare/chaff buckets and the brake lines on the main gear struts.  I also swapped out the kit parts for the side sponsons.  The kit ones come molded with the parts for the external gun mounts and can not be built without them out of the box.  To model the internal gun mounts, I had to fix them.  I had some left over sponsons from an Academy MH-60S that I used on the port side.  On the starboard side, I used the outside piece from an Academy MH-60G sponson.  You can see both of these in the darker gray plastic.



I also added the hose for the refueling probe.    


Also of note, the front windscreen is really nice and fits onto the fuselage without any issues.  It fit perfectly and needed no filler putty, sanding, or coercion to fall into place.  I was really impressed.

That is it for now.  The kit has been a real joy so far and I am really impressed by the details and overall fit, with a only a couple areas that need extra attention.


Next up will be paint and decals.  I will probably get to those this coming weekend.

Edited by HeavyArty
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On 4/17/2020 at 2:09 PM, HeavyArty said:

Yes, the most important change to backdate it to an Operation Desert Storm (ODS) MH-60G would  be the internal ammo boxes and guns mounted in the gunners windows.  The external gun and ammo mounts were not used during the ODS time frame; they were not used until the early 2000s.  The rest of the changes would be in antennas and external fittings such as the weather radar location (snoopy nose or under left side; dependent on unit) and leaving off the plume detectors and most of the chaff/flare boxes.  Your best bet is to find a picture of one you like from ODS and use it as your as example for your build.


Thanks a lot mate, this is what I thought. I had the info sorted out somehow, but thanks for making it 100% correct :) Nothing beats sand/brown MH-60G from Gulf :) Too bad only a few pics exists ...

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How did gluing the crew chief walks to the fuselage sides work out?

Did you glue the smaller rear walls to the fuselage too?

What size wiring did you use for:



Landing gear brake lines?

Sorry for all the questions.

I'm really liking your review build. She is looking great!!!

You should post this as an album over on my Kitty Hawk H-60 build page over on FB.


It would really help alot. 





Edited by hawkwrench
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17 hours ago, JakubJakepilot said:


Thanks a lot mate, this is what I thought. I had the info sorted out somehow, but thanks for making it 100% correct 🙂 Nothing beats sand/brown MH-60G from Gulf 🙂 Too bad only a few pics exists ...


There's some videos in YouTube of the 55th SOS in ODS.



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Thanks for checking in guys.  


Tim, some answers.  The crew chief walls glued to the fuselage sides worked pretty well.  It was still a little tight and still needed some sheet styrene filler along the top and bottom (0.015 - 0.020 strips), but wasn't too bad.  I left the rear side walls as they are shown in the kit by attaching them to the floor and ceiling.  I actually just snapped them into place and glued the floor and roof to the rear wall.  The T/R lines and all the wires to the chaff/flare launchers are 0.015 solder.  The M/R lines are inner wires from an old phone line that had the 6 colored wires inside.  The brake lines are 24 gauge wire.  I don't really do Facebook except checking a few model company pages for what's coming.  You are free to post a link to this there or pics if you want though.

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Does this kit come with PE? looks like KittyHawk did an awesome job. I am waiting for the Bravo version to come out.   Gino, watch for finger prints on your front windshield  before u glue it in place.(i see them in your photo but not to the naked eye maybe.)



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It does come with a large PE sheet.  It is quite nice.  All the PE you see on the model came in the kit.



Don't worry, the fingerprint was just dust on the outside.  It has been wiped away and the windshield will be cleaned and polished before it is done.

Edited by HeavyArty
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5 hours ago, Clinstone said:


There's some videos in YouTube of the 55th SOS in ODS.



 WOW just awesome, BIG thanks !!!!! MH-60G with a nose art !!!!!! 🙂

Btw, was it common to have just one M2 in the main cabin ?

Thanks !

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It has taken a while, but it is done and on the shelf.


I painted it in the '80-'90s European 1 Camo using Testors Model Master enamel paints.  I used Euro Dark Green (FS34092), Euro 1 Gray (FS36081), and Medium Green (FS34102).


I used the kit decals for all the stencils and common markings. They all went on really well and snugged down nicely with a bit of decal set to assist.  The only issue was that there are quite a few decals that are on the decal sheet, but not shown or called out in the decal placement diagram.  The most noticeable are the handle position decals on the pilots doors (decals 15 & 20).  Also, the step lines, tie-down and jack-point markings, and other placards under the gunners windows are not mentioned, but all are on the decal sheet.  There are other general placard stencils left over that can be added around the fuselage.  Both the Werner's Wings decals mentioned below and the older Academy decal placement instructions show the positions for all the left over decals.  One other issue with the kit decals is the stencils for the main rotor blades (A48) and tail rotor blades (A63, A64) are printed in black.  This will not work as the blades are also black.  They just disappear.  I replaced them with a set of stencils in white left over from an Academy H-60, which gives you two sets in each kit; one white, one yellow.  


The rest of the helo-specific decals came from the Warner's Wings Pave Hawks Combat Rescue decal sheet.

It is marked as an HH-60G from the 210th Rescue Squadron of the Alaska Air National Guard.  The "Lets Roll" decal on the cargo door was added after Sep 11, 2001 and came from a sheet made by a fellow modeler, Grant Little I think.  I had no issues with any of these decals.


I weathered it lightly with a black and brown wash since most of these HH-60Gs are pretty clean and well kept.


Here it is.


I also used the Werner's Wings skis and their "Jolly Green Giant" feet decals, which trace their lineage back to the "Jolly Green Giant" HH-53s from Vietnam.  These were easy to work with and look great, in my opinion.  I really like the look of the skis.

This has been a really fun build.  The Kitty Hawk kit is very nice.  It has a few issues that were easy to deal with; nothing that was insurmountable.    It is light-years ahead of the Academy kit in details, but there are issues with missing decals and some that are unusable.  Overall, it is a really nice kit, I highly recommend it.

Edited by HeavyArty
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