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New Review: CH-53 Seats Upgrade Set

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Review Author: 
Paul R. Brown
Reskit

This set provides a pair of replacement seats for the pilot and co-pilot of a CH-53 or MH-53 Super Stallion/Sea Stallion and includes seatbelts/harnesses, the tubular frame the seat is mounted on and what appears to be add-on side armor plates for each seat.

The seats and mounting frames are cast in light grey resin.  The castings are very detailed and delicate, a little too delicate as I will discuss below.  The seats include a lot of details on the seat backs that could be visible if you leave the main cabin door open.  I compared the seats and the mounting frames to photos I found online and ResKit did their homework as it looks accurate and in scale.  The casting includes a very tiny slot at the top of the seat that the upper section of the shoulder harness passes through, but be very gentle as the resin around the slot is very thin and it is very easy to break off the headrest section - trust me!

The set includes photo-etched brass seat belts and harnesses for each seat.  The brass is a bit thicker and stiffer than some other photo-etch brass I have worked with, so be sure to anneal it before trying to bend or fold it.

The side frames are easily removed from the casting block with a sharp razor saw.  All four of side frames in my set had a bit of flash which closed up the triangular opening at the base of each side frame and as the attachment points between sections of the side frame are very fragile, the frame broke into its three separate pieces when I tried to remove the flash in this triangle with new Xacto blade.  It may work better to chain drill out the flash and clean up the side frame with an exceptionally fine file.  Unfortunately, it appears that a couple of the resin trees got lost in the mail at some point as I discovered I did not have the two cross braces needed to connect the two side frames together.  Based on the online photos I found of CH-53 seats, the braces under the seat is round, but the one behind the seat appears to have a square or rectangular cross section, so while I think I can replicate the lower brace from stretched sprue, I may need to track down some square Evergreen styrene for the back brace.

The set also includes what appears to be a set of side armor panels for each seat, however, I was unable to find any photographs of the seats with these installed.  My assumption is these are bolt on additions that can be added if deemed appropriate for the mission.  I left them off the seats for now.

Looking at photos online, the seats appear to be either a very dark grey such as gunship grey or black with dark green or medium grey harnesses/belts.  I opted for NATO Black seats with a dark greyish green for the harness and steel for the buckles.

This is a very nice set and is earmarked for installation on the MH-53J Pave Low III kit in my stash.  Recommended.

Thank you to RESKIT for the review sample and to IPMS-USA for letting me review it.

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