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1/72 US Military Helicopters


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I am modeling US military helicopters in 1/72.  I have almost all of my models, but I am having difficulties with finding two models.  One is the Hughes TH-55 Osage, of which Special Hobby made a model in the late 90s.    The other is the USCG Sikorsky HH-3F Pelican.  Whirlybird from UK makes a pricey resin kit, so I am trying to convert a Revell USAF HH-3E Jolly Green Giant to an HH-3F.  I have found conversion kits from Hawkeye Models in Australia, Air-Graphics in UK, and Model Alliance.   I have not found sources to get these other than the manufacturers, which are expensive to buy and ship, and take long waits to get.  Does anyone know of a US dealer which carries these kind of kits?  I would also like to buy Whirlybird's USCG Sikorsky HH-52A Seaguard but would prefer it from a US dealer for similar reasons.

 

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I’ve purchased from Whirlybird in the past with no issues. As far as the Special Hobby TH-55 is concerned, you’re probably gonna hafta go to eBay. I know of no US dealer of Whirlybird’s products.

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Am also researching a 1/72 HH-3F and would like to do it with the aft ramp open and a gunner's position there. That means I've gotta at least suggest some interior detail. Do either of you guys know any decent pix of that area, especially the gunner's position and the internal fuselage structure adjacent to it? Ditto on the Revell vs. Whirly': Gonna dance with the girl I brang.

NMUSAF has a great photo spread of their restored HH-3 Jolly Green, including cockpit-360 views, but it doesn't appear to have an aft ramp-gunner set-up.

Suggestions appreciated.

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I have nothing on the HH-3F aft ramp gunner’s position.

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I have used Bing Images to look at photos from in-service and museums.  I think all the HH-3Fs have been retired, and some are on display.  Bing usually gives a wide variety of photos, and you can look at recent photos, probably from museums. Wikipedia provides history, details, variations, and locations of surviving aircraft.

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Just to let you all know my progress, I found a Special Hobby Hughes TH-55a from a dealer in UK on e-bay.  I am also ordering a CH-52a from Whirlybird.  I now have all 44 models on hand or on order for my collection.  I notice that most of the Bell models and the later Sikorsky ships have a greenish tint on the clear panels over the cockpits.  What color has anyone used to replicate this tint on these ships?  The Bell units seem to be very green, but the later models and the newer Sikorskys appear a darker tint.

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Did you have any trouble contacting Whirlybird? I’ve sent emails to two different addresses but have not had a response. I know the proprietors are social distancing due to underlying health conditions , but I used to be in regular contact with one of them and am somewhat concerned.

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I now have all my helicopter models on hand or on order.   I have both the Hasegawa and HobbyBoss models of the Sikorsky SH-60B.  I want to model the Hasegawa version as in storage in a hangar bay.  I have seen but do not remember the maker of a resin kit for the folding tail option.   Do any of you know the maker and a source to get one?  I also want to fold the main rotor blades back.   Does anyone make a kit that allows me to do that?

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JOLLY GREEN research, cont'd:

Correction - Am researching the USAF HH-3E Jolly Green CSAR bird as used in Vietnam, not the later Coast Guard HH-3F Pelican.

None of the inflight pix that I've seen show the rear ramp down, nor an aft gunner's position. Did the HH-3's just not do this, and maybe it started with the bigger HH-53's? Possibly a weight & balance issue?

Edited by VonL
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I now have all US military helicopters on hand, except for an HH-52a enroute from Whirlybird and an HH-3F detail kit enroute from Air-Graphics, both in UK.   The only question I have not found an answer to yet is building either an Hasegawa or Hobby Boss SH-60B (I have both models on hand) as it would be in a hangar bay with folding tail and folded main rotors.  I have found a couple of companies with these details in 1/48 or 1/32, but not yet in 1/72.  I am keeping all my helicopter models in 1/72, as I have a large majority from Italeri, Revell, and resin kits in that scale.   BTW, I had very little difficulty contacting Air-Graphics and Whirlybird.  Both market through Facebook, and you may find them easier through that route.  I may have a route for my SH-60B parts through a firm called Scratchaeronautics in Spain, but I am having difficulty finding their products through their Facebook page.  Any one had experience with this outfit? 

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You will not believe how my luck has held out on this project!  I posted earlier today that my final quest was for a folding tail and folding main rotor blades for the SH-60B.  Tonight I was searching on Bing for images of the SH-60B and any detailing kits.  I happened upon an image of the Sea King SH-3 #66 that extracted the capsule on Apollo 13.  Clicking on that, I found an article from 2016 by Tommy Thomason (Brit, I think) about converting this model to a US Sea King.  The model comes with both folding tail and folding main rotor blades.  He added some tips on making this more accurate.   I found the model on e-bay and bought it.  It will provide the same appearance that I had planned for the SH-60B.   I now have my complete collection of US military helicopters in hand or on order!  I now need to proceed at full speed to build all these models.  Thanks for all your help, and I hope my experience may help some of you doing similar models.

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I do have one more question for my 1/72 helicopters.  I have the Revell model of the CH-54 Skycrane.  Does anyone make a detail kit for the engine, as that sits out in the wide open?  That would be a real highlight for this model.

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I am on Bing images tonight and recalled VonL's question about the HH3E having a weapons station on the rear ramp.  I entered Sikorsky HH3E on Bing, and it returned quite a few images of HH-3Es.  I could not locate any interior views from service in Vietnam.  However, there are some great images from NMUSAF  and especially from the Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins, GA.   These are photos of their aircraft on display today.  How close they are to their Vietnam configuration is something I don't know.  There are some Vietnam aviation historical societies on the web, and they might give you more detailed info or even photos from their Vietnam experience.  One I found from references to the Wikipedia article on Sikorsky S-61R is "www.rotorheadsrus.us."

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