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Hobby Boss 1/18th Scale Huey UH-1B Dustoff (Vietnam Era)


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Start another even before the last is complete! So here is the "next" project on the bench. I have always loved the Huey for its distinctive sound you hear and feel long before the helo is over your head. The classic lines and the no-BS design also make it look every bit the part of a utility helicopter doing its best.

So here is the kit by Hobby Boss, which is identical to Merits release and another smaller companies version. The model is designed to be the attack Huey, but I thought a more appropriate subject would be the battlefield ambulance version know as "Dustoff". The first look inside the box reveals a very large proportioned helicopter with some rather disappointing features (or missing features in some cases) that will require alot of scratch building and modification to make it more passable. 

The main body is broken fore and aft into two parts. There is the main/forward cabin area, and a separate second area consisting of the tail boom. The plastic is alot thicker than I expected including the clear window parts. Most all of the glass parts are so thick that they appear milky or clouded. The main body contains instrument panel, center console, pilot and co-pilot seats, and a bench seat for the cargo area. Both pilot/co-pilots doors are hinged and openable. Both rear cargo sliding doors are also openable. Other than the spinning main rotor mast and tail anti-torque rotor, the is no other functional features.

The instrument panel and center console surface detail is a joke. The overhead panel is missing and will need to be fabricated. The pilot/co-pilot seats look straight out of toyland and will definitely require replacement. I don't even was to go there about the rear cargo seat. There is a passable cyclic and collective for both pilots, and they did include some pretty accurate decals for the gages on the IP and center console.

On the exterior we have some very overdone rivet detail that needs to be knocked down alot, and surface detail that will need to be redone. The seam line where the two shell halves of the body meet is going to be a headache to obliterate. And the gap where the tail boom attaches is HUGE! Add to this that the model is designed to be assembled using the included screws and have large holes for them that have to be filled and removed. Don't even get me started on the rotor head.

I started out by test fitting as much as I could together...

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One of the first "I can't live with this" items were the cooling vents on either side of the turbine dog-house. The mess screen was molded in and ugly. I used my trusty Dremel on them and replaced it with real copper screens after thinning the plastic edges a bit...20210204-003915.jpg

Now another problem....with the screens opened up, you can see clean through to the other side because there is no engine detail in the kit. The best bet was to build a reasonable appearance of a turbine engine...20210224-141624.jpgThis is the engine core without any detail yet.

And this is how the engine core fits inside...20210224-141704.jpg

That's pretty much it for right now. I had to stop and shelve this one for a couple of weeks to finish the 1/72nd scale submarine. I think this one will be interesting...!!!

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Great start and lots of improvements to do. This one will be really big! 

You can reserve a place for me in the first row for following your build :popcorn:

I also like the Huey very much. The 32nd Scale from Revell was the first chopper I build when I was young...

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Still working on the engine compartment.  This is NOT a true representation of the T53-9L turbine,  but you only get a hint of it behind the vent screens....and this is not finished yet either.20210509-003231.jpg

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A little time away from the engine compartment...I started cutting and sanding away alot of the grossly over-thick cockpit details. So far I have been able to erase the IP details and center console areas...fitted a bulkhead forward the IP and started to measure areas around the floor where the walls and floor don't meet. The overhead window frames have been thinned and a lot or rivet exterior detail has been remove...20210509-213336.jpg

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