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AH-1G Cobra - Special Hobby 1:32


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AH-1 Cobra



Special Hobby

Catalogue number SH32082

Price range: €55,62





“The Bell AH-1 Cobra is a single-engined attack helicopter developed and manufactured by the American rotorcraft manufacturer Bell Helicopter. A member of the prolific Huey family, the AH-1 is also referred to as the Huey Cobra or Snake.

The AH-1 was rapidly developed as an interim gunship in response to the United States Army's needs in the Vietnam War. It used the same engine, transmission and rotor system of the Bell UH-1 Iroquois, which had already proven itself to be a capable platform during the conflict, but paired it with a redesigned narrow fuselage among other features. The original AH-1, being a dedicated attack helicopter, came equipped with stub wings for various weapons, a chin-mounted gun turret, and an armored tandem cockpit, from which it was operated by a pilot and gunner. Its design was shaped to fulfil a need for a dedicated armed escort for transport helicopter, giving the latter greater survivability in contested environments. On 7 September 1965, the Model 209 prototype performed its maiden flight; after rapidly gaining the support of various senior officials, quantity production of the type proceeded rapidly with little revision.

During June 1967, the first examples of the AH-1 entered service with the US Army and was promptly deployed to the Vietnam theatre. It commonly provided fire support to friendly ground forces, escorted transport helicopters, and flew in "hunter killer" teams by pairing with Hughes OH-6A Cayuse scout helicopters. In the Vietnam War alone, the Cobra fleet cumulatively chalked up in excess of one million operational hours; roughly 300 AH-1s were also lost in combat. In addition to the US Army, various other branches of the US military also opted to acquire the type, particularly the United States Marine Corps. Furthermore, numerous export sales were completed with several overseas countries, including IsraelJapan, and Turkey.

For several decades, the AH-1 formed the core of the US Army's attack helicopter fleet, seeing combat in Vietnam, GrenadaPanama, and the Gulf War. In US Army service, the Cobra was progressively replaced by the newer and more capable Boeing AH-64 Apache during the 1990s, with the final examples being withdrawn during 2001. The Israeli Air Force (IAF) operated the Cobra most prolifically along its land border with Lebanon, using its fleet intensively during the 1982 Lebanon War. Turkish AH-1s have seen regular combat with Kurdish insurgents near Turkey's southern borders. Upgraded versions of the Cobra have been developed, such as the twin engined AH-1 SeaCobra/SuperCobra and the experimental Bell 309 KingCobra. Furthermore, surplus AH-1 helicopters have been reused for other purposes, including civilian ones; numerous examples have been converted to perform aerial firefighting operations.

Historical text from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell_AH-1_Cobra


I must confess. I`m thrilled for the opportunity for reviewing this beauty.

First, the plastic on the box is from ICM back in 2021.

The ICM kit was very well received with very good feedback from modellers. I read a lot about it and all the good feedback for modellers that build it.

Just look at it, the simple plastic, and you know that this release eclipses the Revell one (to be fair, the Revell lived a long happy good live).

However, it`s my first look in the Cobra, no matter the boxing.

This edition is a hi-tech edition bring by Special Hobby, with lots of extras that I will be looking carefully here.




First the plastic sprues, four in grey and one clear sprue.

The clear sprue come in a separate bag to protect the big windows. It has great clarity with no distortion at all, quite thin and in a perfect shape. You have the option of finishing the model with the access windows open or closed. This Special hobby box also give us a masking set tape for making the masking process much less time-consuming and painless.










All the other sprues, the plastic is a soft one, good to work with. All the parts have no flash, with great surface detail, both raised and engraved detail.

The surface detail is very good, with a special thing: you got recessed panel lines and raised rivet detail, which is a great point for detail from ICM.

In the sprue A, you get the fuselage halves (only the halves as it doesn’t have floor) and cockpit hub.
















On sprue B, the vertical stabilizers, the main rotor blade, fuselage side wings and tail rotor blade.










You can build both early and Late G model as both vertical stabilizers are provided.

Sprue C we got mainly the skids, stabilizers rotor wings, bottom fuselage







The skids of the cobra are quite correct, at least from pictures (and I really like the nice touch of the resin wheels set and towing set to put on the skids).

Sprue D (x2) you got small details and all the armament to equipped your Cobra.













4 x XM-159 19 tube rocket pack

2 x XM-157 7 shot rocket pack

2 x XM-158 2.75 inch forward firing rocket pack

2 x M18E1 7.62mm mini gun

 Now, the extra details parts that make this box a hi-tech one.

Starting with the cockpit and their large area, the original ICM leaves lots of room for extra detail which is not the case of this special edition. So for the cockpit the Special Hobby Hi-tech offers the modeler, new resin seats, resin console levers, both joystick in 3D printing (The 3D printing looks fantastic and very well detail).  And two helmets!! These are a perfect touch!!























The two helmets:








Also you got PE seatbelts, fire extinctor, side armour console, and both sights in a mix of resin and PE.


Talking about the PE, there´s two small sheets (one nikel, one brass) , with fantastic detail and the color one, very well done. Basically, one of the fret sheet is the front and rear instruments panels, full set of seatbelts, and the brass one engine bay panel grill, some internal parts and the mounting plates for the rocket launchers.






 I can`t tell for the macro look of it but if I had to bet, I would bet that these are made by Eduard. So it`s a top noch product with quality guaranteed.

The instruments panels are all in color PE.





The cockpit is sparse in the original ICM offer, turn into a really good detail cockpit with this edition.

The armament also get so some extra detail in this, more specifically, two XM-158 2.75 inch forward firing rocket pack, in full resin with awesome detail) and M18E1 7.62mm mini gun, also get some add ons with extra detail resin part.











The decals have a very good color registration (love the shark mouth), quite thin.  A full set of stencils are also on this very complete decal sheet.











Looks like a Special hobby direct product so I have no clue how they will react to Micro Sol or Micro Set. But I will soon!


The decals give four schemes and markings:


-         AH-1G, s/n 68-15183, flown by Neil McMillan, C/2/20 ARA, C Battery, 2nd battalion, 20th Regiment, Aerial Rocket Artillery, Phuoc Vinh, Vietnam, 1971;



-         AH-1G, s/n 68-15049, flown by 1Lt George Alexander and WO1 Jim Moran, C72/20 ARA, Bu Dop, Vietnam, June 1970. ((Comments from Special Hobby to this sheme: “helicopters participating in the Cambodian invasion had their tailbooms painted in black to obscure the US markings);


-         AH-1G, s/n 66-15259, Cobra NETT, New Equipament Training Team, Vung Tau, Vietnam, December 1967 (Comments from Special Hobby to this sheme: “Wearing a USAF-Style camouflage pattern, this machine also happened to complete the first AH-1 flight in South Vietnam on 4 September 1967)




-         AH-G1, s/n 68-15168 D Troop, 3rd Brigde, 4th Cavalrym Chu Chi Vietnam, 1971 ((Comments from Special Hobby to this sheme: “In 1972, Wretched Mildred sustained severe damage to her tail boom which was then replace with a new one, with the tail rotor on the starboard side. The sharkmouth was repainted, Chinese s/n appeared on the fin and the word snake in Chinese under the pilot canopy.”



Over the years I start hating one thing in aircraft modelling: masking canopies. Not that the Cobra canopies look hard to mask but Special Hobby also cover that and gives  a full set of mask for inside and outside. Nice touch SP.




At last, the instructions come in a stain quality paper, with good drawings and part indication and color. It have 20 pages, with a historical introduction of the model in English and Czech, you are about to tackle, sprues drawing, part indication of the resin, 3D printed parts and PE.











            Well, what can I tell about the Special Hobby Hi-tech box AH-1G Cobra?  One of the most complete box model that I have the pleasure to open in the past!!

            This 1:32 AH-1G Cobra is fantastic. The plastic is great with good detail, pin locations, a truly modern high standard injection mold kit with a lots of detail bit to make it even better. The lacks of detail of the original ICM kit are cover with the extra bits given by Special Hobby making a very good detail model kit straight from the box.


VERY VERY Highly recommended.


My trully Thanks to Special Hobby for the review sample.




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Thanks for reviewing this gem, Fran. I have this boxing in my stash and although I'm not a heli man, will build it soon. You're absolutely right about the fantastic complete package, which I got for the same price like the less equipped ICM kit.
Carl already built the ICM kit here and, it went together fairly good, if I remember right.

Cheers Rob

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Nice review Fran. I have this in the stash as well as having built the original ICM release. It went together really well. Some folks have complained about the landing skids having a weak attachment point but mine went on fine. 

The funny thing is the Special Hobby release is often cheaper than the ICM one even though it has more in the box. 

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On 3/9/2023 at 4:35 AM, DocRob said:

Thanks for reviewing this gem, Fran. I have this boxing in my stash and although I'm not a heli man, will build it soon. You're absolutely right about the fantastic complete package, which I got for the same price like the less equipped ICM kit.
Carl already built the ICM kit here and, it went together fairly good, if I remember right.

Cheers Rob

Yes, it was a great build. Not complicated and great fit. Plus with only a twin rotor main blade it doesn't take up much space. 

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