Airmodel 1/72 Kaman HH-43B Huskie Build Review
By Chuck Holte
|Date of Review||May 2013||Manufacturer||Airmodel|
|Subject||Kaman HH-43B Huskie Type 10||Scale||1/72|
|Kit Number||0215||Primary Media||Vacuform Plastic|
|Pros||Basic vacuform shapes for the fuselage, tail booms and tail||Cons||Everything other than the above must be scratch built|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||LONG Out of Production|
The HH-43B was the primary USAF fire-fighting and local-area, short-range aircrew rescue helicopter from the 1950s until replaced by newer aircraft in the 1970's. Unique due to its intermeshing twin rotors, the Huskie was a complex but effective design and was literally a lifesaver in Vietnam. The HH-43 radio call sign was Pedro.
Airmodel Kit 215 provides basic vacuform shapes for both the HH-43B and the Bell H-13J. Typical of 1970s vacuform kits, most everything other than the basic shapes were left to the imagination and ingenuity of the modeler. The HH-43 portion of the kit included the fuselage, tail booms, tail surfaces and the rotor pylons. The two page instructions show exploded views for assembly of the provided parts, what needs to be scratch built and painting instructions.
I took this on as my first vacuform kit back in the early '80s. I learned a lot from it. Vac kits were for the most part replaced by the garage resin kit industry in later years, but I learned a lot about scratch building from those early kits. As I recall, I spent many hours creating the cockpit with seats and instrument panel, the cabin interior, landing gear, rotors and much of the tail assembly from sheet plastic. Lots of modeling fun with the basic kit and as much detail as I wanted to create. Paint was Model Master enamels, decals were from the spares box.