MRC/Academy 1/35 AH-60L DAP Blackhawk Kit First Look
|Date of Review||February 2015||Manufacturer||MRC/Academy|
|Subject||AH-60L DAP Blackhawk||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||12115||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Interesting armed gunship version of the Blackhawk||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$81.00|
MRC/Academy first released this kit ten years ago (you can see our first-look here) and was one of the triad of Blackhawk kits available which included this AH-60L, UH-60L, and HH-60G. This potent gunship was initially designated as the AH-60L Direct Action Penetrator (DAP) but has since been redesignated as MH-60L DAP.
As you know, two other versions were subsequently released including the S-70C (Academy kit in AFV Club boxing) and the very recent MH-60S. To date, the only tooling for any 1/35 Blackhawk/Seahawk/Pave Hawk is only available from Academy. I thought it worthwhile to take another look at this interesting variant.
The kit consists of six trees molded in gray styrene plus a single tree of clear parts. The molding is crisp, with finely scribed details throughout the kit. The parts are free of flash and there were only a few ejector pin marks visible in the main cabin. Among the features and options in this release:
- Nicely detailed flight deck
- Detailed main rotor head and blades
- Detailed M134 7.62mm minigun on window mount
- Detailed M2 .50 caliber machine gun on door mount
- Auxiliary fuel cell in main cabin
- Positionable main cabin doors
- Positionable window doors
- Positionable engine bay access doors
- Two detailed T700 engines inside engine bays
- Movable FLIR turret
- Optional ESSS stub wings
- Air refueling probe
External weapons load options include:
- 8 x AGM-114 Hellfire
- 2 x M229 four-shot Hellfire launch rail units
- 2 x M261 Hydra 70 19-shot rocket pods
- 2 x external fuel tanks (included in kit but not mentioned in instructions)
The AH-60L kit is an interesting blend of previous releases. All of the parts trees from the original UH-60L release are included (some of which were left out of the second release, the MH-60G Pave Hawk). The MH-60G's parts (tree G) are also included to provide the requisite air refueling probe, cargo bay fuel cell, and updated horizontal stabilizer.
One new tree (K) is added to this kit that contains the shorter (single pylon) ESSS 'wings', eight Hellfire missiles w/launchers, two 19-shot rocket pods, radar dome, FLIR turret, machine guns, gatling guns, updated CRT-based instrument panel, SATCOM antennas, etc.
Markings are provided for two specific aircraft:
- MH-60L, 160 SOAR, 26365 'Southern Comfort'
- MH-60L, 160 SOAR, (serial unknown) 'Razors Edge'
In addition, a variety of generic numbers are provided to allow the modeler to depict other aircraft in the fleet. A complete set of maintenance stencils are also included.
This kit renders an interesting subject right out of the box, but if you're not that interested in one of the 160th SOAR's black helicopters, this kit will also be a good start for a variety of other special mission Blackhawks that have appeared since this kit was first released including the AH-60L Battle Hawk and AH-60L Arpia. Another change since this kit was first released was the appearance of Live Resin products and their great variety of super-detailed weapons and helicopter gun mounts. What's also interesting is that the MSRP of this kit is $81 USD, only two dollars more than its original release price ten years ago! Of course if you shop around, street prices are lower still.
This is still a great kit and provides the best combination of options in one box for whatever Blackhawk gunship you care to render.
My sincere thanks to MRC for this review sample!