Academy/MRC 1/48 CH-46D/HH-46D Sea Knight "USN" Kit First Look
|Date of Review||October 2005||Manufacturer||Academy/MRC|
|Subject||CH-46D/HH-46D Sea Knight "USN"||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||12207||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Interior and exterior fuselage are separate parts, excellent detailing||Cons||Ejector pin marks on cargo compartment walls|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$55.00|
The CH-46 started life as Boeing Vertol Model 107. This was a twin-rotor, twin-engine design that first flew in April 1958. Production of all variants of this aircraft ended in the early 1970s. The Japanese operate a licensed version of this aircraft designated KV-107.
The first US military version was the CH-46A (initially designated HRB-1), which entered service and began operations in Vietnam in March 1966. The early Sea Knights were capable of carrying 17-25 troops or 4000 pounds of cargo over a combat radius of 115 miles.
The CH-46D/HH-46D is one of the current versions of the aircraft still in service. These aircraft provide transport services, VERTREP (vertical replenishment) in the fleet, and a variety of other duties for the US Navy. These aircraft had been scheduled to be replaced by the V-22 Osprey, but delays in development have forced the CH-46 to soldier on into the 21st Century.
The aircraft is also in service as the CH-113 with the Canadian Armed Forces and with the Swedish Navy and Air Force.
The kit is molded in light gray styrene and features finely scribed details on the exterior. Supplied on five trees, plus a single clear tree carrying the windows, the kit is beautifully detailed. To facilitate molding detail into the interior and exterior fuselage with no visible ejector pin marks, the interior halves are molded separately from the exterior halves. Unfortunately, there are still some ejector pin marks on the cargo compartment interior halves that may be visible, though only the ones near the rear ramp and door are visible if you pose those two doors open. The first two parts tree photos are actually the same tree showing the internal and external details.
Construction begins with the rotor heads, and this kit provides the proper configuration rotor heads for the CH-46D, so the long-awaited alternative to the CH-46E is now possible. Unfortunately, options are not provided for positioning the rotors in the folded position, but perhaps an aftermarket conversion will come along.
The interior cargo compartment is nicely done. You have choices to install troop seats, stretchers, or just leave it empty to haul cargo. A full set of stenciling is provided for the interior as well as the exterior to provide the requisite look of the aircraft. The designers did a nice job on this kit as there is a separate ceiling and floor for the cargo compartment, so you won't be seeing into the caverns of the rotor masts. Good show Academy!
Oh yes, after all of that detailing in the cargo compartment, there is also the cockpit which is also nicely represented, though the instrument panel as well as upper and lower center consoles are represented as decals. While you won't be able to make too much of any superdetailing in the cockpit through the windscreen and side windows, this solution will suit most builders.
Of course, after spending so much time in the cargo compartment, you're probably wondering if it will be seen after completion. The side crew entry door is positionable open or closed. The rear ramp and door are also independently positionable so you can portray the aircraft loading or unloading on the ground, open in flight, or all buttoned up.
Markings are provided for four aircraft:
- CH-46D, 150957, VR/63, HC-11 "Gunbearers" Det 2, USS Camden, 2003
- HH-46D, 153404, -/17, NAS Pt Mugu, Oct 1989
- CH-46D, 153405, BR/43, HC-8 "Dragon Whales" Det 2, NAS Norfolk
- HH-46A, 151924, KB/2, USMC, Kaneohe Bay, Apr 1982
This is the third installment of the CH-46/KV-107 series in 1/48 scale and is still the nicest CH-46 in any scale. There are no challenging steps presented in the instructions, so I can recommend this kit to builders of all skill levels as long as this isn't one of the very first kits you've attempted.
Check out the build review of the CH-46E kit elsewhere on Cybermodeler!
My sincere thanks to MRC for this review sample!