Academy/MRC 1/48 CH-46A/D Sea Knight USMC Vietnam Kit First Look
|Date of Review||November 2006||Manufacturer||Academy/MRC|
|Subject||CH-46A/D Sea Knight USMC Vietnam||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||12210||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 Marines would receive 266 CH-46As in the initial procurement along with 24 UH-46As for the Navy. A subsequent procurement for an improved Sea Knight came in the form of 266 CH-46Ds for the Marines, these featuring a taller rear rotor pylon than the earlier CH-46As. The Navy opted for 10 UH-46Ds out of that second procurement.
Here is the fourth installment in the Sea Knight series from Academy and MRC. This represents the early CH-46A and CH-46D variants of the Sea Knight from the Vietnam era. This release was preceded by the CH-46E, CH-46D/HH-46D, and KV-107-II variants.
The kit is molded in light gray styrene and features finely scribed details on the exterior. Supplied on six 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-46A/D, but unfortunately, options are not provided for positioning the rotors in the folded position. Perhaps an aftermarket conversion will come along.
You'll note in the photos that Academy/MRC provide your choice of tall and short rear rotor masts, hence the extra tree over previous CH-46 releases.
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-46A, 152568, ET/3, HMM-262
- CH-46A, 152504, EP/169, HMM-265
- CH-46D, 154747, YK/13, HMM-364
- CH-46D, 154005, YW/11, HMM-165
This is the fourth 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!