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H-34

Gallery Models 1/48 UH-34D Seahorse Kit First Look

by Michael Benolkin

Date of Review November 2014 Manufacturer Gallery Models
Subject UH-34D Seahorse Scale 1/48
Kit Number 64106 Primary Media Styrene / Photo-Etch
Pros Nicely detailed kit Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $55.98

First Look

H-34
H-34
H-34
H-34
H-34

The H-34 series was one of Sikorsky's most popular helicopters ever produced (next to the Blackhawk). The aircraft first flew in March 1954 and entered service with the US Army as the CH-34 Choctaw, the US Navy as the HSS-1 Seabat (anti-submarine version) and the HUS-1 Seahorse (utility version which was also flown by the US Marine Corps). After the Secretary of Defense McNamara's standardization of military aircraft designations in 1962, the H-34 remained CH-34 for the Army while the Choctaw became the SH-34 and the Seahorse became the UH-34.

The aircraft was typically powered by a Wright R1820 radial engine of 1,525 horsepower. The aircraft was employed in a wide range of missions from passenger service, troop transport, medevac, supply, and for a short time as a gunship in Vietnam. The aircraft was rugged, versatile and adaptable for duty in a wide range of environmental and operational conditions.

Gallery Models is back with another nice variant of the Sikorsky H-34. This release could be considered the 'super' kit as it has options for both types of landing gear and both types of exhaust manifolds in this box. The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on eleven parts trees plus two trees of clear parts, one separate clear part for the flight deck windows, and two frets of photo-etched details.

Among the features and options in this kit:

  • Very detailed flight deck
  • Pilots' seats have photo-etched restraints
  • Positionable flight deck windows
  • Choice of web seats, or canvas seats in main cabin
  • Seats in main cabin have photo-etched seat belts
  • Nose cowling doors are positionable to reveal engine bay
  • Positionable main cabin door
  • VERY detailed R1820 with cooling shrouds
  • Choice of exhaust manifolds with corresponding nose cowling door
  • Photo-etched grilles around engine comparment
  • Main cabin detailing is very nice with cabin sidewalls molded separately from fuselage halves
  • Rear of main cabin open into detailed rear fuselage
  • Nice rescue winch over starboard main cabin door
  • Vented rear of doghouse is incredibly molded with see-through venting
  • Tail can be posed folded or flight-ready
  • Main rotors molded with gravity sag
  • Choice of bent-legged or later landing gear

This kit has markings for three different aircraft:

  • HUS-1L, 657, XO/25, VX-6, Antarctica, 'King Pin II'
  • UH-34D, 150208, UA/23, VC-1, NAS Barber's Point
  • HSS-1N, 8569, 69, JMSDF, Japan

This kit has the same beautiful details found in the previous releases but this time the kit includes both types of fuselages, both types of landing gear, and both types of exhaust manifolds so you can replicate just about any H-34 variant. This kit also includes the external tank and rack carried on the aircraft's port side which is used in the Antarctic aircraft but not mentioned in the instructions.

There are three distinctive subjects in this box and with the additional parts included in this release, there are lots of possibilities available using aftermarket decals. This is the best release of the H-34 from Gallery Models to date and still the best H-34 kit in any scale to date.

My sincere thanks to MRC for this review sample!

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