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Sea King HAR.3 'Falklands'

Hasegawa 1/48 Sea King HAR.3 'Falklands' Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review October 2017 Manufacturer Hasegawa
Subject Sea King HAR.3 'Falklands' Scale 1/48
Kit Number 07456 Primary Media Styrene, Photo Etch
Pros Best Sea King kit in 1/48 scale Cons Only Sea King kit in 1/48 scale
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $89.99

First Look

Sea King HAR.3 'Falklands' Kit
Sea King HAR.3 'Falklands' Kit
Sea King HAR.3 'Falklands' Kit
Sea King HAR.3 'Falklands' Kit
Sea King HAR.3 'Falklands' Kit
Sea King HAR.3 'Falklands' Kit

Westland Helicopters produces a number of Sikorsky designs under license, and when the SH-3 Sea King first flew, the design was a clearly a good candidate to replace the Wessex (license-build H-34). A number of variants of the Sea King were produced from the HAS.1/2 for anti-submarine warfare (ASW), HC.4 troop transport, AEW.2 for airborne early warning, and the HAR.3 for search and rescue (SAR). One of the visible differences between the US and UK variants of the Sea King is the radome mounted aft of the main rotor doghouse that housed a search radar on the UK variants. The HAR.3 differed from all of the other Sea Kings with a longer internal main cabin and additional windows in the fuselage. While the HAR.3 did not particpate in combat operations during the Falklands War, several aircraft were stationed around Port Stanley for SAR operations. Prince Andrew and Prince William both flew the Sea King SAR helicopter during their RAF service.

Hasegawa continues to release many of its toolings in limited-edition formats including the flagship of the PT series of kits, the 1/48 SH-3 Sea King. In this release, Hasegawa has provided the parts to render the HAR.3 using the stock kit, additional sprues for specific variants, low-pressure injection-molded parts, and photo-etch. Molded in light gray styrene, this kit is presented on seven parts trees (duplicate tree not shown), plus two trees of clear parts and one small fret of photo-etched details. Among the features and options in this box:

  • Nicely detailed flight deck
  • Main cabin floor and rear bulkead
  • Crew entry door and main cabin door are molded closed
  • Low-pressure parts provide many of the distinctive details for the airframe
  • Photo-etched parts provide HF 'towel-rack' antennas
  • Dorsal radome
  • External winch
  • Main rotor blades molded with 'sag'
  • Main rotors can be positioned in flight-ready or folded/stowed position

Markings are provided for two examples:

  • HAR.3, XZ587, 78 Sqn, RAF Mount Pleasant, Falklands, 1990
  • HAR.3, XZ591, 1564 Flt, RAF Navy Point, Falklands, 1983

The kit features scribed surface details and flashed-over surfaces on the fuselage sides where the side windows for special variants are located. The instructions identify which window openings need to be cut open for the HAR.3.

As noted above, the crew entry door and main cabin door are molded closed. While it wouldn't be difficult to open these up, you'll have to do some scratch-building to render the main cabin ceiling, structural details on the interior sides, and interior details (seats, stowage, equipment racks).

Two of the outstanding features in this kit are: 1) pre-molded main rotor blade sag, and 2) options for flight-ready or folded main rotor head. The latter option allows for less room on your display shelf to be consumed for this model.

This release provides the distinctive Falklands HAR.3 aircraft, but you can still render one of the other RAF versions with a coat of yellow paint and some changes in decals. You can look online for good reference photos though many of these aircraft have the box sand filters over the engine intakes which can be rectified with an aftermarket conversion such as Airwaves 48089.

If you're looking for an interesting rotary-winged subject for your scale flightline, this is another nice one to consider. While the MSRP is under $90 USD, you'll find the street price under $70 if you shop around.

My sincere thanks to Hasegawa USA for this review sample!

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