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AW.101

Italeri 1/72 AW.101 Merlin 'Skyfall' Kit First Look

by Michael Benolkin

Date of Review October 2012 Manufacturer Italeri
Subject AW.101 Merlin 'Skyfall' Scale 1/72
Kit Number 1332 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nice detailing Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $41.95

First Look

AW.101
AW.101
AW.101
AW.101

The AW101 Merlin is a medium multi-role helicopter produced as a joint venture between Augusta of Italy and Westland of the UK. Initially designated as the EH101, the AW101 is in service with numerous military and civilian agencies around the world including the United Kingdom, Italy, Canada, Denmark, Portugal, Japan, and more. The airframe was also selected to be adapted into the next US presidential helicopter as the VH-71 Kestrel before Lockheed Martin ran into problems and the program was subsequently cancelled.

Italeri recently produced a new-tool kit of the AW101 as kit 1295 for the AW101 TTI. In this release, Italeri has released the kit with special markings and the addition of a crew and armament to recreate the configuration seen in the upcoming movie 'Skyfall' - the latest installment in the 50 years of James Bond, 007.

Molded in light gray styrene, this kit is presented on five parts trees plus a single tree of clear parts. The fuselage is designed to allow different side fuselage inserts around the main cabin to reflect different window and door configurations on current and future versions of this aircraft.

Layout of the kit is very straightforward and should present the average modeler with no challenges in construction and finish of this aircraft. The special decals replicate the special features of the Bond movie version.

When you see this aircraft on the big screen, for the first time in many years, you'll be able to build a model of a Bond-featured machine. It's been a while since kits of the Sean Connery 'Bond' Aston Martin DB5 were popular. We may just see that kit back as well given that Daniel Craig will be reprising this classic in Skyfall.

My sincere thanks to MRC for this review sample!

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