Italeri 1/48 AH-64D Longbow Apache Kit First Look
|Date of Review||September 2017||Manufacturer||Italeri|
|Subject||AH-64D Longbow Apache||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||2748||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Classic kit||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$39.99|
The US Army initiated the Advanced Attack Helicopter program in 1972 after cancellation of the previous replacement for AH-1 Cobra, the Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne. The Hughes YAH-64 was selected for production out of that competition and the Apache has served since 1986. In order to increase the Apache's lethality and survivability, an upgrade program was developed to integrate the APG-78 Longbow millimeter-wave radar on the aircraft to allow the Apache to engage multiple targets with the radar-guided Hellfire missile without breaking cover. Despite its advanced capabilities, the Longbow Apache was not able to employ its lethality until it could be equipped with the combat identification system that would prevent it from inadvertently engaging friendly forces. These would be addressed in the aircraft's Block II upgrades.
Italeri has reissued their AH-64D Longbow Apache in 1/48 scale. Out of the box, the kit represents the original production version that saw combat in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. The AH-64D in this configuration was also exported to several allied nations. The kit features scribed surface detailing along with raised rivet details. Molded in light gray styrene, this kit is presented on three parts trees plus one tree of clear parts.
Among the features and options:
- Nice cockpit details
- Decals provided for pilot instrument panel and side consoles
- Crew restraints molded into seats
- Positionable crew entry doors
- Good details around the airframe
- User-specific sensor/chaff-flare configurations included
External stores include:
- 2 x Hydra Rocket Pods
- 8 x AGM-114 Hellfire
The kit provides some nice decal options including:
- WAH-64D. ZJ222, 656 Sqn, RAF Wattisham, UK, 2016
- AH-64D, 05203, Eglin AFB, 2004
- AH-64D, 74508, Kasumigaura AB, JGSDF, 2016
- AH-64D, 074, Dubai, UAE, 2015
- AH-64D, H80, 301 Sqn, Royal Netherlands AF, 2005
The decals are provided on one sheet that also includes airframe stenciling and markings for inert or live Hellfire rounds.
While Academy has retooled their 1/72 AH-64D to meet early and late Block II configurations, so far nobody has provided similar updates to their 1/48 kits to date. Perhaps Italeri will consider modernizing this tooling?
My sincere thanks to Hobbico for this review sample!