Panda Models 1/35 UH-1N Twin Huey Kit First Look
|Date of Review||May 2007||Manufacturer||Panda Models|
|Subject||UH-1N Twin Huey||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||35008||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Still the only UH-1N kit on the market in 1/35||Cons||Still the only UH-1N kit on the market in 1/35|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||Out of production|
The Bell UH-1N Twin Huey was a stretched version of the UH-1H that was developed for the Canadian and US armed forces. In addition to a fifteen person capacity (one pilot, 14 passengers), the UH-1N differed from previous versions of this Bell series by having two engines. First flown in 1968, the Twin Huey finally offered twin-engine reliability - if an engine quits, there's still another one that can keep you aloft.
The Navy and Marine Corps are the principal users of the type within the US armed forces because twin-engine redundancy over water is a good thing. For the same reasons, a LARGE number of countries operate this version of the aircraft (or the commercial Bell Model 212). The aircraft is also license-built in Italy by Augusta-Bell.
This aircraft has seen (and continues to see) a wide range of missions including liaison aircraft, transport, air ambulance/medevac, command platform, attack aircraft, observation aircraft, anti-submarine warfare aircraft, search and rescue aircraft, VIP aircraft, and more. The US Marines have opted away from the UH-60 Blackhawk family choosing instead to upgrade their UH-1Ns with a four-bladed rotor, new engines and transmission, new avionics, and much of this in common with the AH-1W upgrades, which will render the UH-1Y Venom.
Panda Models turned out an interesting kit that has not been done (surprisingly) by any other manufacturer - the 1/35 scale UH-1N Twin Huey. Like their other offerings, the kit is a bit on the simple side, but the street price is comparible to the Academy series of single-engine Hueys in this scale. It is the only Twin-Huey kit produced in 1/32-1/35 scale to date.
Molded in light gray styrene, the kit is presented on four parts trees, plus a single tree of clear parts. While the kit doesn't quite capture the nose profile of the aircraft, there have been several aftermarket upgrades available to not only correct the nose, but detail the airframe and bring the airframe up to current USMC configuration.
Even without any updates, the model builds up into a reasonable rendition of a 1980s era Twin Huey, not to mention the wide array of Bell 212s out there in international service.
This kit is still available and can also be found at bargain prices if you shop around. If you are a rotary-wing modeler, this is still your only option for the Twin Huey until another manufacturer opts to produce another.