Skunk Models 1/48 HH-60J Jayhawk Kit First Look
|Date of Review||April 2011||Manufacturer||Skunkmodels|
|Kit Number||48010||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Easy build, nice details||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$25.99|
The Sikorsky Seahawk series is a navalized version of the S-70 family and adapted from the US Army's UH-60A Blackhawk. The Seahawk is similar to the Blackhawk with three distinct differences: 1) the tailwheel is moved close to the main cabin to allow the aircraft to land on smaller helidecks; 2) the main rotor has a folding mechanism to fold the rotor blades so the aircraft can be parked in smaller shipboard hangars; and 3) the tail is hinged so it can be folded so the aircraft will fit in those smaller shipboard hangars.
First flown in 1979, the first Seahawks entered service in 1984 and five variants are operated by the US Navy including the SH-60B/SH-60F, and MH-60R anti-submarine warfare helicopters, the MH-60S utility aircraft (which retains the Blackhawk's aft-mounted tailwheel), and the HH-60H Jayhawk which serves as an advanced rescue and special operations platform.
The HH-60J is a dedicated air rescue helicopter developed in parallel with the US Navy's special operations HH-60H, though unlike the HH-60H, the Jayhawk is lighter and has more powerful engines. The HH-60J was developed to replace the venerable HH-3F Pelican and has over six hours of flight duration under normal operations. Entering service with the US Coast Guard in 1991, the Jayhawk has been a major asset in the US Coast Guard's fleet. While initially tailored for the traditional rescue and law enforcement mission, the HH-60J was able to adopt the homeland security and counter-drug missions just like its DoD cousins. As part of the USCG Deepwater Program, the 42 HH-60Js will all be upgraded with better sensors and avionics as well as armor plate and armament to protect crews from small arms fire as their counter-drug, law enforcement, and homeland security missions get more hostile. These newly upgraded aircraft will be designated as HH-60T.
Skunk Models continues to push the edge of the envelope by adding full kits to their existing line of weapons and diorama accessories. In this case, the kit is actually the Italeri 1/48 HH-60H kit with two new sprues and photo-etched details.
The basic Italeri HH-60 kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on three parts trees, plus a single tree of clear parts. The kit has some nice features including a workable cockpit/main cabin, nice rotor head, and rotor blades that have their sag molded in place for additional realism. The main rotor blades can be posed in flight position or stowed. The co-pilot's door is positionable as are the portside windows and starboard side main cabin doors.
Out of the box, the Italeri kit was supposed to represent the HH-60H Rescue Hawk, though Skunkmodels has released another kit with supplemental parts to 'fix' the Italeri kit and render the HH-60H (look here).
Unlike the HH-60H release, in this kit Skunkmodels has provided the parts to convert the Italeri kit into the HH-60J. In addition to the basic kit, Skunkmodels adds one sprue of parts molded in gray, one more in clear, and two sets of Eduard photo-etched parts. This is now a different kit!
The new parts include:
- Radar nose
- Portside wing/pylon
- Alternative drop tank
- One-piece co-pilot door
- Two-layer color-printed instrument panel
- Color-printed center consoles
- Color-printed seat belts/shoulder harnesses
- Photo-etch rescue basket
The one-piece co-pilot door is molded in clear to eliminate any unsightly problems trying to display the door open. The kit actually has both cockpit doors there though the pilot's door isn't used in this kit (unless you want to do some surgery).
As an added bonus, Skunkmodels also provides a nice helipad base that can be mounted to a hard surface and used to park your Jayhawk for display. Nice touch!
Markings are provided for four aircraft:
- HH-60J, 6010, CGAS San Diego, 2006
- HH-60J, 6012, CGAS Kodiak, 2005
- HH-60J, 6008, CGAS Clearwater, 2010
- HH-60J, 6022, CGAS Clearwater, 2010
Here is one of the first kits of the HH-60J in 1/48 scale and this is a nice kit thanks to the additional parts and photo-etch from Skunkmodels. If you want a very distinguished bright orange and white Sikorsky on your scale flightline, your wait is over.
My sincere thanks to Lucky Model for this review sample!