Trumpeter 1/35 AS365N2 Dauphin II Kit First Look
|Date of Review||November 2014||Manufacturer||Trumpeter|
|Subject||AS365N2 Dauphin II||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||5106||Primary Media||Styrene, PE|
|Pros||Nice detailing||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$109.95|
The Aerospatiale SA.365 Dauphin II is the twin-engined update to the single-engined SA.360 Dauphin. This twin-engined workhorse has become a major success in the helicopter community with examples serving with law enforcement, air ambulances, corporate transport, search and rescue, and airborne news platforms around the world. A special version of this aircraft was adopted for French Navy service as the SA.365F which led to a full-military platform designated as the AS-565 Panther series.
Trumpeter first released their Dauphin series in 1/48 scale and while we never had a look at one, it looks like they've repeated several glitches in this release as well. The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on 14 parts trees plus two trees of clear parts and eight frets of photo-etched parts.
Among the features and options in this box:
- Nice radar under radome
- Positionable radome
- Cabin has seating for 13 with photo-etched restraints included
- Instrument panel early steam gauge type
- Positionable cabin doors
- Detailed Arriel 1C engines and engine compartment
- Positionable cowling doors
- Detailed transmission and main rotor head
- Nice Fenestron tail
The kit provides markings for one option:
- AS365N2, 81, French Navy
Out of the box, this kit will build into a nice corporate or utility transport aircraft with seating for eleven passengers and two flight crew. If you're wanting a more plush corporate aircraft, you'll need to replace the kit's main cabin seating with fewer but more plush seats (lots of example photos available online). Unfortunately, you cannot build the French Navy Dauphin from this kit.
For whatever reason, Trumpeter did not provide the military version of the Dauphin - the interior lacks the storage for rescue equipment, requisite rescue gear, or even crew seating for a French Navy aircraft. The most important detail missing from the kit is the rescue winch that mounts above the starboard main cabin door. If you look at the test shot images of this kit over at IPMS/Philippines, you can see that the utility interior, winch, and even the elongated radome of later variants were produced but not included in this release.
It is nice to see the Dauphin available in 1/35 scale to add to the growing number of helicopters available now in this scale. On the other hand, it is a pity that Trumpeter didn't provide the markings for the transport helicopter represented by the plastic or the parts for the French Navy rescue aircraft represented by the decals.
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!