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MH-60G Kit

MRC/Academy 1/35 MH-60G Pave Hawk Kit Build Review

By Mark Nickelson

Date of Review September 2019 Manufacturer MRC/Academy
Subject MH-60G Pave Hawk Scale 1/35
Kit Number 2201 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nice rendition of the Pave Hawk Cons See text
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) OOP

Build Review

If you'd like to take a look at the kit as it comes out of the box, check out the in-box review previously published here on Cybermodeler Online.

Back in the early days of plastic modeling, occasionally our hobby was limned for childishly simplistic kits and boxes holding mostly air. All that’s in the past, and we generally get a legitimate boxful of parts to assemble from most of the manufacturers. Certainly the big Academy MH-60 PAVE Hawk in 1/35 fills out its whole box.

Could that be the reason they omitted the droptanks?  I don’t miss the drop tanks. They occlude your view of the most interesting parts of the PAVE Hawk. (PAVE stands for Precision Avionics Vectoring Equipment. This USAF helicopter is fitted out for special operations insertion and extraction, search and rescue, and medevac missions.)

Opening up this kit and beginning assembly is a happy stage of a project that promises no great problems to solve, just a lot of modelmaking. We did, after all, go to the workbench to have fun. There’s lots of sticking subassemblies together and painting them, for a happy sense of progress being made. There are only 19 parts in the rotor head assembly. That, along with the seats, consumes a night’s modeling effort. Next night: turbines and instrument panel. Third night: start some detail painting, install clear parts.

MH-60G Pave HawkMH-60G Pave HawkMH-60G Pave Hawk

Night four: building and painting subassemblies, but mostly building. Some big kits are just small kits enlarged, and fairly simple, a Monogram C-47, for example, or a Revell F-89 or a Testors U2R. Tonight I’m almost ready to close the fuselage halves around the cabin, itself a major group of subassemblies. So far, including test-fitting the fuselage halves, the fit and alignment compare favorably with any big Tamiya project. This helicopter could finish without a milligram of putty on it.

Days five, six and seven: Dabbed tiny amounts of putty on fuselage seam. Remaining parts move to a smaller box. Applying an intricate camouflage scheme to a lumpy, very irregular shape. The two greens don’t contrast as much as you’d expect. All three colors are FS numbers readily available in Model Master enamels: Dark Gull Gray (FS 36231), the lighter green in the Southeast Asia patterns (FS 34102), and European 1 Dark Green (FS 34092).

MH-60G Pave HawkMH-60G Pave HawkMH-60G Pave Hawk

And then there were the decals. Some of the stencils were grouped onto irregular shapes of clear film. The irregular shapes made application a little tricky, but it went faster. And of course, the risk of silvering increased. You want to be sure your flat paint job is adequately gloss coated, but when is that not true?

Some dithering leading up to the weekend, waiting for a chance to shoot bright yellow on the jungle penetrator: There is a smaller, more modern hoist mechanism housed in a pod, the change probably due to modern day ops happening where there’s no jungle to penetrate. But I had the briefing on jungle penetrators once, so opted for the conspicuous, clunky variant.

Day 11, a calm Sunday afternoon: Finishing installation of bits: guns, jungle penetrator, doors, lights, etc. Then came that moment of inward joy (relief) when there was nothing left in the box to put onto the model.

MH-60G Pave HawkMH-60G Pave HawkMH-60G Pave Hawk

This thing is bigger than my forearm, and yet it sits slinkily on its gear, looking mean and purposeful, with a 0.50-cal and a chain gun on each side, the immense refueling boom, and the jungle penetrator.

My sincere thanks to MRC for this review sample!

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