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AH-64A Apache 'South Carolina Army National Guard'

Academy 1/35 AH-64A Apache 'South Carolina Army National Guard' Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review June 2020 Manufacturer Academy
Subject AH-64A Apache 'South Carolina Army National Guard' Scale 1/35
Kit Number 12129 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch
Pros Nice subject Cons See text
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $49.00

First Look

AH-64A Apache 'South Carolina Army National Guard'
AH-64A Apache 'South Carolina Army National Guard'
AH-64A Apache 'South Carolina Army National Guard'
AH-64A Apache 'South Carolina Army National Guard'
AH-64A Apache 'South Carolina Army National Guard'

The AH-64 Apache was the result of a competition between Hughes Aircraft and Bell Helicopter for the Advanced Attack Helicopter (AAH) program. After the cancellation of the AH-54 Cheyenne, the US Army was in need of another replacement for the AH-1 Cobra. First flown in the mid-1970s the YAH-64 would emerge the victor against rival Bell's YAH-63. The first production AH-64A airframes were delivered to the U.S. Army in 1984 and the aircraft was declared operational in 1986.

The AH-64A provided the US Army with a number of improvements over the Cobra. The Apache had better range, armor protection, all-important dual engine redundancy, an advanced rotorhead for a smoother ride, independent night attack sensors for the pilot and gunner, and much more. With the Apache came a new anti-tank bullet to replace the TOW - the Hellfire. The Apache was designed to operate and survive in the worst scenario - a Soviet attack into NATO. In the years since it entered service, the AH-64A has seen combat in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and other hot spots around the world. In addition to the U.S. Army, the AH-64A is also in service in Greece, Israel, and Saudi Arabia. As the AH-64A was displaced by the AH-64D Longbow Apache, many A-models were supplied to Army National Guard aviation units to replace their AH-1 Cobras. These A-models were later sent off to be converted to into the AH-64D.

When Academy announced this AH-64A Apache kit in 1/35 scale, I was excited as their 1/35 AH-1Z was a masterpiece. I missed the part that this was a rebox of another company's tooling. From what I can tell, there is only one mold for the 1/35 AH-64A, first released in 2001, and the kit has since appeared in Kangnam, IMEX, Hapdong Tech, and now Academy boxes. Molded in gray styrene, this kit is presented on six parts trees plus one tree of clear parts. In this Academy boxing, there are window masks and a nice set of decals included. The kit is designed to be a simple build that would interest a larger audience. AMS modelers can tackle different aspects of the kit like the cockpit detail, opening the canopy doors, etc.

AH-64A Apache 'South Carolina Army National Guard'

Speaking of the cockpit, the details on the side consoles appears to be accurate compared to period cockpit shots out of the Verlinden monograph. Some of the detail is a bit soft, but I'm going to enhace the cockpits with a combination of Anyz and Airscale products.

Markings are included for two examples:

  • AH-64A, 40331, South Carolina NG, 2007
  • AH-64A, 10117, South Carolina NG, Iraq, 2004

Both examples have the same distinctive paint scheme - Gray-Blue (FS3523) over Dark Ghost Gray (FS36320) - and carry a sharkmouth on the sides of the nose. This is unique compared to the standard U.S. Army Helo Green carried on the standard service Apaches.

Here is a list of paints recommended by Academy and their equivalents:

 
AMMO
AV
GSI
HAT
LC
MIS
MRP
TAM
TES
XTRA
Red
0049
71.269
C003
H003
N003
A276
C276
LC006
MMP003
002
LP07
X07
1705
 
Silver
0195
71.062
C008
H008
N008
A003
C003
LC074
MMM006
128
LP11
X11
 
X038
Flat Black
0046
71.057
C033
H012
N012
A041
C041
LC002
 
020
LP03
XF01
1749
 
Steel
0191
71.065
C028
H018
N018
 
 
MMM002
030
X10
1780
X502
Clear Red
 
70.934
C047
H090
N090
 
 
 
266
LP72
X27
 
 
Clear Blue
 
70.938
C050
H093
N093
 
 
 
267
LP68
X23
 
 
Olive Drab
0240
71.016
C304
H304
A018
C018
UA222
MMP025
138
AS06
1711
X111
Gray
0208
71.120
C307
H307
A035
C035
UA027
MMP074
097
AS25
1741
X135
XA1135
Gray
0210
71.114
C337
H337
A046
C046
UA625
MMP072
105
 
1721
X126
XA1126

My sincere thanks to MRC for this review sample!