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Kaman HOK-1/HUK-1 Kit

AMP 1/48 Kaman HOK-1/HUK-1 Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review January 2020 Manufacturer AMP
Subject Kaman HOK-1/HUK-1 Scale 1/48
Kit Number 48013 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch, Resin
Pros Crisp moldings, delicate details Cons Nothing major
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $46.00

First Look

Kaman HOK-1/HUK-1 Kit
Kaman HOK-1/HUK-1 Kit
Kaman HOK-1/HUK-1 Kit
Kaman HOK-1/HUK-1 Kit

In the world of rotary-winged aviation, most people identify with two main types of helicopters: main rotor with anti-torque rotor/fan, or tandem main rotors. Anton Flettner developed the intermeshing main rotors concept and produced the Fl 282 Kolibri during World War II using that design. After the war, Flettner was brought to the U.S. under Operation Paperclip and would become the chief engineer for the Kaman Company. Like the tandem main rotor design, the intermeshed rotors eliminate the need for the counter-torque tail rotor allowing for safer operations in confined areas. The first production helicopter from Kaman was the HTK-1 for the U.S. Navy using the intermeshing main rotor and was powered by an R-1340 Wasp radial engine. These were followed by the HUK-1 (UH-43C) for the Navy and the HOK-1 (OH-43D) for the Marines. One of the Navy's HTK-1 was re-engined with two turbine engines to test the viability of a turbine helicopter and this led to the USAF to acquire a larger version of the aircraft powered by a single turbine engine as the HH-43B Huskie.

AMP has produced a new-tool kit of the piston-powered H-43 series (HOK-1/HUK-1) with this beautiful offering. Molded in light gray styrene, the kit is presented on six parts trees plus two trees of clear parts, one set of resin parts, and a fret of photo-etched details. Among the features and options in this kit:

  • Beautifully detailed four-place cockpit
  • Interesting power pack with nice details (see notes below)
  • Set of vinyl masks for the canopy and doors
  • Structural rigging of the tail provided as photo-etched parts

Markings are provided for two examples:

  • OH-43D, 129827, VS/8, USMC
  • HUK-1, 146320, Atsugi Rescue, USN

Notes:

  • The sliding entry doors are shown in the instructions as being mounted closed, but you can position them open as you'll want to show off that interior!
  • While the aircraft is powered by the Wasp engine, it is mounted inside a cooling shroud and the kit provides the shrouded engine as a plate with minimal engine detail. This is fine as once the rest of the shroud is assembled, you wouldn't see the radial engine itself, but this kit provides the intake manifold, exhaust manifold, and accessory pack as resin parts which are quite visible mounted in the open at the rear of the fuselage. Nice!
  • I've only seen a few kits with structural rigging provided as photo-etch and this makes assembly so much easier. Kudos to AMP for providing the rigging for this kit with photo-etch!
  • The price is quite a bit higher with some of the U.S.-based hobby shops, but you can find it at around the $46.00 price at Micro-Mir or Hobby Terra.

This is another impressive kit from AMP and I can only hope that they'll produce the HH-43B/F Huskie to go with this kit!

My sincere thanks to Micro-Mir for this review sample!