Gallery Models 1/48 VH-34D 'Marine One' Kit First Look
by Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||December 2014||Manufacturer||Gallery Models|
|Subject||VH-34D 'Marine One'||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||64105||Primary Media||Styrene / Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Nicely detailed kit||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$55.98|
The H-34 series was one of Sikorsky's most popular helicopters ever produced (next to the Blackhawk). The aircraft first flew in March 1954 and entered service with the US Army as the CH-34 Choctaw, the US Navy as the HSS-1 Seabat (anti-submarine version) and the HUS-1 Seahorse (utility version which was also flown by the US Marine Corps). After the Secretary of Defense McNamara's standardization of military aircraft designations in 1962, the H-34 remained CH-34 for the Army while the Choctaw became the SH-34 and the Seahorse became the UH-34.
The aircraft was typically powered by a Wright R1820 radial engine of 1,525 horsepower. The aircraft was employed in a wide range of missions from passenger service, troop transport, medevac, supply, and for a short time as a gunship in Vietnam. The aircraft was rugged, versatile and adaptable for duty in a wide range of environmental and operational conditions.
Gallery Models is back with another nice variant of the Sikorsky H-34. This release covers two variants: the VH-34D used for executive flights including Marine One (formerly designated HUS-1Z) and the HUS-1G flown by the US Coast Guard.
Among the features and options in this kit:
- Very detailed flight deck
- Pilots' seats have photo-etched restraints
- Positionable flight deck windows
- Choice of web seats, or executive seats in main cabin
- Choice of standard or sound-proofed cabin interior
- Seats in main cabin have photo-etched seat belts
- Nose cowling doors are positionable to reveal engine bay
- Positionable main cabin door
- VERY detailed R1820 with cooling shrouds
- Choice of exhaust manifolds with corresponding nose cowling door
- Photo-etched grilles around engine comparment
- Main cabin detailing is very nice with cabin sidewalls molded separately from fuselage halves
- Rear of main cabin open into detailed rear fuselage
- Nice rescue winch over starboard main cabin door (USCG version)
- Vented rear of doghouse is incredibly molded with see-through venting
- Tail can be posed folded or flight-ready
- Main rotors molded with gravity sag
- Optional floatation/ditching gear
This kit has markings for three different aircraft:
- VH-34D, 147191, Executive Flight Detachment, USMC
- HUS-1Z, 147201, Executive Flight Detachment, USMC
- HUS-1G, 1332, US Coast Guard
This kit has the same beautiful details found in the previous releases and both types of exhaust manifolds and associated clamshell door halves. The big differences in this kit are the executive interior cabin with new seats and walls plus the new floatation gear for the main gear and rear fuselage. This kit also includes the external tank and rack carried on the aircraft's port side which is used for the Coast Guard version. Here's another unique H-34 for your flightline!
My sincere thanks to MRC for this review sample!