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SH-3H Sea King

Hasegawa 1/48 SH-3H Sea King Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review June 2015 Manufacturer Hasegawa
Subject SH-3H Sea King Scale 1/48
Kit Number 07201 Primary Media Styrene, Photo Etch
Pros Best Sea King kit in 1/48 scale Cons Only Sea King kit in 1/48 scale
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $57.99

First Look

SH-3H Sea King Kit
SH-3H Sea King Kit
SH-3H Sea King Kit
SH-3H Sea King Kit

The Sikorsky S-61 was designed in the late 1950s in response to the US Navy's requirement for an amphibious, turbine-powered, anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopter. Designated SH-3A Sea King by the US Navy, the type entered service in 1961 and newer variants were developed with more powerful engines and capabilities for search and rescue, transport, and mine sweeping in addition to ASW.

The S-61R featured a redesigned fuselage with the amphibious bottom replaced with a rear ramp and door into the main cabin and reconfigured landing gear. These became the HH-3E Jolly Green Giant for the US Air Force and HH-3F Pelican for the US Coast Guard.

One notable mission for the Sea King was recovery of spacecraft and crew after their return to Earth including SH-3D number 66 which was credited with five spacecraft recovered.

While Hasegawa adopted the business model of limited-edition kits (same plastic, different decals) with many of their kit subjects, they retained several catalog series as their continuously available kits. One such series is the PT line, the flagship of which is PT1, the 1/48 SH-3H Sea King. With the recent release of Starfighter Decals' 1/48 SH-3D 'Old 66' spacecraft recovery decal set, I thought it time to take a look at this kit. PT1 was released in 1992 and features the surface details and mold quality that has become Hasegawa's quality trademark.

Molded in light gray styrene, this kit is presented on five parts trees plus one tree of clear parts and one small fret of photo-etched steel details. Among the features and options in this box:

  • Nicely detailed flight deck
  • Main cabin floor and rear bulkead
  • Crew entry door and main cabin door are molded closed
  • Dipping sonar, sonobuoy launcher details on external fuselage
  • Optional torpedoes on external mounts
  • Photo-etched grilles
  • Choice of engine intake FOD shields
  • External winch
  • Main rotor blades molded with 'sag'
  • Main rotors can be positioned in flight-ready or folded/stowed position

Markings are provided for three examples:

  • SH-3H, 149923, HS-12, NF/614, USS Midway
  • SH-3H, 149899, HS-4, NL/610, USS Carl Vinson
  • SH-3H, 149713, HS-8, NK/610, USS Midway

This kit will build into a nice rendition of the Sea King as we've seen on contest tables over the years. For modelers with some scratchbuilding skills, there are some nice opportunities to take this kit up to contemporary detail levels. First, the tail is separately molded at the fold point and while Hasegawa doesn't provide the internal bulkheads/detals to fold the tail, you could make that happen rather easily. Likewise the main cabin door is molded closed but that too can be removed and the door frame fabricated. You'll also need to add internal structural details to the main cabin walls, add a ceiling, and other details depending on if your aircraft is configured for ASW, SAR, or whatever. There are many walk arounds available online and if you're doing a cargo/shuttle version, you can adapt the web seating photo-etch that Eduard has produced for other 1/48 helicopters. You're only limited by your imagination and your skills (both of which can always grow).

This kit is still worthy of being Hasegawa's PT-series flagship and is currently the only Sea King in 1/48 scale. I wish Hasegawa would consider updating the tooling with an interior as well as developing tooling for the still-missing HH-3E/HH-3F airframes.

Here is a list of paints Hasegawa identifies for the colors of this kit and the equivalent colors from other brands:

 
AMMO
AV
GSI
HAT
LC
MIS
MRP
TAM
TES
XTRA
White
0050
71.001
C001
H001
N001
A528
C528
LC001
MMP001
004
LP02
X02
1745
 
Black
0032
70.950
C002
H002
N002
A125
C125
LC002
MMP047
005
LP01
X01
1747
 
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
 
Orange
0129
71.083
C059
H014
N014
A704
C704
LC005
 
 
TS12
X06
 
 
Steel
0191
71.065
C028
H018
N018
 
 
MMM002
030
X10
1780
X502
Wine Red
 
 
C100
H043
N043
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Burnt Iron
0187
71.073
C061
H076
N076
A106
C106
 
MMM01
147
LP54
XF84
 
X508
Tire Black
0033
71.315
C137
H077
N077
 
UA733
MMP040
 
LP65
XF85
 
 
Olive Green
0084
71.093
C054
H080
N080
A152
C152
UA303
MMP034
078
XF58
 
 
Clear Red
 
70.934
C047
H090
N090
 
 
 
266
LP72
X27
 
 
Clear Blue
 
70.938
C050
H093
N093
 
 
 
267
LP68
X23
 
 
Gray
0208
71.120
C307
H307
A035
C035
UA027
MMP074
097
AS25
1741
X135
XA1135
Gray
0241
71.121
C315
H315
A048
C048
 
MMP069
 
XF20
1729
X137
XA1137
Yellow
 
 
C329
H329
A066
C066
 
 
 
X08
1707
X106
Hemp
 
 
C336
H336
A262
C262
 
 
 
XF57
 
X016
Gray
0210
71.114
C337
H337
A046
C046
UA625
MMP072
105
 
1721
X126
XA1126
Light Gray
0209
71.276
C338
H338
A050
C050
UA023
MMP116
364
 
1732
X139
XA1139