Hobby Boss 1/48 Ka-27 Helix Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||May 2015||Manufacturer||Hobby Boss|
|Kit Number||81739||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||First kit of this subject in 1/48 scale||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$94.99|
The Ka-27 (NATO Codename: Helix) was designed as an anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and utility helicopter for use aboard Soviet Navy vessels, similar to the Kaman SH-2 Seasprite. Designed by the Kamov Experimental Design Bureau (OKB), the Ka-27 was the successor to the Ka-25 (NATO Codename: Hormone) though retains many of the features of the Ka-25 in order to fit within the existing shipboard hangar space and confined flight decks. One of the design features of the Kamov OKB is the coaxial main rotor blades which eliminate the need for a tail (anti-torque) rotor.
The Ka-27PL is the primary shipboard variant for the ASW and utility roles and an updated version is tentatively identified as Ka-27M. The Kamov OKB also produced the Ka-27PS which replaces the ASW equipment for a winch in the Search and Rescue (SAR) mission. Kamov also produced the Ka-29TB as the combat assault version of this airframe. The Ka-27 has been exported to a variety of countries around the world as has been the Ka-32 which is the 'civilian' version of the Ka-27.
HobbyBoss has released the first kit of the Ka-27 in 1/48 scale. This kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on 10 parts trees plus a single tree of clear parts and one small fret of photo-etched parts. Among the features and options:
- Nicely detailed flight deck
- Impressive main cabin with equipment racks and ASW crew station
- Positionable flight deck doors
- Positionable main cabin door
- Detailed coaxial main rotor
- Steel shaft provided for core of axial main rotor mast
- Rotor blades are molded with droop
- Detailed landing gear
- Nice array of antennas and exterior grab handles
- Photo-etch provided for vent screens
The one thing missing in this kit are crew restraints (seatbelts/shoulder harnesses) for the four crew seats in the aircraft.
Markings are provided for two examples:
- Ka-27, Bort 42, Russian Navy
- Ka-17, Bort 20, Ukrainian Navy
The decals include relevant airframe stencils.
This is an impressive kit and I was pleasantly surprised just how much detail is provided inside the main cabin. Hopefully HobbyBoss will produce other aircraft of the Kamov OKB including the Ka-50 Black Shark attack helicopter (also a coaxial rotor design).