Italeri 1/72 UH-34D Sea Horse Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||December 2005||Manufacturer||Italeri|
|Subject||UH-34D Sea Horse||Scale||1/72|
|Kit Number||1066||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Nice looking kit, HUGE decal sheet||Cons|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$17.00|
The H-34 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 H-34 Seabat, the US Marines as the H-34 Sea Horse and even into the US Coast Guard.
The USAF acquired only a few H-34s to serve as an interim rescue aircraft well after Sikorsky production ended, and these were only retained a few years.
In addition to US military service, the H-34 was exported to numerous military branches around the world, and its civilian version, the S-58 saw global commercial service as well. By the time production ceased in early 1970, over 1,800 examples had been built.
The aircraft was typically powered by a Wright R1820 radial engine of 1,525 horsepower, and many were later re-engined with a turbine pack rated at 1,550 shp.
The aircraft was employed in a wide range of missions from passenger service, troop transport, medevac, supply, vertep, and more. The aircraft was rugged, versatile and adaptable for duty in a wide range of environmental and operational conditions.
Italeri has re-released their nice 1/72 H-34 kit. Molded in olive green styrene, the kit is presented on two parts trees plus an additional tree of clear parts. As you can see in the images, the kit is not at all a complex build.
One thing you'll notice straight away is the detailed interior! The cockpit is nicely laid out, and the passenger/cargo compartment is also decked out with sling seating. Not bad at all.
The kit provides two different left nose halves, depending on the version of the aircraft you're wanting to build. These two parts have different exit paths for the engine exhaust stacks representing different versions of the aircraft.
Assembly of the rest of the aircraft is identical for all versions according to the instructions.
There are three armament options included in the kit for the door gunner.
This kit provides markings for four different aircraft. The subjects are:
- H-34, #75, HMM-362, USMC, Vietnam, 1962
- H-34G-2, 80+23, German Army
- MSS-1, #139, French Navy, 1975
- HSS-1, 32F-7, French Navy, Algeria, 1959
This is a nice kit that is nice to see back on the shelves again. Now if only we could convince Revell to reissue their 1/48 scale H-34!
My sincere thanks to Testors for this review sample!
- Sikorsky H-34 - An Illustrated History, Lennart Lundh, © 1998, Schiffer Publishing, ISBN 0-7643-0522-0