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Kiowa Warrior Kit

Italeri 1/72 OH-58D Kiowa Warrior Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review August 2005 Manufacturer Italeri
Subject OH-58D Kiowa Warrior Scale 1/72
Kit Number 1185 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nicely detailed kit Cons
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $11.50

First Look

Kiowa Warrior Kit
Kiowa Warrior Kit
Kiowa Warrior Kit
Kiowa Warrior Kit

The Bell OH-58 Kiowa was the US Army's adaptation of the successful commercial Bell Jet Ranger series into a scout helicopter. The Kiowa came into service during the Vietnam War and became the key element of the hunter/killer teams where Kiowas would scout for Warsaw Pact armor and direct an ambush using Cobra attack helicopters. The problem was moving through the rough terrain in portions of Europe required the Kiowa to unmask from behind terrain cover while directing fire. This was mitigated by dismounting the observer with a radio to look from behind cover at the opposing forces.

The OH-58D provided the scouts the ability to look for targets without dismounting from the aircraft nor unmasking from behind cover. Instead, a FLIR turret ball is mounted atop the rotor mast allowing for the scouts to hunt their prey from the safety of cover, not unlike a WWII submarine with its periscope.

Where the early Kiowas were basically unarmed aircraft, the OH-58D is capable of bringing a gun into the knife fight using a combination of Hellfire missiles, rockets, and guns.

Here is another re-release from Italeri. The 1/72 OH-58D kit is presented on two parts trees of olive drab styrene plus a single tree of clear parts. The panel lines and rivet detailing are raised

The kit features a simple cockpit interior that reflects more of an early configuration. The exterior of the aircraft also lacks the updates of recent Kiowa Warriors, so you'll either be modeling a Fulda Gap scout or you'll need to do a little scratchbuilding to update the aircraft to current standards - check your references.

The way that the rotor mast is engineered, you can rotate the rotors without rotating the FLIR ball and vice versa.

This kit is armed with a pair of Air-to-Air Stinger (ATAS) tubes on the port side and a rocket pod on the starboard. You'll have to rob your spares if you want to put Hellfires on the aircraft.

Markings are provided for a single example:

  • OH-58D, 68913, 1/227 Avn, Fort Rucker, 1990

It's nice to see this kit back out on the market as it remains the only OH-58D still on the market (Matchbox did a rendition as well a number of years ago). Recommended!

My sincere thanks to Testors for this review sample!