Italeri 1/48 CH-47F Chinook Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||November 2018||Manufacturer||Italeri|
|Kit Number||2779||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||The kit still looks like it came from the same designers as the Academy CH-46 series!||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$76.50|
The CH-47 first flew in 1961, over 57 years ago, and the Chinook not only remains in US Army service today, but remains in production as well. The latest version is the CH-47F which features more powerful engines than the CH-47D, improved avionics, and production improvements in its airframe to increase its reliability in service. In addition to Boeing's production line, the CH-47F is also license-built by Augusta Westland. This latest version of the Chinook family is flown by the US Army, Canadian Armed Forces, RAF, Australia, India, Japan, and Singapore.
To date, Italeri is the only company to produce the Chinook series in 1/48 scale. They started with the ACH-47A in 2006, and like it's full-sized counterpart, the tooling has been updated to reflect the latest detail changes in the aircraft. This CH-47F was actually released earlier this year, but due to the loss of their US importer at the beginning of this year, the kit is only now starting to appear on North American store shelves. In fact, the current US importer has sold out of the kit a few times now though you can be assured that more are coming.
Molded in gray styrene, this kit is presented on seven parts trees, plus a single tree of clear parts. There are no metal, photo-etched, or resin parts used in this kit, so this is buildable by any modeler with some experience. The layout of the kit is similar to Academy's CH-46 Sea Knight kits with separate parts to represent the interior details of the airframe and enclose the main cabin/cargo hold. Where their ACH-47A kit replicated the bare interior of the aircraft with exposed ribs and stringers, this kit replicates the insulated interior except around the rear ramp, where that area replicates the bare structure of the full-scale aircraft.
Note - the second and third images are of either side of the same parts tree to show the nice details molded on either side of the various interior parts.
Among the features and options of this kit:
- Nicely detailed flight deck
- Crew restraints are provided as decals (the instructions incorrectly have you place the sholder harnesses upsidedown)
- Details main cabin floor
- Fully enclosed main cabin
- Side-mounted passenger seats can be posed open or stowed
- Antenna/countermeasures/other detail options for US Army, RAF, and JGSDF versions
- Choice of engine exhaust ducts
- Side entry door is positionable
- Rear ramp is positionable
- Option for external sling-load configuration
- Rotor blade sag molded into the parts
You might see some websites indicate that this is a rebox of previous Italeri CH-47 kits, but each release has new parts reflecting the latest changes in the aircraft. If you look at the parts from this kit compared to the ACH-47A which we examined 12 years ago, there are more parts trees, completely new interior, new rotor blades, etc.
The kit does come with a square of nylon mesh which is to be used to replicate the intake filter screens on the two engines. I wouldn't be surprised to see this replicated in aftermarket photo-etch in our near future.
This kit comes with markings for three aircraft:
- CH-47F, 07-08747, 12th Combat Avn Bde/US Army, Bagram AB, 2012
- HC.2, ZA712, Joint Helicopter Command/RAF, Hampshire, 2011
- CH-47J, JG-2915, 12th Riodan/12th Herikoputatai/2nd Hikotai/JGSDF, Somagahara AB, 2013
As I have said previously, Italeri has hit a home run with their Chinook series! This kit is every bit as nice as the Academy CH-46s as well as their CH-53, all of which are in the same scale. Rotorheads rejoice!
Thanks to MRC for the review sample.