Kitty Hawk Models 1/48 SA.365N Dauphin II Kit First Look
|Date of Review||January 2020||Manufacturer||Kitty Hawk Models|
|Subject||SA.365N Dauphin II||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||80107||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||New-tool kit of this subject||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$49.95|
The Aerospatiale SA.365 Dauphin II is the twin-engined update to the single-engined SA.360 Dauphin. This twin-engined workhorse has become a major success in the helicopter community with examples serving with law enforcement, air ambulances, corporate transport, search and rescue, and airborne news platforms around the world. A special version of this aircraft was adopted for French Navy service as the SA.365F which led to a full-military platform designated as the AS-565 Panther series. The U.S. Coast Guard also operates the type as the HH-65 Dolphin.
Kitty Hawk Models released their 1/48 SA.365F in late 2013, and at that time we observed that at least one more kit was coming based upon the unused parts in the SA.365F release. Here we are six years later and this release has some interesting subjects/options in the box. This kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on seven parts trees plus one tree of clear parts and one fret of photo-etched parts. Among the features and options in this kit:
- Detailed flight deck
- Positionable flight deck access doors
- Detailed main cabin
- Positionable main cabin doors
- Optional rescue winch
- Detailed transmission
- Detailed rotor head
- Detailed engine compartments with both engines provided
- Positional engine bay doors
- Optional torpedoes, rocket pods, anti-tank missiles or air-to-air missiles with fuselage mounts
Assembly of the kit is quite interesting as you build up the interior structure - flight deck, main cabin, rear compartment, engine bays, doghouse structure, all before building the fuselage up around it. Assembly is fairly straightforward as I found in the above quick-build, but you'll have to be careful to ensure proper alignment of key airframe structures or else the fit of the remaining steps will become challenging. Take a look at the previously released kit quick-build review here.
When we looked at the SA.365F release, what was inside the box made sense given that those subjects were French Navy examples. What we have here is a bit confusing, but first, let's look at the seven subjects provided on the decal sheet/color profiles:
- SA.365N, F-HCHN, rescue aircraft leased by French Navy
- SA.365N, B-7107, China Marine Surveillance
- SA.365N (HH-65A), 6590, U.S. Coast Guard
- SA.365N, OO-NHU, Netherlands Coast Guard
- SA.365N, M70-02, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement
- SA-365N, JA22PC, Japanese Police
- SA-365N, NA-104, Republic of China Air Ambulance
All seven of these aircraft are either rescue or law enforcement aircraft, yet the instructions may have you arm this model with torpedoes or air-to-air missiles by the end of assembly. As with other kit releases recently, closely examine the instructions before starting the project to better understand which steps you need to follow or bypass. What concerns me is that the photo-etch set provides three different instrument panels for this particular release, but only one is called out in the instructions. Since I was able to find photos of all seven subjects online to more clearly identify the identities and roles of each subject, I think you may be able find some cockpit shots to determine which instrument panel and what other details need to be present for a given subject.
My sincere thanks to Kitty Hawk Models for this review sample!