Revell 1/32 H145M LUK KSK Kit First Look
|Date of Review||November 2017||Manufacturer||Revell|
|Subject||H145M LUK KSK||Scale||1/32|
|Kit Number||4948||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Only kit of this subject (so far)||Cons|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$30.95|
In the beginning, there was the BK-117 utility helicopter developed by Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm (MBB) and Kawasaki. The aircraft was a great success because of its twin engines, interior capacity, and rear clamshell doors which made it ideal for medivac/air ambulance/rescue duties. As a transport aircraft, the BK-117 could carry 7-10 passengers. MBB was purchased by Daimler-Benz and eventually merged with Eurocopter. Eurocopter, in turn, arranged the variety of aircraft that they had acquired from Daimler-Benz and Aerospatiale into a family of products with major subsystems integrated as well. As a result of the merger, the BK-117 was transformed into the EC145 which combined the avionics of the EC-135 with the rear section of the BK-117. The cabin was redesigned giving greater internal capacity. In 2011, the EC145 was further upgraded with more powerful engines and the Fenestron shrouded tail rotor. Eventually, Eurocopter became Airbus Helicopters and the EC145 was redesignated as H145.
The H145M is a miltary version of the aircraft that incorporates self-sealing fuel tanks, ballistic protection, military avionics, sensors, and weapons capabilities. The H145M was adopted by the German Army and will no doubt find its way into other military services. You'll sometimes see an interesting mix of acronyms mixed with the aircraft designator (including on this kit's box art) which are LUH (light utility helicopter) and KSK which is a German acronym for German Special Forces. In other words, the H145M performs many of the same tasks as the 160th SOAR's AH/MH-6 Little Birds and MH-60 Black Hawk.
Revell AG (Germany) first released the 1/32 EC145 kit almost a decade ago and remains the only option for that subject in 1/32 scale. A few years ago, Revell AG also released a kit of the UH-72A Lakota based on this tooling and had announced the H145M for release last year. After some delays, the H145M is now available at your local hobby shop (or should be). The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on 13 parts trees plus three trees of clear parts. The instructions show that a small percentage of these parts are not used in this project.
Among the features and options in this kit:
- Detailed flight deck
- Instrument panel has nice relief detail and optional decal overlay
- Detailed main cabin
- Seating for nine in troop transport or four in surveillance configuration
- Flight deck doors are molded closed
- Positionable main cabin doors
- Positionable rear clamshell doors
- Detailed main rotor head
- Detailed Fenestron tail rotor
- Optional chin-mounted FLIR turret
- Exterior cable cutters
- Optional starboard-side winch
- Optional repelling frames for both sides of the airframe
This kit provides marking options for four aircraft:
- H145M, 76+03, HSG 64, Laupheim, Germany, 2017
- H145M, 76+04, HSG 64, Laupheim, Germany, 2017
- H145M, 76+06, HSG 64, Laupheim, Germany, 2017
- H145M, 76+08, HSG 64, Laupheim, Germany, 2017
The decal sheet provides airframe stenciling as well as good instructions for decal placement.
It will be interesting to see if Revell AG follows up this release with the armed scout version of the H145M which has the weapons mounts, rocket pods, gun pods, and IR exhaust deflectors for the engines (among other details). No doubt that folks will be able to do some scratch-building to create the armed scout version on their own.