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Special Hobby 1/72 CH-37 Mojave Kit First Look

By Fotios Rouch

Date of Review February 2008 Manufacturer Special Hobby
Subject Sikorsky CH-37 Mojave Scale 1/72
Kit Number 72075 Primary Media Styrene, Resin, PE
Pros Nice detailing inside and out Cons
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $54.95

First Look


Sikorsky built the S-56 helicopter as a response to an RFP for a helicopter capable of airlifting twenty six troops and their equipment that would be able to stay airborne even with one main rotor blade shot off. Sikorsky designed the S-56 as a twin piston engine helicopter but with one five blade main rotor driven by two shafts.

The S-56 was Sikorsky's first twin engine and the first production helicopter with retractable undercarriage. The S-56 was also wests fastest and largest military helicopter holding two records for height with payload from 1956 to 1959.

The first prototype was XHR2S-1 and it first flew for the Navy in December of 1953. The Navy bought sixty HR2S-1s. In 1954 the design was evaluated by the US Army with the designation YH-37 and a subsequent order was placed for ninety four H-37A Mojaves.

Production ended in 1960 but Sikorsky continued work converting the majority of the H-37As to the H-37B and CH-37B version with automatic flight stabilization systems, modified nose doors and crash-resistant fuel cells. The CH-37 was replaced by the turbine powered CH-54 which could lift almost five times the load the Mojave could.

We first heard rumors of a Mojave coming from the Czech Republic last year and all the rotorheads went crazy! This absence of this model has been a major gap in our helicopter collections.

Special Hobby did not disappoint. Three sprues of gray plastic and one sprue of clear plastic are included in the kit together with a bag of resin and two frets of photo-etch details.

The two fuselage halves comprise the first sprue. They look good with good surface scribing and very good surface detail in the various vent areas. Some small cleanup will be required around all the openings and careful cutting is required to remove the parts from the sprues since the gates are a bit on the thick side.

The other sprues provide the parts for the two engine pods, the rotor blades, landing gear and other details.

The rotor blades are molded straight with no blade droop and the instructions mention that the modeler will need to dial in the characteristic blade droop.

The included resin is very well cast with no defects although some small parts were broken off from their pouring stubs. The main rotor and the tail rotor hubs are provided in resin and careful cutting will be required to detach them from their resin base. The cockpit looks pretty complete with busy details that will look great under the big clear canopy.

The clear parts are well done and they even provide the clamshell doors in two big parts that can be posed open if the modeler is adventurous enough to scratch build the interior bay.

The photo-etch fret provides cockpit details, antennas, landing gear details and rotor details. Some of the vents screens are provided in photo-etch.

The decals provide options for three Mojaves. Two are from the same machine while serving in Vietnam in 1964 and one option is for a Mojave while serving in Illesheim AB in Germany in 1959. This is my favorite scheme as this is the one depicted at Pima Air and Space museum and offers a nice eye catching Bavarian sash around the tail and front of the helo.