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HH-65C Dolphin USCG Kit

Trumpeter 1/35 HH-65C Dolphin USCG Kit First Look

by Michael Benolkin

Date of Review August 2015 Manufacturer Trumpeter
Subject HH-65C Dolphin USCG Scale 1/35
Kit Number 5107 Primary Media Styrene, PE
Pros Nice detailing Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $109.95

First Look

HH-65C Dolphin USCG Kit
HH-65C Dolphin USCG Kit
HH-65C Dolphin USCG Kit
HH-65C Dolphin USCG Kit
HH-65C Dolphin USCG Kit
HH-65C Dolphin USCG Kit

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 procured by the United States Coast Guard as the HH-65 Dolphin which replaced the single-engine HH-52 Sea Guard. While the Dolphin has twin-engine safety, it is unable to land on water like the HH-52. The HH-65 entered service in 1985 using Lycoming engines in place of the original Arriel turbines. After worsening engine problems, the US Coast Guard replaced the Lycoming engines with Turbomeca Arriel 2C2 engines bringing the aircraft up to the HH-65C configuration.

Trumpeter first released their Dauphin series in 1/48 scale and one of those variants included the HH-65A. Now that Trumpeter is releasing this series in 1/35 scale, they've included this new release with the HH-65C. The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on 14 parts trees plus one tree of clear parts and two frets of photo-etched parts. The kit is not over-engineered so assembly should be straightforward. Surface detailing is finely scribed with no hint of mold flash.

Among the features and options in this box:

  • Nice radar under radome
  • Positionable radome
  • Cabin has seating for 3 with photo-etched restraints included
  • Nicely detailed flight deck
  • Positionable cabin doors
  • Detailed Arriel 2C2 engines and engine compartment
  • Positionable cowling doors
  • Detailed transmission and main rotor head
  • Nice Fenestron tail
  • Rescue winch and spotlight included

The kit provides markings for one option:

  • HH-65C, 6551, San Francisco, USCG

It is nice to see the HH-65 available in 1/35 scale to add to the growing number of helicopters available now in this scale. Hopefully someone will produce some markings to render options for other Coast Guard stations around the US.

My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!