by: Darren Baker [ ]
IntroductionWhen it comes to helicopters that ooze appeal, the Cobra and Super Cobra must rate near the top of anybodies list. The Cobra attack helicopter first showed its face with the US Army during the Vietnam War in 1966 and it made a big impression on both friend and foe. The Cobra also caught the attention of the US Marine Corps, but as these would be flying over the sea there was a need for a duel engine aircraft, in 1969 enter the Super Cobra. Today the Super Cobra is still flying strong after many upgrades and improvements. Revell of Germany has released a AH 1W Super Cobra onto the market in 1/48th scale.
ContentsThe model is supplied inside an end opening card box with a quite nice artwork on the front of the aircraft. Inside the box you will find;
2 light grey sprues
1 clear sprue
A decal sheet
An instruction booklet
An advisory sheet
This release from Revell of Germany is not a new kit I believe, my reason for thinking this is that having seen what Revell of Germany is doing with new models, this kit is not up to the same standard, but that does not mean this kit should be ignored. Further checks reveal this to be the Italeri offering of the AH-1W Super Cobra. The mouldings are free of issues such as flash or excessive seam lines. There are a number of ejector pin marks on the mouldings, but these look to have been given consideration and will be hidden on the finished model, in areas where ejector pin marks could affect mating surfaces they are recessed as opposed to raised. I cannot even see any flow lines in the plastic, which is unusual. The only downside I can see at this time is a sink mark on each of the missile racks.
CockpitThe cockpit is the weak part of this model and that is unfortunate due to the large glazed area. There is detail present such as the instrument panels and even the seats have harness detail present, but I know this area is not a level that will satisfy most of you, still all is not lost as a resin replacement could be used instead.
FuselageIf you know the expression Ďa game of two halvesí then you know what is coming in this area. The general shape looks close enough overall, having quite nice curves and lines present. The fuselage is festooned with rivet detail that is a good match for the real aircraft, if a little large. The panel lines are where the model fails as they are all raised instead of recessed and that will mean a lot of scribing being needed. A real shame as that would have lifted this model somewhat. The engine exhausts are quite well replicated.
CanopyThe canopy if left in the closed position fails as the moulding has been designed to allow the modeller to opt for open or closed hatches. The issue is that as we all know clear plastic parts tend to be on the brittle side and the deep recesses in the moulding that allow the hatches to be left open have resulted in moulding gaps, this gaps will be obvious on a model with the hatches closed.
WeaponsAs mentioned earlier that ammunition racks have a sink mark on the face of each, this will not be hard to fill but it is still disappointing. The weapons provided for the stubby wings consist of Hellfire and sidewinder missiles and just for good measure a couple of rocket launchers. The 20mm multi-barrelled cannon is lacking in the level of detail I would expect, the barrels will need drilling to help lift them, or if you are feeling flush could get yourself a barrel set from Master. Detail of the weapons systems is a little weak but acceptable to many I suspect.
Decals There are 3 finishing options covered by the decals, these are of course all US Marine Corps aircraft. The decals can be felt on the carrier paper, but they are not excessively thick. The options cover;
162571 HMM-163 Tarawa LHA-1 1989
162537 VX-5 Naval Weapons Centre, China Lake, 1988
162541 HMT-303, Camp Pendleton, July 1991
ConclusionThis is a hard one to conclude as it really will depend on the modeller and what they want from it. A youngster will love it due to the decent size and large weapons load, all of the rivet detail will look quite appealing to many modellers and the general shape is very pleasing. I myself am a little disappointed due to the amount of extra bits I would need to lift it to a level I would want to.
Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For details visit www.revell.de/en, @RevellGermany or facebook.com/Revell
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