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In-Box Review
Super Cobra
Bell AH-1W Super Cobra
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]

When 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.

The 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

First Impressions
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.

The 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.

If 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.

The 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.

As 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.

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

This 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

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on Aeroscale.
Highs: The low price make this kit affordable to just about everyone and there will be no mistaking what it represents.
Lows: It will need quite a bit of scratch work and aftermarket bits to lift the model.
Verdict: Fantastic for the younger modeller and it is easily buildable from the box.
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: 04943
  Suggested Retail: £17.99
  PUBLISHED: Mar 23, 2015
  NATIONALITY: United States

Our Thanks to Revell of Germany!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Darren Baker (CMOT)

I have been building model kits since the early 70ís starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70ís, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2021 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


The AH-1W has had NTS and the new exhausts for about a decade now. The Hellfire, in any scale above 1/72, needs a clear dome (or better yet, clear fore section to ease masking) and some indication of the optics as well as proportionately correct fin sizes. Finally, a kit which has a primitive cockpit is better off having the console detail blasted out of the mold and the main panels flipped to allow replacement with an in-box Eduard zoom set. This last should now be common place on all kits, IMO because it gets the junior builder over the hump of cockpit construction, painlessly. On those four items alone, the Revell offering falls down as essentially no improvement over the original Italeri and Testors releases in comparison to the beautifully well done, 1/35th scale, MRC kit which, while of a similarly dated early variant, has vastly more detail, recessed panel lines and is closer to scale appropriate for armor modelers (which is to say impressively BIG). To which I would add that the MRC kit is a commonly stocked item at Hobby Lobby in the U.S. and thus, while it retails for about 40-50 bucks, with a 30-40% off coupon which happens every couple weeks, the kit can be had for competitive prices to the Revell kit here in the U.S. The only thing the reissue truly offers is the stylized shark mouth scheme and even that is second place late as the tri-tone scheme has also not been active on the Super for at least 5 years, even in the reserves. While, compared to the black and gold markings of the original Super Cobra prototype (available from MRC in a separate boxing) with the full length snake, it's kind've dull. Too bad. With a little more research- LINK Revell would have turned up a man who would have been glad to scale down a master for them, based on his 1/35th after market offering and they could have then included a 'cut and past' subsprue which would have let junior and advanced modelers alike pick up a kit which was different from what they had in their stash. Myself, the T700 stretch-Cobra is ten kinds of ugly and the flat pack exhausts do nothing to help the 'which end goes forward again?' reality of it's appearance in comparison to the G and J which were the pretty versions. But novelty has it's own appeal and with the AH-1Z by Kittyhawk now out, it would have made more sense to at least do a recent combat Whiskey variant from the SWA campaigns- LINK LINK
MAY 30, 2015 - 07:50 PM
The MRC/Academy 1/35 AH-1W kit has its issues too. The biggest is that it is about 5mm short in fuselage length, mainly right behind the cockpit. Also, the skid legs should be unshrouded round tubes. There are other issues too, so it is not perfect either.
JUN 02, 2015 - 07:42 PM
I appreciate the vote of confidence in my turned exhausts. I wish they had done a better job. Another inc wrong with the MRC kit is the canopy. It is really badly shaped. Floyd
JUN 03, 2015 - 11:08 PM

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