by: HG Barnes [ ]
IntroductionIn 1988, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force choose the UH-60L to replace its KV-107 and Sikorsky S-62 helicopters. The first aircraft was built by Sikorsky, with the company designation S-70A-12, and two more were assembled by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Mitsubishi is producing the remaining UH-60Js under license. The Japan Marine Self-Defense Force also chose Search and rescue, and utility helicopters to replace the S-61A in 1989.
The UH-60J is powered by T700 engines license-built by Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries in Japan. It features external fuel tanks, an external rescue winch, a Japan-built radar, a FLIR turret in the nose and bubble side windows for observers. The Japan Air Self-Defense Force machines were fitted with T700-IHI-701A engines, while Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force machines were fitted with marinized T700-IHI-401C engines. Fuel tanks can be attached to pylons on stub wings. The UH-60Js began deliveries in 1991 and entered service in 1992. A total of 40 UH-60Js were in service in 2010. The JASDF ordered 40 newer UH-60Js in December 2010 to begin replacing older UH-60Js. ~wikipedia~
The KitPLATZ use some nice box art to lure your attention to an interesting and unique subject in their 1/72 scale JASDF UH-60J. Inside you'll find a well know Hasegawa manufactured kit along with some very nice goodies to build an Air Rescue Wing model.
The plastic is good but let's face it, this Black Hawk isn't exactly a spring chicken. There is flash to clean up, definition to add to parts plus very few panel lines. Theclear parts are good yet the side windows all have micro lines. The box art shows a more detailed example with rivet lines and components that are absent from the plastic. However, PLATZ have a done a stellar job with adding their own touches and for most modelers this will be enough.
The instructions are primarily in Japanese yet there is enough English to get you through what are otherwise easy to follow. Some highlights are the photo-etch placement pages, decal and paint guide plus the exact location of drill holes and alignment of specific parts. It would have been nice to see more than 5% English though.
There is some nicely thought out multi-media elements in the white metal infrared radar hub that, hopefully, will add a nice heft to your model. The photo-etch is also a welcomed bit of needed detail that adds to the otherwise blank underside.
Decals and MarkingsPLATZ missed out on a bit of marketing value by not writing on the box that they are printed by Cartograf. They sure are and are lovely with plenty of stencil data, great colors, instrument clusters and beautifully printed. Also, while not in the instructions there are markings for two other birds, 552 and 017. What this means is you can buy another and include the refueling parts which the box art version does not call-out for... or just build your own.
Conclusion When I first saw the $39 dollar price tag a few thoughts came to mind. Not long after those went away and here's why. Considering this is, as most of you know, a great fitting kit, the PE takes care of the belly and ads side rails, sculptured nose piece, gorgeous decals, plenty of options and when your finished you'll have a model that over nine inches! Now add to that PLATZ have produced an extremely cool subject with eye popping color and detail, well you've got a winner! Imagine taking it to the next level with panel and rivet lines then a wash... well guys and gals you've got a stunner! I will be panel lining and riveting along with scratch building a roof when this one comes up for bench work and must admit to looking forward to that day.
Very special thanks go out to the good people at PLATZ for sending this sample so please visit their website www.platz-hobby.com and thank YOU for taking the time to have a look.
When inquiring about this or any PLATZ items please mention you saw an article on KitMaker Network Aeroscale.