by: HG Barnes [ ]
The Bell UH-1N Twin Huey is a twin-engined, medium military helicopter. A member of the extensive Huey family, it first flew in 1969. The CUH-1N Twin Huey (later CH-135 Twin Huey) was the original version, first ordered by the Canadian Forces.
The UH-1N has a 15-seat configuration, with one pilot and 14 passengers. In cargo configuration, it has an internal capacity of 220 ft³ (6.23 m³). An external load up to 5,000 lb (2,268 kg) can be carried. The UH-1N was later developed into the civilian Bell 212.
The UH-1N's main rotor is powered by a PT6T-3/T400 Turbo Twin Pac made up of two Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 turboshaft engines that drive a single output shaft. They are capable of producing up to 1,342 kW (1,800 shp). Should one engine fail, the remaining engine can deliver 671 kW (900 shp) for 30 minutes or 571 kW (765 shp), enabling the UH-1N to maintain cruise performance at maximum weight. ~wikipedia~
Adorning the very sturdy box is the usual terrific Kitty Hawk box art and in this case we can judge a book by its cover. Each sprue tree is separately bagged and the clear parts get special attention, being in a hard cardboard box.
Other components of the kit are well protected by the instructions and away from being scratched by the plastic. The figures come in a protective plastic holder, the photo-etch is covered in clear film and decals have a resealable bag. Kitty Hawk certainly recognize the distance their products will travel and take care to minimize damage.
When it comes to plastic some people favor a firm material and others a softer. Kitty Hawk use something smack in the middle. I say "smack" because that's exactly what happened to me when breaking down a spent tree and it sprung back! Brothers and sisters I'm here to tell ya the reminder of that plastic will stay with you for at least half an hour HA HA. Anyway, the detail is very good, yet a slight burring is present on all the sprues which may or may not need attention. Be advised that you will have enough left over parts to fill the cargo area because of all the different variants plus the single engine Huey made it's way into the tooling. Clear parts are generally decent with a slight image warping on those with complex curves, but you can definitely excuse them for that.
The Instructions will get you by for any of the variants, yet I'd strongly suggest using other source material. Remember there are many parts and these instructions deal primarily with the gunship version. Also there is a woeful lack of paint guides for interior parts plus certain areas are vague as to where a part(s) are to be connected. Thus, make like Pete and his "twin" brother Repeat and reread em' several times.
Color Schemes are found in the middle of the instructions. All six are very nice but again consult other references for an exact color match. In my case I built the NAS FALLON SAR and found that the "Yellow Orange" was not red enough. Regardless, Kitty Hawk give you a wonderful amount of choice here which may take some time since they're all great looking options.
The Multi Media additions in this kit are really nice save for one item(s). The seat belts are simply horrible for the pilots and if you add belts for the passengers then you'll need to exclude two in order to have lap belts for the pilots. Otherwise the Photo-Etched parts add a great level of refined detail and the 3D printed resin figures are much much better than in previous Kitty Hawk kits (although I've heard some later kits did not include figures).
The Decals are printed by the manufacturer and have nice color, are in register and there are not too many of them. That said, the carrier film is too thick and will need some sanding back after 6 to 8 coats of Micro SOL. In some cases I had to re-stamp the rivet holes and panel lines to help things along. You may choose to omit the cockpit decals and hand paint since the switches and instruments are super detailed.
When it boils down to bang for the buck you'll have a tough time beating what Kitty Hawk pack into a box! There is some truly exquisite details all around this model but as it goes there are places needing care... fading rivet holes as an example. Choose your option, make a plan, consult references and take it a step at a time, but hey nothing new there right?
If you want more information and insight about this kit you'll have to suffer through my drivel in the upcoming build feature.
Very Special Thanks go out to the kind people at Kitty Hawk for sending along this kit for review and of course to You for taking the time.
When shopping for this or any Kitty Hawk merchandise please mention you read an article on KitMaker Network AeroScale.