Saturday, May 18

In-Boxed: 1/48th scale UH-1N Twin Huey from Kittyhawk

The UH-1 "Huey" has always been popular with modellers, and to make sure you get what you want to see we have built both the UH-1D & UH-1Y here at TMN. Andy Moore has the third 48th scale Huey from Kittyhawk and he gives us his observations of the kit and contents in his "In-boxed"

In-Boxed: UH-1N Twin Huey
Manufacturer – Kitty Hawk
Kit Number – KH80158
Scale - 1/48
Price - ¥6,750 • US $64 • £50 • €57 from Hobbylink Japan

Over the last few years, Kitty Hawk has been making a name for themselves as a producer of very nice helicopter kits, with an ever-expanding range of models in that genre. The latest addition to that range is the UH-1N Twin Huey, and we'll be looking through the contents of that release in today's in-box review.

The UH-1N Twin Huey is a twin-engined (hence the name) development of the ubiquitous UH-1 Iroquois utility helicopter, which has been in operation in various versions since the 1950's. The Twin Huey was initially ordered by the Canadian Armed Forces and first flew in 1969. Before long, it also entered service with the US, operating with the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps. It went on to see service with over 30 countries around the world, and in many cases is still in active use.
Powered by two Pratt & Whitney PT6 turboshaft engines, the Twin Huey has a maximum speed of 130 knots (135 mph) and a service ceiling of 17,300 ft. In addition to its regular utility role, the Twin Huey is also utilised for VIP transport and Search and Rescue operations. It can also be outfitted with miniguns and rocket pods.

The Kit

This is the third Huey variant that Kitty Hawk has so far released, joining the earlier kits of the UH-D and the UH-1Y Venom. It arrives in a medium-sized box with very attractive artwork, and also bearing the Werner's Wings logo, who assisted in the development of the kit. Inside you'll find four large, individually bagged, sprues in grey styrene. A clear sprue that comes in its own box for added protection, a photo-etched fret, and three nicely sculpted resin figures. Rounding out the contents are the instruction manual and decal sheet.
Kit Contents:
• 298 Styrene Parts
• Photo Etch Parts
• Three Resin Figures
• 6 Marking Options

Sprue A

The first sprue, like most of the others, is characterised by a large number of small parts. They are all very well moulded though, with clean, sharp detailing and no flash to speak of. Here you'll find the cockpit and cabin doors, the landing skids and the weapons. Some parts, such as the seats in the centre of the sprue, are left over from previous versions and aren't required for this build.
The doors, like the rest of the fuselage, feature indented riveting. On the real Huey these would be raised rivets and, as such, aren't entirely accurate, but they do at least add some impression of surface detail. In this scale, I think this way of representing the rivets is perfectly acceptable.
The machine guns and miniguns are very well moulded considering their small size. These could be replaced with aftermarket options if you want to super detail the build, but the kit parts will be more than good enough for most modellers requirements.

Sprue B

Another sprue of small parts, here you'll find the engine components, the tail rotor and the stabiliser fins. Many of the cockpit parts are also here, including the seats and instrument panels.
The engines are fairly basic, but they'll only be partially visible through the etched mesh cover panels. You could leave the cover panels off, although the instructions make no mention of doing this.
The instrument panel and centre console feature some very nice raised detail, and the overall layout looks to match the real think pretty well. There are single-piece decals supplied to cover the instrument panels, but it would have been nice to see an option for individual dial decals as well for those who prefer to paint the panels.

Sprue C

Here we've got the two main rotor blades, together with other elements to make up the rotor assembly. You'll also find the cabin seats and other internal details. The engine parts on this sprue are from the previous UH-1D release, and aren't needed for this kit.
The rotor blades have feature some very refined surface detail, and have been moulded with some droop along their length. This might actually be a little over-stated, as the real things don't seem to droop all that much. They shouldn't be too much trouble to straighten out though.

Sprue D

The final main sprue is the only one with any sizeable parts on it. This one holds the main fuselage and tail boom, both of which are split vertically. There's also the cabin floor and roof, and the bulkheads for the engine compartment.
The fuselage sides have some very pronounced detailing, probably a little too pronounced in truth. The raised sections seem too prominent as do the rails for the side doors. There are also a couple of mould lines running along the lower side of the fuselage that will need careful removal.
By contrast, the cabin floor has some beautifully restrained anti-slip texture, although some of the tie-down points are off-centre, particularly noticeable in the lower right on the photo.

Sprue GP

As mentioned above, the clear sprue comes in it's own protective card box, which is a great idea especially considering the large size and curved shape of the main windscreen. Even bagged, that could well have been scratched if the sprue had been loose in the box. It's always good to see a manufacturer taking extra steps to ensure the kit gets to you in perfect condition.
The quality of the moulding on the clear parts is also perfect. The glazing is crystal clear and there are no flaws that I can detect.


The three resin figures come in their own little plastic tray, and are free from any casting blocks, with just a few mould lines and a little wispy flash to remove before they're ready for paint.
All three are very well sculpted, with the pilot and co-pilot posed to sit in the cockpit, while the third figure is posed kneeling down and appears to be operating a door gun, although no door guns are included. Only the two pilot figures are shown in the instructions, so perhaps the other figure isn't intended to be used with this kit.
The castings are taken from 3D printed masters, which results in some very fine detailing and realistic looking folds and wrinkles in the clothing. It also means that there are some residual scan lines from the 3D printing process, but don't let that put you off. They're essentially invisible to the naked eye, and only show up here under high magnification. The figures should be a great addition to the model, and Kitty Hawk should be applauded for being one of the few manufacturers to include figures with their kits.

Instructions, Decals and Photo Etch

Rounding out the box we've go a medium sized photo etch sheet, the decal sheet and the A4 sized manual.

Photo Etch

The PE sheet holds the usual elements you'd expect to find, principally the engine screens and the harnesses for the cockpit and cabin seats


These look to be very well printed, with excellent registration and minimum carrier film. There's very good clarity on the markings, with all but the tiniest stencils being fully legible.


The instructions are a mixed bag, which is often the case with Kitty Hawk. The 56 build steps are clearly drawn and easy to follow, and progress in a fairly logical order. However, when it comes to alternative parts, such as the weapons and the nose-mounted FLIR turret, the instructions simply tell you to add everything to the build, with no information as to which marking options the parts apply to. You'll need to use the marking guides to check which parts to add to the version you're building, which isn't ideal. Another issue is the complete lack of any colour call-outs for the interior or figures. The only paint information given is on the marking guides for the main exterior colours.
Speaking of the marking guides, these form the centre pages of the manual, and you'll need to carefully remove them to be able to see the full guide pages or you end up with some very odd colour combinations.

Marking Options

There are a total of six schemes included in the kit, all of which are from US Forces, with two each from the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. They provide a wide range of finishes, from full camo to low-viz grey to day-glow SAR, so there should be something that appeals to everyone. No doubt more options will be available from aftermarket suppliers in due course. Paint codes are for Gunze Mr Color.

UH-1N from the US Navy, #158278 Tail code "BF"in Navy Blue with Yellow tail-band and #103 on the side doors
 UH-1N: US Navy Search & Rescue from NAS Fallon #158272, Tailcode "7H"
 UH-1N: USMC #160178 "HMM-268" 41 in Three-tone Ghost Grey/ Olive Drab/ Black
 UH-1N: Low-Viz USMC, Code "MP" # 158546 in two tone Medium and Light Grey.
 UH-1N: USAF #96645 in two-tone light grey and white
 UH-1N: USAF #96640 Code "FE" Three-tone Grey/ Medium Green/ Dark Green
From the box, this looks like it's going to build into a very nice model. Kitty Hawk kits can sometimes contain odd little quirks, but they generally build into well detailed and accurate models, even if it takes a little extra work to get there. Having said that, there's nothing here that's caught my eye as being a potential problem, and the only obvious downside is the less that helpful instructions, which will mean a lot of reference checking during the build. That's something most modellers will routinely do anyway, so not a huge issue. Overall, it looks like the kit should result in a very nice replica of the twin engined Huey.


Andy Moore

Thanks to Kittyhawk for sending Andy this kit to show you what the kit is made of. More of their models on their Facebook page.