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  #1  
Unread May 18th, 2011, 10:27 PM
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Default AH-1W 1:35 MRC/Academy/Italeri/AFV

1:35 MRC/Academy/AFV/Italeri AH-1T+, AH-1W, AH-1 NTS

First off, thanks to Dave Roof for the idea of the "Tweaks" forum.

I've been meaning to do a really thorough review and comparison of all kits and aftermarket items but in the meantime I'll cover some basics now and post some pictures later – most of this info is a repeat of what I posted in other forums. I'll edit and refine this first post as I get time and take pictures.

There are many different boxings of this kit. Some with new decals and added details, some not. There are also quite a few after-market “correction” sets for this kit; testimony to how many errors there are. Eduard, Verlinden, and Cobra Company all make “correction” sets. The Cobra Company set is also an “upgrade” (to the NTS version). Werner Wings (turned exhaust) and AMS Resins (intake and exhaust covers) provide upgrades.

Some basic tweaks that apply to all version of the kit:
. Off the top of my head, starting at the nose and working back (I won't get in to general shape issues although those are common):
- Turret cowling should be open on bottom (the Verlinden set has this and the full M-197 gun, the AFV 1/35 release has alum barrels and a couple of other parts including the brass deflector - personally, I took the Vulcan off an M-113 kit).
- Belly detail zilch (Eduard set has good stuff for belly)
- All steps too narrow
- No cockpit firewalls, missing details,, fictional rear bulkhead, etc (CC, Verlinden, and Eduard all have good pieces)
- Faired skid cross tubes (I made new ones with coat hangers)
- No detail on xmsn cowlings handholds, doors, steps, etc (get Eduard)
- Detailed tranny/swashplate etc. (you think the fixed wing modelers would settle for a big blank bulkhead behind the prop with the engine should be?).
- Stubwing and ordnance details lacking (get Eduard - steal Hellfires and ALQ from OH-58)
- No filler cap details
- No 90 degree gearbox detail

There is a lot more but I don't have the kit out in front of me. It's funny because Eduard caught most of MRC’s errors – I guess it is easier to see others’ mistakes than break new ground. Too bad MRC didn’t add the CC and Eduard parts before they modified the molds into NTS – I know – not ethical.

If money is no object here is what I would get:
1) The Cobra Company upgrade (only NTS front cockpit out there)
2) The AFV kit issue (because of the barrels and turret pieces)
3) The Eduard big three (exterior almost a must)
4) TwoBobs decals or the Academy NTS boxing that includes versions of these schemes.
5) Hellfires and ALQ from the MRC OH-58 - better shaped with clear seeker heads - same model company much different quality.
6) Verlinden? When it comes down to it i think I'm just using a couple of gun pieces. While the rest is OK, it is really just a copy of the kit cockpit - no update - oh, and the PE sucks.

If money is an object, I'd get the Cobra Company set and the Eduard exterior as the bare min.

Am I being nit-picky? A little but some of the lacking detail seems like it is just laziness on MRC's part- its not like it isn't obvious from looking at the pictures of the real aircraft - it was obvious enough to the aftermarket guys. That's the good news - a lot of aftermarket stuff complement it (and to fix the omissions) - Cobra Company, Eduard, Verlinden, TwoBobs, Fireballmodels, Werner Wings, AMS Resins, etc.

That said, it looks like an AH-1W when done and the only game in town in this scale so I thank Academy for that. Also, I think that this was the first 1/35 helo so I thank Academy for opening that niche.
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Last edited by SuperCobra; May 18th, 2011 at 10:30 PM.
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Unread May 18th, 2011, 11:18 PM
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PS - Did I just totally misread the intent of the "tweaks" and provide a kit review instead of "tweaks"? If so, I'll add the tweaks as I add pictures.
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Unread May 19th, 2011, 05:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperCobra View Post
PS - Did I just totally misread the intent of the "tweaks" and provide a kit review instead of "tweaks"? If so, I'll add the tweaks as I add pictures.
Sort of. The Tweaks Lists are intended to provide information on the accuracy and building issues of a specific kit, as well as what can be done to correct the inaccuracies and make the build easier.
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Unread May 21st, 2011, 01:52 PM
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I have the Academy NTS boxing, are the twobobs decals a copy from the kit or are they an improvement?

Thanks,
Bryan
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Unread May 21st, 2011, 02:53 PM
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It's actually the other way around. The TwoBobs decals came out first. The TwoBobs artwork was used to make the Academy NTS decals. They both look the same to my eyes. If you like the schemes in the Academy NTS boxing, buying the TwoBobs decals would be redundant IMHO.

P.S. - Since the Academy decals are Cartograf the argument can be made that they are an improvement over the TwoBobs' version.
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Last edited by SuperCobra; May 21st, 2011 at 03:11 PM.
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Unread May 21st, 2011, 03:27 PM
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For the fuselage extension, Evergreen has strips that are EXACTLY 4.8 mm wide, and they would be great to use to on extending the fuselage.

I am going to attempt this on my next one.

the rotor blades need to have some twist on them. I'll post how to later.

Cheers
H.
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Unread May 21st, 2011, 04:33 PM
otis252 otis252 is offline
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Hang on with that fuse extension. Heard it's not just right! Stay tuned, news coming.
Chuck
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Unread May 21st, 2011, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Winnie View Post
For the fuselage extension, Evergreen has strips that are EXACTLY 4.8 mm wide, and they would be great to use to on extending the fuselage.

I am going to attempt this on my next one.

the rotor blades need to have some twist on them. I'll post how to later.

Cheers
H.

Do not stretch your fuselage. Every modeler that has extended their AH-1W fuselage at the panel line noted, has effectively made their kits even more inaccurate.

The forward fuselage, to include the doghouse on top, is actually the correct length (within a couple of scale inches). The area around the canopy is the real issue. The tail boom is too short and the tail itself is too tall. By adding the extension, you'll make the dog house and forward fuselage too long and the tail boom will look even shorter than it already is.

As I've mentioned before, I have complete measurements of an AH-1W, as well as technical basic line data drawings from Bell.

I finished a drawing of the AH-1W based on the Bell information and my measurements and have been trying to finish a drawing based on the kit. When that one is done, I'll be able to show modelers exactly where the problems are.

Unfortunately, I've got too many other things going on at the moment and this is not anywhere near the top of the list.

Dave

Last edited by Dave Roof; May 21st, 2011 at 04:48 PM. Reason: Added text for clarity
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Unread May 21st, 2011, 05:54 PM
otis252 otis252 is offline
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Hey Dave, how much sould the tail boom be stretched? Let us know that. The area around the canopy cannot be corrected in my opinion with out a new whole forward resin fuslege. We'll just go with the new canopy, what else can be done?
Chuck
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Unread May 21st, 2011, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by otis252 View Post
Hey Dave, how much sould the tail boom be stretched? Let us know that. The area around the canopy cannot be corrected in my opinion with out a new whole forward resin fuslege. We'll just go with the new canopy, what else can be done?
Chuck

First, a small correction after going over my notes and drawings. The fuselage does need to be extended by about 3/16 of an inch, but NOT forward of the engines. It needs to be extended from the point immediately aft of the upper dog house.

Then the boom needs to be extended about 1/8 of an inch. However, once that is done, the tail needs to be shortened in height by about 3/16 of an inch.

The area around the canopy needs to be redone to bring it closer to the correct profile.

The nose of the NTS kit is slanted too much as well.

There are many more areas of the kit that add to it being off and it will be easier to describe them using the drawings and/or photos. I'll try to add a little at a time over the next few weeks.
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Unread May 21st, 2011, 07:40 PM
otis252 otis252 is offline
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Ok, oh great one! How about this, extend the fuselege the 3/16 inch back from the panel line to the rear of that big battery vent on the fuse sides. Then extend the tail boom the 1/8 inch right in front of that hinged access panel at the front of the boom on the port side. Then cut the tail rotor mast off by the 3/16 inch. Done! That's about the best that can be done, huh?
Chuck
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Unread May 21st, 2011, 09:22 PM
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Thanks dave!! saved me 3 bucks in evergreen!! and a fuselage... puh! saved by the ding-ding!

Anyays, finally got the 'stickers' off the other one, and I can now think about repainting it, flaws and all. (they were by the way sticky, and needed tape AND acetone to come off.

It is a nice kit to build, and does lok OK-ish for the peeps who know no better.

Cheers
H.
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Unread May 22nd, 2011, 06:21 PM
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Concur with Dave (not that it's needed). While the previously mentioned extension does improve the looks of the kit by lengthening the hydraulic reservoir compartment door (the door immediately aft of the back cockpit), it is extending it in the wrong direction. It needs to be extended by shortening the canopy. Plus the canopy sills sit too low. Dave is also correct that the engine cowling doors are not long enough. Like Dave, I've got drawings and have slowly been trying to turn them into something usable by modelers.

Below is a sanitized drawing scaled to 1/35 with the kit laid over it. Ignore the NTS nose for now as this drawing is non-NTS. Although it is hard to tell in the photo because of parallax, take my word that everything lines up except what I'm about to note:

1) The canopy sills are too low
2) The canopy is too long and the aft angles are off
3) The engine cowling are too short
4) The front and aft tops of the doghouse angle too much - they should almost be parallel to the deck. This is part of the reason the kit build has the ALQ and forward antenna sitting at a funny angle.

One of these days I'll post some exact measurements and tweaks (if Dave doesn't beat me to it).







P.S. I forget to add that the hyd comp door on the kit is also too tall, adding to the illusion that the kit is too short in this area. Look at the drawings and photos and you'll see what i mean. Once again, true correction is shortening the kit canopy raising the canopy sills.
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Last edited by SuperCobra; May 22nd, 2011 at 06:57 PM.
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Unread May 22nd, 2011, 07:07 PM
otis252 otis252 is offline
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Wow, this is getting more and more interesting. And unforutantly worse. Now we need two stretches and to complicate it more I was planning on using WW turned exhaust. Don't know how that's gonna work with the tail boom stretch. Then there's that blasted canopy. I just wonder if that new canopy that's rumored to be in the works is done to fit the model as is or a corrected model even to some degree. That is with the canopy sills raised. I'd guess not. Well, now I face the question we all do with a kit like this. Hack it up and try to get a fairly accurate Cobra or build it like it is and just say the ever popular "well it looks like a Cobra". LOL Whata you think guys.
Chuck
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Unread May 23rd, 2011, 01:32 PM
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Andy,
What about the various Ah-1 pilot sets that are available. Which ones would be the best ones to use?

Thanks,
ARW
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Unread May 23rd, 2011, 06:11 PM
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The new AH-1W canopy that was thought to be in the works is out. Avus gave up, he tried very hard. Just couldn't make it work. Really thank him for his try!! That leaves us even worse off. Guess we just do what we can, it is what it is.
Chuk
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Unread May 23rd, 2011, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Reluctant Wanderer View Post
Andy,
What about the various Ah-1 pilot sets that are available. Which ones would be the best ones to use?

Thanks,
ARW
I think all of them are listed in this compilation heavy Arty made:

http://aeroscale.kitmaker.net/module...d=96471&page=1

I haven't seen the latest ones in person, in fact the only one I have is the Kirin one so I'm judging by the pictures. None of the (near as i can tell) have the correct combo of flight gear for Marines.

1) The most recent set by Dtoys has what looks like a recent Airsave vest and an older (10+ years) helmet.

2) The CMK kit looks like old helmets and Army vests (from what I can tell in the pictures).

3) The ADV set- same - old helmets and Army vests.

4) The Kirin set is my favorite (best poises) but it is Desert Storm era flight gear and while one is wearing the correct era Marine vest (with flotation) the other is in what again looks like an Army dry vest for some reason.
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Unread May 23rd, 2011, 10:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otis252 View Post
Wow, this is getting more and more interesting. And unforutantly worse. Now we need two stretches and to complicate it more I was planning on using WW turned exhaust. Don't know how that's gonna work with the tail boom stretch. Then there's that blasted canopy. I just wonder if that new canopy that's rumored to be in the works is done to fit the model as is or a corrected model even to some degree. That is with the canopy sills raised. I'd guess not. Well, now I face the question we all do with a kit like this. Hack it up and try to get a fairly accurate Cobra or build it like it is and just say the ever popular "well it looks like a Cobra". LOL Whata you think guys.
Chuck
You are right - a lot of people wouldn't notice. While many have noticed that the canopy is not bulged like it should be, I never heard any mention of the other shape issues until Dave did. To me the hardest to fix (the canopy) is the most obvious.

As for a corrected canopy, most people want plug and play so you probably won't see any totally correct after-market canopies any time soon (IMHO) because it would involve major corrections to the fuselage as well.
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Unread May 26th, 2011, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperCobra View Post
1:35 MRC/Academy/AFV/Italeri AH-1T+, AH-1W, AH-1 NTS

5) Hellfires and ALQ from the MRC OH-58 - better shaped with clear seeker heads - same model company much different quality.
.
Forgive my ignorance, but what are the "ALQs" that you are talking about?

Thanks.
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Unread May 26th, 2011, 09:03 PM
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Sorry - the ALQ-144 is the IRCM (infra-red counter measure) - the "disco" light right behind the rotor mast and anti-collision light. On the MRC AH-1W kit it looks like a thimble and on their OH-58 and in real life it looks like a coffee can with multi-faceted mirrors on it. Cobra Company has a good one in his UH-1N Fleet Upgrade set http://www.cobracompany.com/35012lg.gif and Fireball has a 1/32 one (I don't have it so can't tell you if 1/32 looks "close enough".

I'll update this post later with some pics of how to "tweak' this.
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