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172
Rescue Wings UH-60J

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The Subject
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.

Yomigaeru Sora Rescue Wings (よみがえる空 - Rescue Wings-) is a Japanese anime television series animated by J.C.Staff which aired on TV Tokyo from January to March 2006. The main character is 2nd Lieutenant Uchida Kazuhiro, a helicopter pilot in a search and rescue wing of the Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF). The anime is a part of the Rescue Wings media franchise produced by Bandai Visual which also includes a live-action film released in 2008, where the main character is a female pilot played by Yuko Takayama, as well as two manga series with different stories focusing on search and rescue squads and personnel.

The real life JASDF Komatsu Air Base hosts a search and rescue wing in addition to two fighter wings with F-15J's and T-4's as portrayed in the anime. JDS Haruna (DDH-141), on which Hongou lands on to refuel in Episode 3, is a real ship of the JMSDF.
The Build
PLATZ lay out the instructions simply enough to follow. The main rotor blade assembly became a cool little first step. The center shaft is supposed to be silver but I wanted a bit of cartoon bling in the form of polished aluminium. Naturally, gloss black went down prior and that was over Mr. Primer Surfacer 1000. All the parts in this step and others had decent fit with only minor clean up with basic tools. For an added touch of color I chromed the very top of the blade assembly cap just to add some visual interest. One down and plenty to go.

It was quite confusing that PLATZ didn't include a decal to replicate the airflow spines of the tail plane (hope that's close to what they're called). The Hasegawa kit did not come with this raised detail and being it's a signature external feature of the UH-60J it is surprising. Oh well, that's why we have tools right? As the photo shows it was just a time consuming bit of measuring then pencil lines. Next came the UMM-USA 03 scriber and a dollop of patience... steel flavored.

The window backing tabs stick out like a lump on your noggin and needed to be brought down to size. An easy job that makes a visible difference, plus it didn't harm the parts fitting well.

One of the most time consuming tasks of this kit is the riveting. Sure, you don't have to take this on yet PLATZ show on the underside of the box a riveted illustration as does the box art. There's plenty of space to put down some tape to draw lines and the Rosie the Riveter's small wheel, along with a punch/scribing pen and flexible straight edge, handled the task with relative ease. You just have to control yourself and not go crazy with how many lines you roll down. I feel the end result more than warrants the time invested as far as being appealing to the eye and makes the model look larger in scale. Also, not a bad idea to fill the cavity with some Blu-Tac to prevent any cracks as you push your riveting wheel.

There were a few other areas which needed some love and I'll point those out as we go. The most blinding were the intakes, but with a thin reamer shaped tip on a rotary tool allowed me to core them. Unlike the other windows the bulbous opservation domes have a painted trim. Masking with tape would have taken too long so it was Mr. Masking Sol to the rescue.

In general PLATZ did a nice job informing the modeler what needed to be done in helping with the build. A two page layout with the actual size of the aircraft points out where holes are to be drilled and filled. They also include the location of Photo etched parts, white metal and important plastic pieces. However, some of these parts do not go with the "Rescue Wings" theme and certainly don't appear on the box art. Why would a rescue aircraft need flare and chaff dispensers? You tell me, but since it wasn't on the box art it ain't going on my model. There are other places where the instructions don't jive but we'll sort those out later. For now though the floor and grab bar holes needed filling. Some stretched sprue was used to make plugs then glued in place. Snip em', sand em' and on to the next step.

The interior needed some wall color and as luck would have it my primer color is the same as called for in the instructions. The difference is minimal with the plastic color but there none the less, although the light tones of the door suggested something was up, I should have gone with a darker shade. At least the sliding door interior decals jump out with blacks and yellows. Lesson learned when it came to the seats and a bit of black wash highlighted details on the back wall and cushions. The two crew figures are not very nice and one was "misplaced"... eh em. The kit does come with many other figures though and one had a helmet with microphone. An easily built set of binoculars later and he was poised as the main character in the "Rescue Wings" TV show and later would perch on the floor looking for people whom he needed to locate. It's a very basic interior and took no time at all to button up and prep for filling and more rivet lines.

As always, I slowly walk my cement along and clamp as I go and after a day or two of working on other projects the seam was ready to handle sanding and filling with home made styrene black goo.
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About the Author

About HG Barnes (HGBARNES)
FROM: ALBERTA, CANADA

H.G. Barnes is a former voice artist and sales/marketing executive. Currently ghost writing, he's recently published the first of many Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, and Adventure novels. He's been building model kits of every genre since memory to go along with his short stories, yet aircraft h...