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1/48 Kitty Hawk AH-1Z “Viper”

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  • Member since
    April 2015
1/48 Kitty Hawk AH-1Z “Viper”
Posted by Wolfman_63 on Saturday, June 17, 2023 1:22 PM
My next build is the 1/48 Kitty Hawk AH-1Z “Viper” attack helicopter. This is the first of a few commission builds I will be doing over the next few months. For this build I will be adding the Eduard interior and exterior photo etch sets, the Model Master M197 (20mm) brass barrels, and the Flying Leathernecks TSS Turret. The scheme will be aircraft 47 from the HMLA-267 Stingers.
As typical I started off with the cockpit using the Eduard photo etch detail set. The photo etch replaces the kit decals for seat belts and instrument panels. The side armor panels, seats, and side control panels required some putty to cover the mold marks. Everything went together very well. Next I am starting on the engines. I will be detailing these as at least one of the engine covers will be in the open position.
You can see more photos and details in my build log at:  https://davidsscalemodels.com/build-log/1-48-ah-1z-viper/
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Website:

David's Scale Models - https://www.davidsscalemodels.com

 

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Saturday, June 17, 2023 2:08 PM

Awesome!  I've heard some good things about this kit.  I have one in the stash so I'll be watch closely.

Thanks,

John

  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Between LA and OC, SoCal
Posted by oortiz10 on Saturday, June 17, 2023 4:39 PM

keavdog

...I have one in the stash so I'll be watch closely... 

Yeah! What he said!

 

-It's Omar, but they call me "O".

  • Member since
    June 2014
Posted by BrandonK on Sunday, June 18, 2023 10:07 AM

I've built this one and it is a good kit. I has a few minor issues but nothing that can't be easily fixed. I did grab another one as the one I built is closed up and the next one will be all opened up like this one you are doing. Looking forward to seeing it.

BK

On the bench:

A lot !! And I mean A LOT!!

2024 Kits on deck / in process / completed   

                         14 / 5 / 2  

                              Tongue Tied

  • Member since
    April 2015
Posted by Wolfman_63 on Saturday, July 1, 2023 1:38 PM
Week three of the Viper build was spent adding numerous photo etch details to the forward fuselage and detailing the avionics and cargo bays. The avionics bay detailing was started with the Eduard photo etch parts. I had to drill some .05mm holes thru the photo etch for the cables. I then used some 30 gauge to represent the numerous cables and routed them like the reference photo. I used a little gloss white pant to represent the ID tags on the cables. I located a small fire extinguisher to duplicate the one in the ref photo as well. 
The other side of the fuselage is a cargo storage bay. The photo etch set provides a cover with handles and the hinge at the top. I then added the various antenna pods and covers for the fuselage. I started working on the intakes by filling the mold marks. Next up is the gun and TSS turrets for the nose.
You can see more photos and details from the start in my build log at:  https://davidsscalemodels.com/build-log/1-48-ah-1z-viper/
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Website:

David's Scale Models - https://www.davidsscalemodels.com

 

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    June 2018
  • From: Ohio (USA)
Posted by DRUMS01 on Friday, July 7, 2023 11:00 PM

Very clean and detailed modeling happening here, great work so far!

"Everyones the normal until you get to know them" (Unknown)

LAST COMPLETED:

1/35 Churchill Mk IV AVRE with bridge - DONE

NEXT PROJECT:

1/35 CH-54A Tarhe Helicopter

 

  • Member since
    April 2015
Posted by Wolfman_63 on Saturday, July 8, 2023 9:45 AM
Finishing the fourth week of the Viper build I began building and detailing the turrets. The TSS turret from the kit was replaced with the resin version from Flying Leatherneck. Speaking of the kit version it is very inaccurate. It has two small round lenses and two large round lenses. The actual turret has one small, one medium and one large lens and they are shaped differently. The resin kit does also have an issue. While they give you a prism sticker for the large lens, the resin turret does not provide the clear lenses for the small and medium lenses. I made these from a sheet of clear acetate.  The internal sensor faces were painted chrome using a Molotow chrome paint pen.
Turning to the gun turret I replaced the kit with the Model Master kit. The brass barrels are a little longer and have the barrel holders in the correct locations. The kit includes a weight that goes inside the turret so it does not tail drag. I then started to add more details to the fuselage. The landing skids have some photo etch details. They were then mounted. I then built the exhaust section and added the photo etch details. To mount it to the fuselage I had to use a piece of styrene to push the mating edge of the fuselage out a bit to line up with the bottom of the exhaust assembly as the fuselage edges were slightly warped inward. Once the seam was glued I removed the support. I am now working on the side wings and should be starting the boom this week.
You can see more photos and details from the start in my build log at:  https://davidsscalemodels.com/build-log/1-48-ah-1z-viper/
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Website:

David's Scale Models - https://www.davidsscalemodels.com

 

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    April 2015
Posted by Wolfman_63 on Sunday, July 16, 2023 7:33 AM
 Five weeks into the “Viper” I added the exhaust to the fuselage. The exhaust was painted using Vallejo Jet Exhaust then heavily weathered with dark grey and black pastel chalk. I next started to assemble the boom and added the photo etch details. The boom and the side wings were then attached to the fuselage. I built up the main and tail rotors then began adding the photo etch to the panels that will be open.
There are many screens/vents on the fuselage. Some of these are open holes and some screens fit into a panel. For the ones that fit into panels I painted the panels black and then brush painted the screens with thinned paint so the screen holes do not fill with paint before installing them. This will highlight the appearance of these areas. I painted all the photo etch details with a thin coat as well so when the fuselage is painted the overall coat will be even. I noticed the vent just above the exhaust was incorrect in both angle and shape. The vent has a 90* turn which is incorrect. It is more of a 45* bend to the starboard side. The kit vent was trimmed and re-installed correctly. I will be starting some pre-shading and the base coat painting this upcoming week.
You can see more photos and details from the start in my build log at:  https://davidsscalemodels.com/build-log/1-48-ah-1z-viper/
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Website:

David's Scale Models - https://www.davidsscalemodels.com

 

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    April 2015
Posted by Wolfman_63 on Saturday, July 22, 2023 10:53 AM
After six weeks the Viper now has paint on it. Once I added a few more details to the fuselage and mounted the gun turret I painted the base coat of the scheme. I used reference photos from the client rather than the paint guide of the kit. The kit scheme is very close to the actual aircraft. The major difference is the main rotor is half black and half grey and the line between the upper grey and lower grey is slightly different. I ten painted some of the details like the antennas, sensors, and formation lights.
One more issue I found on the kit is the Air Data Probe. This sticks up just forward of the cockpit. It consists of three parts, the pole, a junction and a round sensor. The instructions and the reference photos show the junction on the pole shaft. However the kit part does not have a hole in the center to slide onto the pole. I drilled a hole through it using a 0.5mm drill. Once in place the sensor points towards the rear of the aircraft. There is no mounting hole on the backside so using the same drill I made a small mounting hole as well.  This coming week I will be applying the numerous decals as well as working on the canopy details.
You can see more photos and details from the start in my build log at:  https://davidsscalemodels.com/build-log/1-48-ah-1z-viper/
 
 
 
 
 
 

Website:

David's Scale Models - https://www.davidsscalemodels.com

 

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Between LA and OC, SoCal
Posted by oortiz10 on Saturday, July 22, 2023 10:59 AM

David, I'm diggin' it. I really like your engine detail. Nice progress!

-O

-It's Omar, but they call me "O".

  • Member since
    April 2015
Posted by Wolfman_63 on Saturday, July 29, 2023 10:01 AM
The seventh week of the Viper I applied all the decals for the scheme. The kit decals are very good. The decals laid down and conformed to the surface with just the decal set. Once the decals had dried I sprayed a light coat of matte clear coat to seal the decals. I then used some light grey and medium grey chalk to add some weathering along the fuselage. I then added the clear lights. One thing the kit did not provide was a clear lens for the tail navigation light. I trimmed off the molded section and replaced it with a clear lens. I then added some photo etch details to the top of the canopy. I checked the fit of the canopy top and it will need some minor sanding on the front underside to meet the fuselage.
I then started to assemble the weapons. The 70mm HAP’s, LAU-68’s, and the Hellfire’s went together very well. The AIM-9 missiles had some mold marks that needed to be filled with putty. I also trimmed off the nose to make my own sensor heads using acrylic gel. Once the weapons are completed I will install all the panels and the rest of the canopy. I need to work on mounting the main rotor as it needs to be removable for shipping later. I am hoping to have this completed in a week or two. 
 
You can see more photos and details from the start in my build log at:  https://davidsscalemodels.com/build-log/1-48-ah-1z-viper/
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Website:

David's Scale Models - https://www.davidsscalemodels.com

 

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Sunday, August 6, 2023 8:52 AM

Ay!

        "You talking ta me?"

 That's the attitude I get from this build! Love it, and your quality of work. You make me Proud! Proud! Yes, to have been a member of that exclusive club that did commission work and continues to do so. Carry on the traditions for sure!

  • Member since
    April 2015
Posted by Wolfman_63 on Saturday, August 12, 2023 11:47 AM
Nine weeks and the “Viper” has been completed! All of the panels and canopy doors have been installed. I used 30 gauge wire for the supports on the panels. On the canopy doors I used black sleeved wire and stripped half of it so it look like the compression supports. I did a little more weathering on the inside and outside of the panels. The next thing I did was to remount the weapons. The kit instructions have you mount two rocket launchers and the Hellfire’s under the wing. The problem is the “Z” only has three hard points instead of four. A fellow modeler pointed this out and the client also noted it as well.
For the main rotor I trimmed off the plastic links and replaced them with black 28 gauge wire. This allows the rotor to be removed and installed easily. This is for shipping reasons. With the main rotor finished this also finished this build.
The kit itself was a decent build with only some minor issues as noted during the build. The fit was very good. The instructions were in a good assembly order but had some parts not shown like the canopy handles. The paint schemes use the incorrect colors as well. It does build into a nice looking helicopter.
I will be packing this up today once the brass nameplate arrives and then ship it out. The client already has the display case for it. Thank you for following along. Happy modeling!
You can see all the photos and details from start to finish in my build log at:  https://davidsscalemodels.com/build-log/1-48-ah-1z-viper/
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Website:

David's Scale Models - https://www.davidsscalemodels.com

 

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Between LA and OC, SoCal
Posted by oortiz10 on Saturday, August 12, 2023 12:21 PM

Nice work! I have this kit in my stash, but it's way down on the to-do list. I plan to build all the USMC Cobra variants. So far I have the G, the J, and the 4 bladed Zulu demonstrator done. I still have two Ts (one "slick" and one TOW) and the Whiskey  to do before I get to the Zulu. My theme for '23 was "doubles." Maybe my theme for '24 is Marine Snakes? Your Cobra is definitely some inspiration.

Dangit! Where are my Apaches...?

-It's Omar, but they call me "O".

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Saturday, August 12, 2023 12:27 PM

That turned out great.  I'll have to check out your site re: the canopy comment.  I hate those hinged canopies - maybe it will help.  I too have this one in the stash and have only heard good things about the kit.  Well done.

Thanks,

John

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