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Sikorsky S-58T

by Dennis Lautwein (1:72 Italeri)

Sikorsky S-58T

The Original

Who does not know the “Screaming Mimi” of the 1980s TV-series “Riptide”? As a worn ex-military helicopter serving some private investigators, this S-58T became famous.

In real life she started as a HUS-1/UH-34D (BuNo 150199, c/n 58-1519) with the US Marine Corps with a radial engine. After retirement she was equipped with a PT-6T Twin Pack (2 coupled turbines with a combinig gearbox) and so converted to an S-58T. In the series she appeared as N698 (some photos show N688X, but that was a fake registration made from tape in the series). Today she is operated by Summit Helicopters as N9VY, now in red.

Sikorsky S-58T

Characteristic for the Mimi is the weathered pink finish and the blunt face, which enhances the already stubby appearance of the S-58T nose (later, the mouth was extended further back, which gives a somewhat more pleasing look).

Sikorsky S-58T

The Interior was equipped with carpet-like lining and cushions and armchairs made the cabin more luxurous. I could not find a definitive answer if this all was installed in the helicopter or only in a studio so I chose to improvise and find a solution that could have been as shown.

Sikorsky S-58T

The kit:

Italeri’s H-34 has already gained some age and seen some boxings but it is still the best one available. Here, I used the Revell of Germany boxing of a German H-34G, as this had the correct style of undercarriage. The kit is OK, basic shape is correct, although the panel lines are not all where they should be and are a bit simplified and the tail rotor turns in the wrong direction (which seems to be typical for Italeri).

Sikorsky S-58T

To make it into a S-58T, of course some modifications are nessesary. Most prominent is of course the nose, which is converted from a “bubble” to a “pig nosed” shape because of the “Twin Pack”.

Sikorsky S-58T

You can get a resin nose from Cobra Company, Buccaneer and S&M (also distributed via the German MRR and very similar to the Buccaneer nose). But all do not match the real thing. With some help from the German Helicopter Museum I could find a Sikorsky drawing and build up the shape using resin material from Cobra Company’s parts, sheet and putty.

Sikorsky S-58T

Apart from this, all S-58T are more or less individual, because all are converted from a diversity of S-58/H-34 models. Customized window arrangements, a removed tail gear box fairing and the use of a bifilar vibration damper on the main rotor head are typical.

Sikorsky S-58T

The rest is just details. Some Eduard photo-etch was used, the some part are scratch (e.g. the main gear box housing with main servos and the swashplate and scissors as I did not like Italeri’s approach to that area.

Sikorsky S-58T

The base color is mixed from several Revell and Testors red, white and skin tones according to the pics and videos I had available. The mouth is hand-painted.

Sikorsky S-58T

The decals are ALPS-decals courtesy of him:

http://public.fotki.com/Rockinroller/plastic/riptide-screamin-mi-1/

From this set I only used eyes, single teeth and the „The Screaming Mimi“ lettering. Registration and anti-skid is from the spares box.

Sikorsky S-58T

„Mimi“ is shown at her harbor landing site as in the series. Additionally, I made Cody, Nick and “Buzz” from some military figures. The mandatory girl is from Preiser.

Sikorsky S-58T

Conclusion:

I do not expect a S-58T kit in the future because the real ones are too diverse. So what is out there is a good kit for a basic H-34/S-58 which unfortuanately is not matched by the quality of the available S-58T conversion sets. So right now, if you want a convincing S-58T it’s still all up to the modeller.

Bye guys…

Dennis Lautwein

Published on 23. July 2012

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