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Bell UH-1E Huey

by Boyd Waechter (1:48 HobbyBoss)

Bell UH-1E Huey

Shown is my recently completed HobbyBoss 1/48th UH-1E Huey made from their UH-1C kit (which it is not). This kit is part of HB's "Easy Build" series targeted for younger modelers, so accuracy was not necessarily important. The kit comes with markings for two Huey's, a UH-1C "Easy Rider" gunship and a UH-1E based at NAS Glenview in the late seventies. You can not build neither of these versions OOTB. 

Bell UH-1E Huey

The kit is very close to a UH-1C, but it comes with the narrower 21" main rotor blade in lieu of the wider 27" cord blade the -1C had. Bell developed the UH-1C as a gunship from the outset with a larger engine and wider main rotor blades to provide the lift it needed to carry it's heavy armament. It also had a larger tail and larger set of horizontal stabilizers to offset the additional torque developed by the larger engine and main blades. The kit is also devoid of any armament.

Bell UH-1E Huey

You can also model a late model USMC UH-1E by adding a rescue hoist and hoist motor housing to the cabin roof, the modifications I made to use the kit markings which I thought were very colorful. The hoist and hook came from another Huey kit (an ESCI UH-1D I believe), but the motor housing was carved from a small piece of basswood to get the needed size and shape.

Bell UH-1E Huey

I also used parts from Monogram/Revell's Huey Hog kit; the control sticks, collectives, rudder pedals, and seats. This 1967 kit is a real mess and best bought for parts only. By the way, you can use the larger 27" main cord blade and armament from this kit on the HobbyBoss model and get a fairly accurate UH-1C.

Although part of their "Easy Build" series, this is not a bad little model and assembles fairly easily and without any need for putty. It is a good basis to build a number of short cabin Huey's if you are willing to swap parts from other kits and scratchbuild whatever else you need. Backing out some personal time spent on some home projects, I spent about 40 days building, modifying, and painting the model. This is the first Huey I have done, but the build gave me a sense of building other variants of the aircraft, especially in larger scales.

Bell UH-1E Huey

Boyd Waechter

Published on 02. December 2012

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