Westland Wessex HAS Mk.3
(Revell - Nr. 04468)
The kit is moulded in dark blue and grey plastic. The level of detail for a kit issued in the late 80’s is poor. The kit scales out reasonably well when laid over drawing in the 4+ book on the Wessex. That is excepting for the tail pylon which leans back at too acute an angle and some other small inaccuracies, it does however look like a Wessex!
The grey parts of the kit are restricted to the cabin interior. The are more in keeping with a VIP aircraft and are of no consequence to an anti-submarine aircraft (obviously included in the HCC Mk2 kit). No attempt at the anti submarine sonar gear is given. Details of which may well have been restricted information at the time. The fuselage carries some panel lines but this is quite heavy. The cabin interior carries some frame and stringer detail but does not look convincing. The Uh-34 fuelling points are still evident as are the engine ventilation grill, the latter being raised detail and poorly executed and should have been removed from the moulds.
The new nose section is added on the fuselage at the point where the clamshell doors for the UH-34 fitted. The ‘Parrots beak’ cowl is well moulded but the exhausts are less convincing, again the panel detail is heavy and incorrect. There is no under fuselage detail!
The undercarriage is completely wrong, again a leftover from the UH-34 kit. The UK versions carried the earlier bent leg and oleo strut undercarriage. Revell could have easily included these parts. The remainder of the detail for the HAS Mk3 is given in the kit but the Spine mounted radome and the rotor fairing are undersize! The Bulged port side cabin window is included in the transparent parts and the port fuselage half has been re-tooled to reflect the larger cabin windows. The Starboard window remains the small UH-34 type. The cabin access door has the window opening removed as the HAS Mk3 has un-glazed door. The cabin windows should be dark blue Perspex, this to reduce glare to the sonar operators during daytime missions. The larger cabin windows were to afford the crew an easy escape in the event of ditching. The crew normally wore emersion suits for operations over cold waters, which with a may west/dingy pack were quite bulky. The main rotorhead is cleanly moulded but lacks detail as does the tail rotor.
These are well printed and cover two aircraft, the first belonging to 737 Squadron based at RNAS Portland in the golden yellow and RAF blue grey scheme. The second is again the infamous ‘Humphrey’ aboard HMS Antrim in 1982 during the Falklands Conflict . The colour scheme was now overall RAF blue grey.
Reviewed by Heloman - 01. September 2009
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