(Revell - Nr. 04858)
The German Army Aviation Corps received 2 Sikorsky-built CH-53D in 1969 and subsequently 110 CH-53G built in licence by VFW-Fokker from 1971 - 1975. They serve in the role as medium transport helicopter. A handful of them were upgraded as CH-53GS for out-of-area-missions with enhanced self-protection measures. The remaining samples are now upgraded to CH-53GA with complete new state-of-the-art avionics and the other to the version CH-53GE which are similar to the CH-53GS. With the reorganization of the German Armed Forces in the recent years, the CH-53 were handed over to the German Air Force while forming the new Helicopter Squadron (HSG) 64 at Laupheim and Holzdorf AFB. The German CH-53s are supposed to fly (in reduced numbers) until 2030.
The kit first appeared in 1995 with decals for the 30 years of German Army Aviation in Mendig anniversary scheme. It's basically a downscale of the kits already offered by Revell in 1:48 and by Italeri/Revell/ Bilek in 1:72 scale. The overall detail is very good in this scale and it has fine recessed panel lines. The cargo ramp could be built in open and closed position. Not mentioned in the instructions, the crew entry and tail guard can also be built in optional positions.
Decals are provided for one older aircraft from 1986 with dayglo contrast fields (said to be serving as Hind simulators during maneuvers) and a more recent camouflaged Stallion from 2012, both still with Army titles. Keep in mind that the kit only provides the old metal main rotor blades which are not suitable for the latter option. All German CH-53 got the IRB (Improved Rotor Blades) in the early 1990'ie. Moreover some further modification of air ducts on the engine dog house are necessary to represent a correct up-to-date CH-53G.
Decent small scale kit of the German Army workhorse for little budget. attractive colour scheme with dayglo contrast fields and well prited decals. Nice addition to an airfreight diorama while loading on or off an AN-124. Due to very small parts some may get their magnifying glasses at hand.
Reviewed by Felix Troschier - 18. July 2013
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