BK117 "Space Design"
(Revell - Nr. 04833)
The only BK-117 in 1:72 scale has its origins in the older Matchbox mould and therefore it has to be said that the level of detail is certainly everything else than "state of the art". On the other hand, a decent model can be built out of the kit with some improvements.
The upper engine housing has almoust no surface detail and the exhaust tubes are too thick. Panel lines are except for the doors almost not existent and they are "trenches" typical for Matchbox kits. But tests I made had shwon that the engine housing of the EC-145 also fits onto the BK-117 fuselage. The cabin interior needed for this version is complete except for the missing collective levers.
The skid attachment has always be the weakest point of the kit. The blunt joint between the skid crosstubes and the fuselage is far from being stable.
The decals sheet was completely re-done by syhart decals and is not related to the earlier issues of the same variant. The photographic realisation of the instrument panels appear to be convincing at least fot 1:72 scale. Compared to the older issue, the new sheet seems to be more comprehensive as far as all the tiny stars on the helicopter are concerned.
Nevertheless there has to be some criticism made: The earlier issue of the Space Ship variant war in production from 1991/92 until at least 2003. The question is why RoG chose again the same colour scheme (which was also produced in 1:32 as well) even though there are obviously licensing issues with the artist of this special paint work. There are so many other interesting colour schemes of BK-117s all over the world in emegency medical and police services but Revell seems to be blind on this eye.
Maybe the ordinary consumer and specialist may have not the "big picture" of market economics. But from the modelers point of view it would have only been appreciated if Revell had taken the risk and had chosen an entirely new and more appealing variant. The "Space Ship" scheme is defenitely exhausted.
The previously planned but cancelled new tool MD-520N which was replaced by this reissue would have been a nicer addition to RoGs programme.
Reviewed by Felix Troschier - 12. October 2013
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