CH-53 GA Heavy Transport Helicopter
(Revell - Nr. 04834)
Revell's newest release in Oct 2013 is the the Sikorsky CH-53GA "Heavy Transport Helicopter"
The CH-53 is in service with the German Army Aviation since 1973. Until 1975, 112 aircraft werde delivered in total. 110 of them were built under license by VFW-Fokker at Speyer facilities. During the last 15 years the fleet was and will be upgraded for the forthcoming challenges in the next decades. 20 of them were previously upgraded to the version CH-53 GS (Revell 04446) for Afghanistan puposes, 20 only will be minimally updated CH-53 GE and 40 to CH-53 GA("German Advanced") will receive a new glass cockpit, new navigation and communication avionics, UHF antenna, FLIR device and electronic warfare system.
In early 2013, all CH-53 G/E/S/A were transferred from the army aviation branch to the air force in the so called "capability transfer". The 80 remaining aircraft will stay in service until around 2030 with the helicopter squadron HSG 64 at Holzdorf and Laupheim.
Not surprisingly, Revell offers with this kit its older Stallion from 1985. Despite the age of the tool, the fuselage surface detail is fine. But the level of detail for the interior is not "state-of-the-art". Interior walls will remain blank and there is no cargo cabin intrerior at all. Also the the seat for the onboard technician is missing. Some recessed panle lines are very thick. The main rotor head defenitely needs some improvement with tubing and wiring.The clear parts, the windshield in particular has a rather strog distortion effect.
Although not mentioned in the instructions, the rather simple model of the Jeep and the howitzer are again included in the kit.
As the old kit alone would be far from representing the recent versions, Revell included also the sprue with the parts designed for the CH-53 GS which was also offered 10 years ago as Revell 04446. It mainly includes the new improved rotor blades (IRB) made from fibreglass and titanium as well as seat armor, new head rests and air intakes for the engines. The external fuel tanks and most of the other smaller parts are not needed for a CH-53 GA.
The newest addition to the kit is the seperate sprue for the GA-version. It includes the FLIR and its mounting, the new cockpit instrument panels, the HF towel rail antenna, other small antennae and sensors. Unfortunately the fuselage does not provide pre-drilled holes, so every placement of the "lumps and bumps" had to be measured and marked with a pen as it is suggested by the instructions sheet.
A nice addition to the offer of some more current military helicopters. The level of detail can not compete in every respect with more current toolings but with some own initiative, a decent model can be built out of the kit which has an impressive size in the end.
Reviewed by Felix Troschier - 04. November 2013
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