(Revell - Nr. 04659)
Honestly spoken, the old kit of the EC-135 from the mid-1990ies was overdue. It has many errors as it was based on prototype/pre-production EC-135s. Despite the faults in masurements, rotor turning directions etc. the windscreen fit was horrible. Over the years more and more flash got on the sprues.
So Revell decided in 2010 to bring a complete remake of this widely-used helicopter. A quite rare occasion that a modeling conpany decides to bring the same type as a completely new development.
Thats the history behind the product for short - let us see what we get. One could be said in advance: Revell has done its homework.
The new kit comes in a big box (which is not as suffed as the EC-145 range) with 18 sprues in total. Some of them are contained twice.
The major outside parts are moulded in yellow whereas most of small and interior parts come in grey. The overall impression is similar to the Lynx and the EC-145 - the kit is very comprehensive. This fact is also mirrored in the instruction sheet. As the construction of the model is here and there very complex, a close study of the instruction sheet is necessary in order not to get messed up in the building process.
The interior is a class of its own. Every inside surface of the cabin is covered by an extra part which represents the inside structure. This accounts not only for the cabin doors but also for the center pillar of the windscreen, the "A pillar" of the pilot doors, and the whole aft cabin. This version of the kit comes with a complete Bucher type EMS interior which was constructed very close to the original. It contains a highly detailed stretcher, cadriogram monitoring/defibrillator, oxygen respirator and bottles, medical cabinets and perfusion pumps. The only things which can be added by the modeller are the respirator's pipework, a emergency backpack (usually stowed on an unoccupied seat or on the stretcher) and a metal material box usually stowed on the starbord side in the aft cabin next to the stretcher behind the physicians seat.
The pilot's door on the starbord side and the sliding door on port side can be attached in an open position as well as the rear clamshell doors. The attachment may be a bit tricky here but a makeshift support structure and super glue should do.
The fuselage has (in contrast to the Lynx) a fine rivet structure. The Inlet Barrier Filter (IBF) is also represented in the fuselage. The instrument panel is correct for both of the included aircraft and has the glass-cockpit style with the big multi function screen for the HEMS Crew Member's seat. The seats offer moulded-on harnesses.
The only known parts form older releases is the sprue with the small parts which is already known from the EC-145 and earlier police releases of the EC-135. But you only need the windscreen wiper, the radar nose cone and the settling protectors from there. The rest is for the spares box.
A big improvement over the old kit are the turbine exhausts. Now we have "real" tubes which are also combined with an inlay which represents the the aft inner life of the turbine. These tubes are attached at the aft part of the main gear box' plate. Supporting struts will make sure that the tubes will be in the right angle.The whole airflow channel system and the main gear box with control rods are represented in the kit, despite the fact thay all of this will mostly disappear under the cowlings.
Another advantage is the correct asymmetrical arrangement of the Fenestron blades. The height of the Fenestron's tailfin was also shortened and the cabin windows have the correct slightly outward bulge for the first time. Overall, the clear parts are of an excellent quality.
The decal sheet offers the Revell standard without any major complaints on a glossy carrier film. There is a minimum out-of-register print with the German flag but this is hard to notice and easily fixed by little bit of trimming. Options are "Christoph 6" based in Bremen and "Christoph 31" based at Berlin. There two minor research mistakes for both options (see below) but they don't have that big impact on the model. Both aircraft were formerly used by the Bavarian police and they are therefore very similar. One could of course argue if another option (even if this would be another ADAC aircraft) would have been more interesting. Alternative registrations are easily printed homemade. www.helionline.de is recommended as a source here.
Now to the rivet counter's concerns:
(as the research for the kit was mainly done in 2011, there are some differences to the decals and equipment in the kit although the instruction sheet states that both aircraft represents the year 2013)
Some minor mistakes were included in the instruction sheet - if you consider these tips you will be on the right track - just use the parts although they are marked as "not used":
(The originally promised decals for the Swiss TCS were abandoned due to the fact that their aircraft is not IBF-equipped. Probably, this variant will follow later)
Well done Revell! Smart model for experienced modelers for a smart price. We look forward to see further variants (police, US HEMS, military) of the kit.
Reviewed by Felix Troschier - 06. December 2013
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