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1/48 Academy Hughes 500D…OR….Does Anyone Want Some Reese’s Pieces?

May 14, 2017 in Uncategorized


Here is a model I’ve been wanting to try for a while. I have always loved the little Hughes 500. Fast, agile and very smart looking, especially when painted up like a box of Reese’s Pieces! I have a hard time thinking of a better paint scheme on a civilian aircraft than this, and its role in Magnum P.I. as a set piece (or even to be so bold as to say a major character in the show) cemented in my heart. The show actually used a few versions of the 500 series and a 396D in the first season. The 500C with a Y tail is seen often with and without floats but the T-tailed D is most commonly seen. When I found the Academy kit, I jumped at the chance to finally do this bird! I did find while painting it that there seems to be some length missing from the pod. If I lined up all the stripes through the windows, the skinny yellow and orange stripes at the rear would not pass in front of the rear strut for the skid and be too far back on the tail boom. These two stripes combined should be the same width as the yellow and brown stripes that precede them, so I had to fudge a little to get everything to fit and look right. As it is, this is one tricky bugger to lay tape down straight on especially when the curves start getting tight. I used vinyl automotive pin striping to mask the skinny stripes so I could get around the curves. And to think this subject is also available in 1/72! I was waiting until I found some decals to make up the N numbers, but finding them in the right size and font has not been successful thus far so I just decided to post! Now I might try looking for the vintage Revell model in 1/32! (And a 1/43 Island Hoppers die cast Vanagon!)

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23 responses to 1/48 Academy Hughes 500D…OR….Does Anyone Want Some Reese’s Pieces?

  1. TC’s 500 in Magnum PI is the image my mind conjures up when I think about a Hughes 500. Absolutely STUNNING!!!!

    • AND the theme song! It’s awesome how the first thing you see in the opening credits is the Hughes diving for the ocean! Like I say later in the thread, it’s almost a character in the show itself!

  2. Nice work, Josh….the paint scheme came out great IMO – I like it. 🙂

  3. Rat’s, Morne beat me to it, Yes, TC’s little Hawaiian helo on Magnum PI, was definitely the first thing that came to mind !
    Well done, Josh !

  4. Love the paint work, Josh. How was the kit to build? I’ve seen it on eBay many times going dirt cheap but the build reviews I’ve read have scared me away from buying one

  5. It builds very nicely. I used no putty at all. The only thing that is tricky is getting the windows in cleanly. (I even have some oops spots.) The kit would be better if the halves were molded clear so only masking the windows would be necessary, but not including painting I had mine built in a day. (Mask the windows BEFORE gluing the halves together so you support the inside while masking and trimming so you don’t accidentally push them in!) Building a second one, I would glue a tube into the roof for the rotor shaft to rest in. Just having the thickness of the plastic lets it wobble around a bit. I would say though definitely worth the money especially if you’re a fan of the 500! (I got mine at Hobby Lobby for $6 with a 40% off coupon on an ATM receipt.) Plus you get a CHP motorcycle with the police version! I probably will get the CHP version so I can have two bikes. One for Ponch, and one for Jon! Go for it, you’ll like it!

  6. Any Ferrari 328 GTS around?

    • 308 GTS! If I could find a 1/43, then yes I would! I do believe Heller made one. I have the Austin Princess, Rover SD1, Alfa Sud and Alpine A310 by them. Close enough to blend in with 1/48. (And I do know there was an Island Hoppers Vanagon die cast in 1/43, just have to get one.)

      • Oops, you’re of course right. To rescue my reputation: not so much of a difference between the two at first sight.
        I remember by the way when you could get one of those for 20 grand in Europe. Why haven’t I …?

  7. Great looking Hughes Josh !!!!! Halvar took the words right out of my mouth………….. It has to be a red Ferrari……………….

    Years ago I built the Revell 1/32 little bird…………….. It may still be in the attic. Next time I’m up there I’ll check.

    I really like the paint work. Two thumbs up my friend.

    • Thanks Louis. Building has been slow over here. Between work, working on my cars (they all seemed to have something go wrong last year) and life in general I’ve been very busy, so I’m glad I got something finished to post for a change!

  8. Great built, and beautiful paintjob. Nice to see one of these birds built and specialy in these colours.
    I must have an Academy 1/48 500MD somewhere in my stash too.

  9. Great work, Josh! Your painting & masking was great!

    Like the others have said, a red Ferrari would be fun to have & build.

    • Thanks Jeffry. It was a but of a challenge getting everything to line up, especially the narrow bands. The vinyl pinstriping I used for the narrows pulled up a little near the top. Some touch up with a brush was required to clean up the seepage in the corners. I think it will look even better in 1/32 if I can find one.

  10. Nice touch Josh – love this – you have to find the 308 GTS to go with it – and the birds of paradise shirt!

  11. Hello Josh,
    Excellent paintjob on this chopper.
    Regards, Dirk / The Netherlands.

  12. Nice – my wife and I loved that show!

  13. Ohhh…. My…. Gooohd… Magnum!
    Higgin’s catch phrase was my favourite part of the show, after the 70’s style BROWN “Island Hoppers” Hughes 500 of course!
    I had wanted to build this helo and the Ferrari as well!
    Thanks for the trip down memory lane! Nice build!
    Dan from Bermuda.

  14. Great job!!!! I’ve the same kit in 1/72….

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