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Richard Mcstay
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AH-64 D

October 31, 2014 · in Aviation · · 26 · 2.8K

This is the Apache Longbow as I'm sure you are all well aware, this version is the AH-64 D. This is a more recent model of the famous attack chopper incorporating advanced radar and targeting systems. There are very few obvious differences between this and the earlier Apache's on the surface, till you look into the technologies that is, then the AH-64 D is far far superior. In terms of visual differences the large radar is noticeable, as are the left side panels down from the cockpit. The main cannon is also an upgraded version. I also chose to add the stinger missiles to the wing tips for this model.

This is my second attempt at an Apache as my first one didn't survive 3 house moves in quick succession! To be honest though I thought I could do a better job on another one as I encountered problems with Humbrol products on my first couple of builds.

I was delighted when I came across this kit on Ebay, It is a recent 1/35 scale kit from a manufacturer called Hapdong! Never heard of them! But what could not be to love about a new large scale helicopter? Well let me tell you, and this might take a while...

I was initially impressed when I first opened the box, Nicely molded thin grey plastic, rubber tyres, glass tips for the hellfire missiles. Even a tube of glue free in the box, some nice touches! The only disappointment on first inspection was the closed canopy. Then I started building it...

The first thing you should do if you attempt this kit is throw away the instructions. They are in Chinese, terribly inaccurately drawn, don't make sense, miss parts out and just do not work in general. There isn't a single part of the main fuselage that fits together properly! There were either HUGE gaps or I had to start cutting, drilling and filling to get parts to fit. The wings didn't fit into the body, the missile rails just dropped back out with no connecting plastic to glue and the canopy didn't fit properly.

Just when I thought I had won with the help of Perfect Plastic Putty ( mini review- it is awesome! Water soluble so no need for sanding, with a small nozzle applicator. Amazing! Try it! ) I then applied the decals. I used a quarter of a bottle of micro sol trying to get them to stick but they were immune. After the bombs fall there will be cockroaches and Hapdong decals remaining!

By this point I had gave up, so those of you with a keen eye will notice that this chopper is US Marines! I don't even think they have Apache's but by this point I had honestly lost interest on this build and used some decals from my spares box! Then the final upset was when I realized that I needed to remove an inch from the undercarriage, literally an inch! It looked like it was on stilts!

On a lighter note, I added some extra detail to the armament using PE and scratch built the wind speed gauges on the sides of the engines, and the radio aerial on the tail is crafted from guitar string. I added some PE seat belts which unfortunately can't really be seen in the closed cockpit. I got quite a good results on the rotors by dipping them briefly into boiling water. My first attempt using an industrial pressure steamer oven wasn't quite as successful, lucky it was only a test on the sprues.

In all, this has been the most difficult kit I have built! A challenge was soon replaced with sheer frustration. For anyone wanting to model a large scale Apache, I would recommend the old 1/32 kit, there are still some knocking around on Ebay. and there is a excellent Verlinden detail up resin conversion kit available.

Reader reactions:
3  Awesome

6 additional images. Click to enlarge.

26 responses

  1. This one is loaded for bear Richard. Great work on that rotor head.
    Well done.

  2. Reading that Richard, you done amazingly well.
    Some great pics .
    Looks really nice.
    Well done mate for persevering with her.

  3. Ahh, that Chinese quality we know and love. Great job on the helo in spite of the challenges it gave you.

  4. Richard you should be awarded a VC for bravery. You did a great job regardless of the odds stacked against you. The Apache looks great! Well done!

  5. I was initially impressed when I opened the box... then I started building it.

    Famous Lost Words with a Chinese kit (unless it comes from H-K, who are so committed to getting it right that they have completely changed their release of the 1/32 Mosquito to do separate releases and have them right. Yes, I work with them - this is why.

    From dogmeat to a sirloin steak - not too bad. Congratulations!

    • You only have to go as far as their B-17 to know they aren't messing about!
      I will give Trumpeter a chance I think. There are a few aircraft kits they do which have caught my eye. Particularly some of their large scale jets. I have a trumpeter SAM launcher in the stash so I will see how that goes I guess.
      Thanks for the compliments Tom, much appreciated.

  6. Nice Apache Richard, beside the problems, you have a great new Helicopter in your collection.The detailwork and painting on the rotorhead for example is awesome, well done.
    This kit will be rarely seen completed, i guess. So both thumbs up ! 🙂

    • Thanks Bend. There are plenty more heli's I will build but no more apache's! The rotorhead is just xf-1 flat black dry brushed with xf-16 flat aluminium ( Tamiya acryllic ). I put a little bit of detail wire on also. Cheers.

  7. Nice looking build, Richard. I did one of these in 1/48 and it was a large model. In 1/32 it's even more if a beast.

  8. I can imagine that it's very difficult to pack a helicopter for a house move, so I understand that your previous model was damaged quite easily. However, it urged you on the make an improved version, and this one is great. I really admire your determination to complete it, I'm sure I would have given up at a very early stage.

    • I'll be honest George, it very nearly 'flew' several times before completion! It wasn't fun anymore when the decals didn't work. When I move again my models are getting their own removal van!
      Thanks for the compliments, cheers

  9. Nice work Rich, helicopters are beyond me,too much glass ,too much interior so well done.-N.

    • Thanks mate, much appreciated! You can get canopy masks for most kits, I think they look more complicated than they actually are. Apart from this one which was a nightmare!

  10. Great looking Helo Richard. One of the most awkward looking and deadliest rotor craft ever built. You have captured it well.
    California Steve

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