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Ramon R. Lomeli
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UH-1H Huey, A Co. Little Bears, 25th Avn BN, Cu Chi, Republic of Vietnam 1969

October 9, 2014 · in Aviation · · 46 · 13K

Hello! This is the scale UH-1H that I built for a friend and fellow veteran, who asked that I build for his brother, who is also a veteran and also a fellow former crew chief. This is meant to represent his bird while he was stationed in Vietnam back in 1969 while assigned to A Company, 25th Aviation Battalion. I used Italeri's 1/48 scale UH-1D kit as a start. Out of the box, you get parts for a UH-1D as well as a UH-1H, so check your references, despite what the instructions say.

A Co. had some special missions, so I had to scratch-build some special mission equipment. On the right side is a Cobra Company resin M-60D machine gun with a bit of sprue to represent the C-rat can that the crew chiefs fixed to the weapon to help the ammo belt feed better. Ahead of that is a scratch-built 55 gallon drum, cut in half and loaded with illumination flares made out of aluminum tubing. On the left side is a scratch-built spotlight with a scratch-built starlight scope. Ahead of that is Cobra Company's M-134 minigun and ammo can (originally destined for a MH-53 project I have in my stash) with a custom gun mount since the typical gun mount was not the one they used. I made it out of scrap photo etch and wine bottle foil. Underneath, I drilled out the cargo hook area and made a better mount for the hook itself. The cockpit and cabin are mostly CMK's resin detail sets, except that I had to scratch build a center cabin section with soundproofing removed, since they used to remove the soundproofing back in real life. Outside, there is a resin CMK engine set. Also, I made custom decals for the 25th Infantry Division emblem on the nose, and A Co. Little Bears emblem on the tail cone.

The model is complete, but the story is still not finished... Next step is for my buddy and I to figure out how we are going to deliver the model to his brother, who happens to live on the opposite side of the country from us. Looks like a plane ride and a hand carry might be the best way...

Some unit history (and some of my reference) can be viewed here:

Reader reactions:
24ย  Awesome

23 additional images. Click to enlarge.

46 responses

  1. BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL ! I am currently busy with a Huey Hog gunship in 1/35 scale. I also added a lot of scratchbuilt detail and will also expose the engine. Mine is one of those weathered battle-scarred veterans of the Vietnam war. Will post her in the coming months once finished! Again a marvellous job Ramon!

  2. Totally agree with Morne, a wonderful model of a much under represented type and conflict. Great job Ramon.

  3. Nice work, Ramon. I had in mind to do a Nam dio sometime and this kit was earmarked as a possible subject. I think this might be one of the few I've seen built up. I like the surrounding vignette as well.

    • Thanks Rob! If you choose this kit, keep your references handy. The box says UH-1D, the box art shows a UH-1H, and the instructions have you do a mish-mash of UH-1D, UH-1H(vietnam era) and UH-1H(modern era). Still, it was fun and I learned a lot!

  4. Good to comment this early, that means some superlatives are unused.
    The presentation with this perfect and realistic looking UH-1 and the surrounding diorama is breathtaking.
    VERY well done Ramon !

  5. What's wrong with this posting, Ramon? Answer - nothing at all! Brilliant detailing has really brought this model to life, and the photographs show it off to perfection.

  6. Waye aye, as we say in Newcastle! That's definitely my sort of thing. Lovely weathering mate, nice all round.

  7. Excellent Ramon, you have done yourself proud with this gift for a Vet. Well Done mate.

  8. Exceptional piece of work Ramon. Everything comes together & looks very realistic.
    Intended or not I really like the appearance of rain tracks on this.

  9. Fantastic work Ramon, the above comments sum it up.
    A very well done Ramon.

  10. Attention to detail(s) ...outstanding. A very nice build for a fellow vet. And some nice work went into creating the base as well. Good luck with the transportation/delivery dilemma.

  11. very nice work Ramon - and I really love it when there is a backstory. I'm sure the Vet will be really pleased to get this. It is work like yours that brings this hobby to life and connects it with the real world - very well done. And I like the base as well - the corrugated wall looks bang on.

    • Thanks Paul! I really like building actual bits of history, especially when I can get first hand accounts of that moment in time. I was able to talk to my buddy's bro to ask him about a few details and it was really enlightening! I am glad I was able to make the blast wall work, that was totally scratch-built as well!

  12. man...that is cool

  13. said on October 9, 2014

    Cool! Great build of one of the 'Electric Strawberry's' birds.
    Flew similar configured aircraft in my Unit.

    Bo Roberts
    Demon 68

  14. Beautiful build Ramon and will be a special gift for the person you are giving it to. Lucky!

  15. Most realistic. Very nice work.

    You ought to get hold of the old Monogram 1/48 UH-1B and do a HAL-3 Seawolf: big ol' mean M-2 .50 cal on the right, minigun and rockets on the left. I have detail photos of the one that's been restored if you are interested.

  16. Ramon,
    Your buddy will be astonished and very proud of what you have done here. The beauty of this model is not only how well you have done it but how well you have paid homage to to a veteran who is a part of this aircraft. Thank him, your buddy, and you for your service to our country.

  17. Masterfully done Ramon. everything is just right.
    California Steve

  18. Yes very cool Ramon, interesting history! I really like the way you got rid of the silvery reflective edges of the cockpit windscreen and cabin windows, which is not easy, but so worth the effort, good work! I built the old Revell 1/32 Huey UH-1D which turns out quite well with a bit of knife/sand paper clean up time. Gave it away to a Vietnam war history enthusiast mate, who really enjoyed it.

    • Thanks James! For the pilot's doors, I actually replaced the kit plastic with clear lexan plastic from some scrap packaging that I had laying around. I just trimmed to fit, dropped them in place and bam - Robert is your dad's brother!

  19. Our rescue in Maine operates one of the Little Birds 6719534 or LB534 as she was called, she was shot down and lost her tailrotor in Vietnam near Chu Chi at a Fire base. See DEEMI search and rescue on facebook for recent flight shots. Nice job Sir, well done model. ours had the starlight and the flare barrel etc in her time.

  20. Now that's what a Huey should look like! Looks like I can crawl in one of those seats and pull the 'Start' trigger and hit the clock at the same time.
    I've flown those flare ships and we used one of those unused seat belts attached to that bucket and the other end attached to the tie-down ring on the floor! If a flare is ignited inside that bucket, the CC and pull the seat belt quick release and it would pivot/dump all flare over-board.
    Demon 68

  21. Ramon,
    Excellent work on this model 1/48.
    Very accurate in details! I like it very much!
    I also mounted a UH-1B on that same scale. It is a classic helicopter and very cool!

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