Hasegawa 1/72nd SH-60B USN HSL-43 Battlecats Desert Shield
It’s late December 1990, Lt Cdr Jack Morris and Lt Diego Juarez have been patrolling the Persian Gulf for the last 3 weeks. Activity has increased recently as the Brits farther North have encountered several suspected blockade runners trying to sneak past the Royal Navy patrolling that sector. Flying in support of Desert Shield, the det was about ready to head home from deployment in September when the Iraqi’s invaded Kuwait in August. With that the cruise was extended another 90 days and ordered to the Persian Gulf. Cdr Morris was looking forward to the end of the deployment with that ending on Dec 31st. So won’t be home for Christmas or in time for New Years, but happy that coming home period healthy and in one piece is just fine. With the uncertainty at this point if war will break out anytime he prayed that just a little longer so he can rotate home. Then again missing out any combat with his Navy brothers would be something he would feel a bit remorseful. Though the few encounters with the freighters and light ships have been quite an eventful endeavor, approaching them carefully and insert the Marine squad or Navy Seals aboard each vessel has been breath taking. The sudden appearance of the US Army OH-6’s Little Birds for support was quite relieving. So far each encounter has ended peacefully and with the ships captain cooperating with the inspectors on board. Still it gets stressful hovering about as the inspection are taking place aboard these vessels. Watching carefully in case another fast boat should enter the zone with intentions unknown. Flying the SH-60B for several hours at a time is not so bad, comfortable for the most part, just over watching this section of the Persian Gulf, checking on the islands and oil rig platforms that dot the coast along the way. Making a left turn on the final leg of this days patrol, monitoring the eyes in the sky, the Hawkeye and AWACS for threats in the air or sea, the 2 warfare operators in the back watching for any sea going vessels. Pretty much several 100 square miles of sea under surveillance 24/7. Yet a boat of any size can still be missed and so the helo’s are up ready for action on any threat if one should occur. Today just a routine patrol. An hour more or so as the Seahawk heads towards the boat. Checking in with HQ along the way back.
This is the 2nd Seahawk from Hasegawa. As the first SH-60B, though different box, same kit same decals. No added parts or different markings as the first. Same 2 choices in the kit, an early white over grey scheme and the TPS scheme for HSL-41. This time I went with a full PE set from Eduards and Authentic Decals set #72-28 for the markings. I chose the line bird scheme of HSL-43, back dating it to around 1990/91 as it appeared at the time. The decals represent the Battle Cats in the late 90’s when the TPS scheme was modified a bit in that era, the SH-60B had also been updated to SH-60F standard as well. I started this project back around 2002 and to say the PE upgrades were quite extensive as this is not just a zoom set. The difference from OOB to adding all the upgrades is night and day. And not so easy in this scale either. Lot of tiny bits are used and lots of patience as well. Using Polly S 36375 Light Ghost Grey, 36320 Dk Ghost Grey over Lt Grey FS 36495, the decal sheet provided a lot stencils that the kit sheet had a few but not as extensive as what the AD decals offered. I also placed the blades in hot water to give them a little droop. One of the items to finish this year finally completed as I try to keep to schedule on this years build plan. Thanks for viewing.
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