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The Sacrifices They Made In A ‘Nam Huey Hog

March 23, 2019 · in Aviation · · 18 Comments

I've finally worked up the courage to make my first ever post online of my own scale model.

I have my eye on the Tamiya 1/32 F4U-1A but will have to save up for that one! I blame iModeler for my longing for the 1/32 Tamiya F4U because I was web-surfing and somehow ended up on iModeler and the point of entry was of a fellow modeler giving a big smile with his 1/32 Tamiya F4U prize! FAQ here on iModeler said I could submit in-progress for a shot at the monthly prize, so here I am, first time ever posting pictures of my model, feeling anxious sharing with so many folks whose words and work I respect.

Meanwhile, gratefully, this Hog got my imagination going. I know this kit isn't the best/accurate, and being a mold from when I was a kid, molding isn't crisp and definitely not state of the art, but it's a huey gunship that is affordable (I appreciate Hobby Lobby's 40% discounts!). I tried to take my time with this, making sure I'm actually enjoying the process - this is supposed to be relaxation for me to improve my health!

It's taken me a while to get the huey to how I like it (what I've posted here), so while there's still more I'm adding to the bird, I thought I'd post now for some encouragement to persevere! Note that because I'm still adding to it, the main rotor isn't attached in its final position, and the nose mounted FM antennas aren't installed yet.

Of note:

  • My experience of Hueys were really dinged up seat edges and very muddy/dusty cabin floors (and boots). The fabric changed from red to olive (faded) when crew felt that red was a little too conspicuous in the field, so I deviated from the Revell instructions about them being red.

  • Hand painted details on the figures like wrist watches and painted helmet art on their helmets. Rendering the eyes on any figure is important and I did the eyes so that they aren't cross-eyed and actually look like they're looking in a particular direction, like they were smiling for my camera!

  • Printed out a tiny map, cut, curled the edge for realism and eye candy, and placed on figure's clipboard.

  • OOB, the parts don't fit...gaps galore. Cutting off the locator pins doesn't help. The soft, bendy plastic it's made of doesn't help. Lots of filling steps, poor joints, and sanding throughout! Used milliput to reshape the contour of the huey body. Be prepared for all these if you get this model.

  • Side doors were heat-bent into the proper shape.

  • Scratchbuilt details like modified nose avionics panel that joins to grenade chute. Accurized grenade launcher (rear cover, bottom attachment, brush/bristles protecting gun interior from dust/dirt). I know the armament/livery combination isn't quite correct, but I couldn't help the coolness factor!

  • Scratchbuilt blade antenna/IFF/search light and beacon antenna below nose.

  • Removed existing plastic dorsal and tail lights and replaced with stretched clear sprue.

  • Hand painted shark mouth.

Don't know whether folks already know this, but thought I'd share: because it's got raised detail and I had to do a lot of sanding, in order to bring back the rivet details, I looked around at my art supplies and decided to try using a cocktail stick to dot little rivets with art gesso. Seems to work! Is there a better way of doing this?

The following links were inspiration for me. Inspiration isn't quite the right word, I want to honor them:

Reader reactions:
8  Awesome

14 additional images. Click to enlarge.

18 responses

  1. Nice Huey! Looks like rebox of the old Monogram kit. And welcome to the site.

  2. Welcome, Gene. You did a fine job on that kit.

  3. Nice lookin' build..."ya done gud" (and don't be a stranger) - welcome aboard.
    And thanks for the videos - great stuff !

  4. Welcome aboard !

    I saw a Huey flying over our house just the other day... headed south. I heard it long before I saw it and told the misses what was coming before it even came close. They have such a distinctive sound. Something you never forget.

    It was flying in formation with a Cobra and a Cessna L-19 or (O-1) at approximately 500 feet.

    Thanks for sharing this with us. It reminded me of the old 1/32 scale Revell kit I built up many years ago as a kid.

  5. Thank you for all your welcomes and support! Yep, old monogram reboxed and lots of warm memories come with it. Though I seem to recall a simpler time when I built models based largely on the instructions in the box (if lucky, with help from pictures in books), and not stressing with all the research one can do online now...! Misses keeps reminding me to build for fun and to relax for my health.

  6. 🙂 … Greetings … 🙂 :
    Welcome to this forum Gene, I trust you will have a good time here.
    Very nice Huey model there, really looks good. Thank you for the pictures.

  7. I see quite a few Huey's flying around here in Cape Town, that sound... Welcome, and what a great build, keep posting.

  8. Great presentation, Gene!

  9. Great build, these teeth on the front fit David Leigh-Smith's latest "Jaws" build! Kudos!

  10. Hello gene,
    beautiful representation of this famous helicopter. Thanks for all the effort you did put into the article. Regards, Dirk

  11. Hi ya gene. Very nice job on your bird. Looks great. Very moving footage. The men and Pilots were so brave. So much respect for those individuals who put there lives on the line in any war. Nice one.

  12. Nicely done Gene, you caught the look of the Huey really well. Most of those pilots in Vietnam were 20 somethings and did some remarkable flying. Today's kids need safe spaces and wilt at something called microaggressions. Welcome to iModeler you'll enjoy the friendly atmosphere here.

  13. Great chopper with great choppers. Glad to see you here, Gene. You definitely have the chops to thrive here. Lovely Huey and nice presentation.


  14. Welcome Gene. This is an awesome looking Huey Hog! You really have a good modelling skill set. Well done!

  15. Thank you, each of you, for your kind words of support. It means much to me because I respect so much of what you have posted and your models. Because of the soft plastic and old molding of this kit, it's taken much perseverance to get it to this point, so your words also give me motivation to continue with my vision for this bird: I plan to sculpt the chief and shotgun door gunner figures and scratchbuild all the accompanying M60s, ammo boxes, belts, and bungie chords. I want to capture the spirit of these men who sacrificed for their brothers.

  16. Welcome aboard, Gene. Nice job! Looking forward to seeing more.

  17. Very nice Gene. I really like the whole build. Welcome to iModeler.

  18. Excellent way to introduce yourself Gene! Welcome aboard, and admiring the Huey, I look forward to seeing more of your work!

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