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Italeri H-21C, 1/48th

This article is part of a series:
  1. Italeri H-21C, 1/48th
  2. A Few More Pix

This is the Italeri Piasecki (Boeing Vertol) H-21C Shawnee (US Army)/Workhorse (USAF), in 1/48th scale. The kit is relatively new, and comes with a nice PE fret, as well as a very comprehensive set of decals, allowing you to build three different versions, including US Army, USAF, and French Aeronavale. I was surprised to learn that this helicopter was powered by a Wright 1820 engine, the same engine used by many famous aircraft, like the B-17, DC-2/3, SBD, T-28, and many more.

I found the kit relatively easy to build, but had some trouble getting all the bulkheads in the engine compartment to fit properly; in the end, I managed to get everything to fit, using a bit of sanding and filing. I was a bit apprehensive about the large, one-piece clear canopy section, fearing that it would not mate-up with the front of the fuselage correctly. I used some super glue to affix the large clear section, by gluing a small section at-a-time, and working my way around from side-to-side. The clear nose actually fit pretty well, with just a hint od warpage that evened-out as the superglue took hold. Masking the frame on the clear nose was done with masking tape and Gunze masking fluid; I noticed that the frames appear a little thick (or wide) after pulling off the masking.

Painting was done using Alclad Aluminum, and Model Master enamel for the top color. A coat of Future (or whatever it is called these days) was applied, as a base for the decals. I used kit decals entirely for this model, and they went down very well (I used a little Tamiya Mark Fit decal solution to help settle the decals down). The decal sheet included a yellow/black stripe for the afte fuselage, but I knew this would probabaly not fit correctly, due to raised, hinge details on the fuselage; I painted the yellow stripe, using Testors flat yellow as the color.

In pictures, it seems like no two H-21’s are outfitted alike, especially with antenna blades, and, most-frustratingly, the under-fuselage sling cable. The kit includes a hook device for under the fuselage, so I used this part, attaching it with some 10 lb test, fishing line, painted black.

Overall, this was a fun kit to build. I hope you like it.

3 additional images. Click to enlarge.


20 responses to Italeri H-21C, 1/48th

  1. Excellent work….very nice !

  2. Great work!

    There’s actually one of these still flying as a restored warbird (in US Army markings). It was at one of the Chino air shows around 4-5 years ago IIRC.

  3. Marvin, I was wondering what you were up too. Very nice work here. I always thought this to be one of the more goofy designed flying machines ever made, but you’ve made a very interesting and attractive model out of it. I like it a lot !

  4. Real nice! Great to see one of your builds again.

  5. Looks great, especially in those colours!

  6. I have always thought this was a really cool looking helo, especially in this paint scheme. Well done!

  7. 🙂 … Greetings … 🙂 :
    A complete joy to see Marvin, this model in some way is proof that modeling is very well alive, thank you for sharing these pictures.

  8. Hello Marvin,
    Colorful and finished to perfection. Interesting to read about the used engine type.
    I take it for granted it was powered by one engine.
    Regards, Dirk / The Netherlands.

    • Thank you, Dirk. Yes, the H-21 used a nine-cylinder Wright R-1820, a version of the one used in the DC-2/3 and B-17. I’m sure parts were easy to come by back then, plus the engine had unrivalled dependability, for sure.

      Thanks again, Dirk.

  9. Boy does that helo look nice especially in that paint scheme. Well done Marvin, post more pics please I’m enjoying the view.

  10. As Tom says, if you have more photos please post them. Very impressive build, as one can see by the amount of responses and ‘likes’ – she is a lovely, lovely project.

    ‘Liked’

  11. Great build, and love the choice you made for the scheme. Wonderful paint and detail work – really stands out.

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