Sikorsky HH-53, Revell, 1/48
This is my Revell 1/48 Sikorsky HH-53, finished as a USAF bird during Vietnam era. Built a dozen years ago.
The HH-53 belongs to the CH-53 family of heavy-lift transport helicopters designed and built by Sikorsky Aircraft. Originally developed for use by the United States Marine Corps, it is currently in service with Germany, Iran, Israel, and Mexico. The United States Air Force operated the HH-53 “Super Jolly Green Giant” during the late– and post–Vietnam-War era, updating most of them as the MH-53 Pave Low.
U.S. Air Force HH-53 Super Jolly Green Giants were the primary search-and-rescue helicopter in Southeast Asia between 1967 and 1975, inserted the Operation Ivory Coast rescue team into the North Vietnamese prison camp at Son Tay in 1970, and carried the Marines and Air Force Security Forces who attempted to rescue the crew of SS Mayagüez.
This is the 1993 Rebox of the 1981 Monogram kit, bought in 2002 at the cheap price of 20 euros from my local hobby shop. It comes in a very big box, as it is quite a massive model in 1/48. It is marketed as CH-53G German bird in UN livery. However, all the pieces are included there to make the HH.
It is a typical 1981 Monogram model: Nice raised riveted detail, as at the real bird, good shape – looks the part! – adequate cockpit, busy-ish rotor hubs etc.
From as much I can recall, fit was ok, with the sand/putty/sand method definitely implemented. I did not detail the cargo interior, as I model my helos and cargo planes with closed doors, which makes the interior paractically invisible through the cabin windows (penlight police excluded of course!).
The engine intakes are over simplified. I tried to simulate the intake mesh by drybrushing steel the pinned portion of the supplied intake. I think that a more realistic looking intake would boost the looks of the kit.
The main rotor blades are molded straight, looking totally bizarre. I bent them under hot water.
My HH-53 was finished as a USAF bird of the Vietnam era, the camo being “Vietnam” (dark green/light green/brown with very light gray undersides. Decals were sourced from my decal dungeon. I did no weathering, only some sooting at the area behind the exhausts, very prominent at the real birds.
I have to admit that I always wanted to finish a Super Jolly in “Vietnam” camo. My initial disappointment after seeing the 1993 Revel rebox, became a joy when I realized I could build the Super Jolly with minimal extra effort.
This Monogram kit is a jewel, the resulting model is imposing (it’s so big!) and I had a fantastc time putting it together.
I must confess that my lovely local hobby shop (which is saddly permanently closed due to the owner’s retirement 8 years ago) had two copies of this great kit. I couldn’t resist the ridiculous price and bought the second one too. It is residing in my Sod, to be finished as early four colour Israeli bird, the Yas’ur!
Thanks for reading so far, my friends; I am very happy that I can share my Super Jolly with you.
15 additional images. Click to enlarge.