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Pip Moss
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AMP 1:72 scale Sikorsky H-5/HO3S-1

November 19, 2021 · in Aviation · · 23 · 1.6K

I generally build in 1:48 except for helicopters, for which I stay in 1:72. This is one of two that I've been working on for my model club's annual group build theme, "Rescue and Recovery." It's a Sikorsky , the first mass-production helicopter ever. It was used by several service branches under various nomenclatures; the US Navy called it the HO3S-1. My model depicts "Honey Bucket," the aircraft shown in the Wikimedia Commons photo, captioned as taking off from USS New Jersey during the Korean War. There are other, more colorful options, but since seeing the movie I've always equated this helicopter with the one piloted by Micky Rooney in "The Bridges at Toko-Ri."

I used the kit for the build, but also purchased an LF kit primarily for the USN decals. AMP is a relatively new company located in Ukraine; they produce this subject both in 1:72 and 1:48 scales and in several different boxings. Their kits are basically short run and require a fair amount of parts clean-up. In particular, virtually all locating pins and shafts are too big to fit into their respective holes, and the kit is engineered with a profusion of tiny parts. It is without doubt the most fiddly kit I've ever completed. The nose wheel assembly, for example, comprises no fewer than nine parts including four for the wheel alone. The front glazed section is molded in five clear pieces plus a separate door on each side. It all fits together reasonably well, and AMP provides quite good masks for the windows. Overall, the level of detail is quite decent for such a small model.

I made a few modifications during the build. The Wiki photo clearly shows a lower extension to the port side step assembly with additional bracing underneath, so I fashioned it from pieces of stretched sprue. AMP doesn't provide the prominent ventral antenna mast, so I cut one from .010" sheet styrene. Finally, the AMP hoist hook is a flimsy piece of PE, so I used the hook from the LF kit and added the grey rectangular piece above it as shown in the photo using some strip styrene.

I used Luftwaffe RLM 02 (Mr. Color) for the cockpit interior as recommended by the kit instructions. The overall exterior color is Mr. Color C365 Gloss Sea Blue. I'm happy to recommend it as an alternative to my old stand-by, Model Master enamel: it's virtually identical in hue and dries much faster. The main rotor was fabric covered; online sources gave Light Gull Gray as the likely color, and another photo showed red tips. This same photo also showed wooden tail rotors, which I simulated with Burnt Sienna "varnished" with a 1-to-1 mix of Tamiya clear yellow and clear orange.

Cheers, Pip

Reader reactions:
12  Awesome

6 additional images. Click to enlarge.

23 responses

  1. Nice work and a good result.

    I guess molding it in 1/48 was easier. I had to clean up parts, but they all fit right.

  2. Thanks Tom. Glad to have the chance to tell you how very much I've enjoyed reading your reviews over the years.

  3. This is a wonderful result, Pip!
    Hard to believe it is 1/72!

  4. Nice work, Pip. Great subject.

  5. That looks great. I have the 1/48 one on the bench now. I am wrestling a bit with the fit. I will be using yours as reference. I have seen the sienna colored tail rotor in color pics. I am going to shamelessly copy you on it.

  6. Great looking build. Makes me want to watch Mickey Rooney and 'The Bridges at Toko-Ri' again.

  7. Nicely done Pip, looks good, I have this one to do !

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

    • Hi Allan. Thanks for the comment. It looks as if you've got the LF kit. As I mentioned above, I bought a copy of their USN version primarily for the decals. I'll be interested to hear how it is to build. It's engineered quite differently from the AMP with mostly separate window pieces and a simpler, more straightforward fuselage assembly. However, to my eye there's a daunting amount of photo-etch for important assemblies which will probably keep me from building it, not to mention I pirated the hoist hook and decals anyway.

  8. Great result, Pip @seawinder
    I was surprised that RLM02 was used in this US helicopter.

    • Hi John. Thanks for the comment. I'm quite sure it wasn't actually RLM 02, but there seems to be some evidence, both photographic and anecdotal, that it was a lightish gray with a greenish tinge, so RLM 02, as called out by the AMP instructions, seems to be a reasonable approximation.

  9. Gorgeous looking helicopter. You did a good job on it. Colour looks good. Rescue hoist looks a bit fragile, even on the real thing.

    • Thanks for the comment, Stellan. Yes, the hoist is fragile, as are a lot of the other bits on this kit. The parts comprise the triangular frame, two small items (motor?) that attach to the inside, and a link between the top of the hoist and the rotor housing. The Wiki photo also shows some sort of link (rod? bungee?) between the front corner and the forward fuselage; I used a piece of stretched sprue for that.

  10. Nice job Pip, it looks great.

  11. Thank you, everybody, for taking the time to comment. It's much appreciated!

  12. Very nicely done Pip, great to see you here on iModeler. I always look forward to seeing your fine modeling work.

    • Hi Jim. Thanks so much as always! I'm sorry I haven't been in touch for a while. I do think about you often, and I almost emailed you to let you know how much I liked Mr. Color's rendition of Gloss Sea Blue. But then I thought, you're so fond of Model Master, and I'm sure you've got a huge horde of it. Happy holidays!

  13. 🙂 ... Greetings ... 🙂 :
    A very attractive build of a classic helicopter.

  14. Very nice build! Looks great.

  15. What a well made kit, well done really interesting helicopter - looks like it was a tough one.

    • Thanks for the comment Anthony. It was actually an interesting build, although some of the tiny, fiddly pieces drove me crazy. One just has to accept that it's basically a short-run kit.

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