1/35 Revell OH-58 Kiowa, Croatian Air Force
During War for independence (1991-1995), despite imposed embargo on weapons, Croatian Air Force managed to purchase 7 Mil Mi-24D/V Helicopters. First ones arrived by the end of 1993 and after intense crew training were first time introduced to the public in 1995 and successfully used in combat operations afterwards. After the war they were gradually written off and last unit was withdrawn from service in 2006 as Croatian Air Force did not plan operating helicopters with combat capabilities in long-term future.
Despite long-term agenda, ten years later Croatian Air Force accepted US offer to co-finance the purchase of 16 used OH-58D(R) helicopters previously belonging to Minnnesota National Guard. Helicopters were units produced between 2010-2012 with 100-600 flight hours. First Kiowas were delivered to CAF in December 2016 and entered operational service in 2017. Helicopters are part of 393rd Helicopter Squadron. In January 2020, one unit crashed during training flight killing crew of two.
This is my second Kiowa. I assembled Academy for my self (https://imodeler.com/2022/07/1-35-academy-oh-58-kiowa/) and this one is commissioned model (Revell). There are no differences between two manufacturers, in fact I mixed up the sprues so probably both models are half Academy half Revell. Assembly went smooth and I can't find any flaws in kit itself, no matter which brand you choose and it's well worth $35. This is out of the box kit, no addons except for "remove before flight" tags. Model does not resemble exact version of Kiowa in service with CAF. There is a conversion kit by Werner's Wings (https://wernerswings.com/), but the price, shipping and customs fees of conversion kit (about $70) discouraged me from converting to exact version.