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AH-64D Apache Longbow

 

 

Hasegawa

 

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number and Description: PT23 - AH-64D Apache Longbow
Scale: 1/48
Price: 3000 Yen
Review Type: First Look
Advantages: Generally excellent detail; most accurate AH-64D kit
Disadvantages: Some minor nitpick criticisms; Seats could be better
Recommendation: Recommended

 


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Reviewed by Dave Williams

 

FirstLook

 

General Overview

The kit has fine recessed panel lines with raised rivet detail (the real Apache is covered in raised rivets). The overall level of detail is high and the molding quality is very good. Some minor flash, which is a little surprising for a new-tool Hasegawa kit. The kit has clear seekers for the Hellfire missiles and numerous small detail parts. All of the AH-64D specific parts are one on sprue, which will undoubtedly be simply swapped out for the AH-64A release recently announced by Hasegawa. Note that only a D model is possible from this kit as you only get the enlarged sponsons, the instrument panels with the multi-function display (MFD) screens, and do not get the tall air data sensor mast that goes above the main rotor.

 

Details


Cockpit

Nicely detailed and, finally, an accurate D model cockpit with the proper MFDs. Hasagawa has molded the co-pilot gunners (CPG) cyclic stick in the folded position instead of just copying the pilots stick. The CPGs helmet position sensors are even included, but Hasegawa omitted the corresponding ones for the pilot. Weakest parts of the cockpit are the seats, which lack cushion texture and only include the shoulder straps, omitting the lap and crotch straps. Two pilot clones are included for those who like little men.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:




Rotors

The rotor head and blades are nicely detailed and the blade pitch change mechanisms are made up of numerous individual small parts instead of being molded all together. Polycaps are installed in the base of the rotors to allow these assemblies to be installed after painting. One item I would like to have seen Hasegawa do differently is to not have molded the large rectangular blocks at the blade root as part of the main rotor head. Because they are at right angles to the mold, they are not as detailed as they could have been if they were separate parts.




Landing Gear

The main tires come pre-flattened. The tailwheel is, unfortunately, split and molded as part of the tailwheel strut halves.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


 

Weapons

Standard loadout of two rocket pods and eight Hellfire missiles. The Hellfire missiles have separate noses to allow different versions to be built. One nose type is tapered with a small seeker (radar?) and the other is constant diameter with a larger hemispherical laser seeker. There is also a third nose of constant diameter and slightly longer than the other nose, bit it is listed as not for use in this boxing (click the thumbnail to the right). You get eight of each type of nose, so you can mix and match as you like. The Chain Gun is also well done.


 

Engines

Unlike other kits, the exhausts are separate from the engine nacelles, which might make filling the inevitable seam that runs across the end of the exhausts a little easier.

Strangely, Hasegawa molded the two doors in the underside of the nacelle in the closed position . These seem to be always open on the ground when the engines arent running in photos I have seen and other 1/48 Apache kits have these doors open (although they are usually way too thick).




Fuselage

There are numerous holes that must be opened up from the inside before the fuselage halves are glued together, so study the instructions carefully.

The fit of the sponsons and underside plate is generally quite good, however the cutout in the bottom of the fuselage is shaped for the A model underside plate and the D plate does not completely fill the cutout.

Although not a problem when the model is viewed from the top or side, if the model is turned over, one can look up through the wheel wells and into the fuselage to see the bottom of the cockpit tub. Some simple sheet plastic will help with this problem.

The sponsons are the production models with the cooling vents at the rear.




Clear parts

The canopy is designed to be shown in the open position. Removing and cleaning up some of the very small lights may be a challenge.

My canopy has a narrow, faint line (a small molding flaw?) running across the middle top pane, which appears to be in, not on, the plastic. It isnt a scratch with depth and isnt very noticeable, but it is there.

Possibly a dip in Future will hide it.




Other details

Numerous small parts in the form of antennas, grab handles, and clear navigation lights.

The underfuselage doppler radar fairing is a separate part which avoids having a hard-to-fill seam running through the fairing. The Fire Control Radar (FCR) dome is well detailed and the parts sprue contains an unused part (D7) which appears to be a cap that goes on top of the rotor head when the radar is not installed.

The two boxes that go on the side of the mast directly below the FCR as molded open on the side facing the dome and should probably be filled in. Although not mentioned in the instructions, the IR jammer (disco light) is included if one wants to add it. The light is on the clear sprue and consists of three faceted discs (Q1,2,3) which are stacked to form the jammer (see image above).




Decals

These are the standard thick Hasegawa decals, which might be more of a problem on this kit as many have to go down on areas which have a lot of rivet detail.

A fair amount of stencil decals are included and there are markings for each Hellfire missile, although they are for the inert carry rounds. Markings given for serial number 96-5006, but generic numbers are also included.

Optional decals for the part of the instrument panels and the side consoles.

 

 

Comparison and Conclusion

 

Although there are some minor nitpick criticisms, this is overall a very nice kit and probably the best and most accurate AH-64D model currently available, its main competitors being the Academy and new Italeri kits.

The Academy kit is nice, but suffers from having an A cockpit and apparently being based on the prototype as the sponsons are different and the kit lacks some parts such as the air data booms and navigation lights on the engine nacelles. The Italeri kit is more representative of a production aircraft, but it also has an A cockpit and is not as detailed as the Hasegawa kit.

Although some may consider the kit a little pricey, this kit, and the A model when it is released, are sure to be a big hit with rotorheads.

Sample kit courtesy of my ever dwindling bank account.

Dave Williams
IPMS/USA 19050


Review Copyright 2001 by Dave Williams
Page Created 18 November, 2001
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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