|SH-60B Seahawk by Zoltan Pocza|
|Review by:||Zoltan Pocza|
During the 1970s the US Navy began looking for new helicopter to replace the Kaman SH-2 Seasprite. The SH-2 Seasprite was used by the Navy as its platform for the Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System (LAMPS) Mark I avionics suite for the maritime warfare and a secondary search and rescue capability. Advances in sensor and avionic technology lead to LAMPS Mk II suite, but the SH-2 was not large enough to carry the Navy's required equipment. In the mid-1970s the Army was evaluating of the Sikorsky YUH-60 and Boeing-Vertol YUH-61 for its Utility Tactical Transport Aircraft System (UTTAS) competition. The Navy based its requirements on the Army's UTTAS specification to decrease costs from commonality. Sikorsky and Boeing-Vertol submitted proposals for Navy versions of their Army UTTAS helicopters in April 1977 for review. The Navy also looked at helicopters being produced by Bell, Kaman, Westland and MBB, but these were too small for the mission. In early 1978 the Navy selected Sikorsky's S-70B design, which was designated "SH-60B Seahawk".
The Sikorsky SH-60/MH-60 Seahawk is a twin turboshaft engine, multi-mission United States Navy helicopter based on the airframe of the United States Army UH-60 Black Hawk and a member of the Sikorsky S-70 family. The most significant modification is a hinged tail to reduce its footprint aboard ships. The U.S. Navy uses the H-60 airframe under the model designations SH-60B, SH-60F, HH-60H, MH-60R, and MH-60S. Able to deploy aboard any air-capable frigate, destroyer, cruiser, fast combat support ship, amphibious assault ship, or aircraft carrier, the Seahawk can handle antisubmarine warfare (ASW), undersea warfare (USW), anti-surface warfare (ASUW), naval special warfare (NSW) insertion, search and rescue (SAR), combat search and rescue (CSAR), vertical replenishment (VERTREP), and medical evacuation (MEDEVAC). All Navy H-60s carry either the Lucas Western or Breeze Eastern rescue hoist for SAR/CSAR missions.
It really does matter when you pay a lot for your kits as normally the people interacting with your package enroute do not always pay proper attention for each packages. This is not the first package I receive from HLJ, and I never ever had any issues. The shipping time was really friendly and I received my package, this not too small package without a single damage. The relatively small kit box came in a bigger box due to safety. The base area of the box was larger than the kit box, so the kit box was wrapped together with a piece of carton board to avoid slipping and rocking around in the bigger box. Additionally it was filled with those puffy airbags, so I can tell you that there's no better way to package this kit for overseas shipping!
There are six different H-60 versions released by HobbyBoss at this scale so far. UH-60A Black Hawk, HH-60J Jayhawk, HH-60H Rescue Hawk (Early Version) , HH-60H Rescue Hawk (Late Version) , SH-60F Oceanhawk, and SH-60B Seahawk which is the kit we're talking about now. Generally it's a nice kit and seems easy to build. There is no overkill in the number of parts, it's just right for this scale. The kit consists of four plastic sprues, a clear sprue and instruction sheet and the decals for two squadrons. This is a new tooling kit, it's not repack of any other kit on the market. I'd say that it's not hard to recognize this kit as it's featuring the same quality surface details like the other HobbyBoss kits I've seen so far. The panel lines are nicely engraved, but not as fine as in the case of a usual Hasegawa kit, though it's still very good and easy to work with when it comes to weathering and washes. The kit features an average detail interior which might be sufficient if it's closed or if you're simply not a detail freak. If you are, some scratchbuilding could help a lot. There are two instrument panels one with all the instruments moulded into it - this is the one you should use based on the instructions - and a flat one. I assumed that there's a decal for this one, but there isn't any. As a disadvantage I couldn't find a solution to build this kit with folded rotor blades so if you want to build it on the way they store it aboard the carriers it will involve some additional scratchbuilding. I'd kinda' expect this option included.
The instruction sheet is very simple and straight forward. It's basically one page folded and it includes all instructions on the build. There is an additional sheet for the decal options, one if on the front of the sheet, the other is on the back. The two options are HSL-41 Seahawks and HSL-47 Sabrehawks. Both paintschemes feature painted tail sections and looking really amazing.
Overall I have a good impression of this kit, if you need a good looking Seahawk which is easy to build consider this one. I'm not saying it's the most perfect kit ever, but it's a nice one and with some love it can be built to a very neat looking model!
Photos and text © 2009 by Zoltan Pocza
December 15, 2009