This is the helicopter model I built for the first time, in May 2015.
Recently, sometimes I’m making modern tanks and airplanes, but not yet touched any Japanese Modern military forces. This time I choose to make this attack helicopter, the Apache of Japan Ground Self Defense Force. This kit was released in limited production from Hasegawa that is based on the US Apache kit.
Quite a large number of parts have jammed tightly in a box. I accustomed to make tank kit which has many parts so it’s not a big deal, still I felt it’s many compared to the aircraft model.
Now I’m making cockpit. I was surprised the body size and took a shot of it.
Two figures are same parts, only changed the right arm. There are much burr and hard to file them. After painting and sit them in the cockpit, good feeling.
I attached decals with decal-softer after gloss black paint. On the gloss paint is nice adhesion.
I ignored the procedure and assembly of helicopter wing first as I got impact of this size. Maybe I need to find some display space all over my house after completed. Tank kit space needs smaller after completed and become save space, but airplane needs larger.
I painted the inside in black as the indication.
It was very difficult to joint the left and right big parts. Hard to fix the location of the cockpit and the rotor. First, I thought it would be easy positioning for using the instant adhesive, but not going well. I tried to fit in only rotor, and next fitting, only cockpit to confirm the gap, after some challenge I could find the best position of total adhesion.
Initially I use Tamiya pouring cement, but it is not as strong as Creos one, I change to Creos on the way. Firstly I tried to fix the parts cleanly, but in the end, I only mind to assemble stoutly. I wonder other modelers feel these process difficult. Well, I think there is something like tips. I’m very worried to reach the goal at this stage.
Assembly of the machine gun positioned on the lower body was complicated mechanism, I could not understand the explanation. I checked three side picture of paint indication and use my imagination to make it. Maybe I think there’s not so big mistake….
There are lots of detailed rivet mold close to the joint. I’ll care as much as possible not to give damage to the rivets. The best way is fine-tipped file, something thin stick attached sandpaper is best, I suppose.
I don’t understand how to mount the main rotor parts, especially the diagonal frame, I think the explanation of the indication manual is not good enough. I checked in the internet for real machine photo, but more complex….. Mounting in the half guess, too. Anyway, these area good looking detailed mechanism.
I felt it’s almost completed after mounting engines, wings and many large parts. Actually, there are many small remaining parts for goal. The manual is like compressed to small space layout and hard to read.
Maybe the only small work was left before outside painting. The photo is just finished all the parts in the cockpit and painted in black. Now I’m masking the canopy. The canopy was polished with compound on the outside and inside.
The base of the tail rotor’s illustrated explanation in the manual was also difficult to understand for me.
I need to attach many small parts in the final phase of the assembly, but the looks were not drastically changed and my motivation was not kept high.
The parts location in the runner flame of this kit is complicated without any basic pattern. For example, tank kit all wheel parts are gathered to one runner. This kit required detailed future plan as I needed to open so many holes in the parts. It’s my first time to make the helicopter and had a quite puzzled feeling without basic structure knowledge.
I assembled very carefully not to give damage to many small rivets on the delicate parts while filing the gate.
There are a lot of yellow character decals on the missiles. It’s difficult to paste decals after mounting all the missiles, it’s good timing to blow black again.
Brown part of the camouflage paint, there is indication that No.12 olive drab and No.21 middle stone mixed color, but it wasn’t good color taste, I adjusted adding No.22 dark earth, I suppose it’s good conclusion.
Well, only painted masking sol and like completed good camouflage. This sol is sticky, hard to peel off.
Continuing camouflage, the next step is small black pattern, masking over the green.
Camouflage paint was finished in good taste.
It didn’t make dirty inside the cockpit like my making Russian Flanker last time, but apparently very little masking sol penetrated into the inner on the cockpit panel rim. I think I’ll re-paint the frame thicker to hide it, I hope it’s almost no problem after attaching the window wiper.
Japan Ground Self Defense Force began the deployment of AH-64D (Apache Longbow) from 2005. Licensed production was scheduled initially 62 aircrafts deployment in nine years, but it was suspended only 13 aircrafts procurement. Unfortunately, this plan was substantially failed.
It is regrettable to hear this kind of story because it’s quite a high-performance machine. Only 13 aircraft is not enough anti-tank forces, even it’s not one wing group.
Oh, I have forgotten to place the object of comparison together in some photos. Overall length is about 33 centimeters, it’s also 33cm from the edge of the rotor blade to the other end. 1/48 scale modern aircraft is a large and powerful impression. You can feel the size more when looking the photo in the making section.
After assembling this kit, I could understand the shape more, before making I have only vague images of this aircraft. Three-dimensional model helps our 3D sense deepen, (only appearance).
Camouflage paint is basically large vertical stripes of brown and green. A pattern of small black enters here and there.
There are some lenses on the top, called the Arrowhead system, it is a device that supports the all-weather combat capability. There’s no paint indication of it in this manual so I referred the box art and painted some lenses rim in red.
The top round object is Longbow Fire Control Radar. This radar can instruct individual attack within the range of 6-10km. We can say it’s the biggest feature of this helicopter.
Missile is a guided missile called Hellfire II. The next tube like beehive is the Hydra 70 · 70mm rocket launcher stores 19 rockets.
I did weathering only washing in dark color.
After washing in a dark color, small rivets are showing up.
There is small blue warning light on the right side, (left is red) these small parts give a detailed impression of the kit.
Apache has an armament of M230 30mm chain-gun on the berry of his body. Maximum cartridge is 1200 rounds. I suppose 1200 is very quick a couple of automatic fire.
Left side of the window, I mistook to attach blot of plastic glue. I felt so sorry.
I could recover the accidental point of front window inside infiltration of the masking sol when attached the wiper and paint the thicker frame. I relieved it….
I did hard working on the cockpit, especially some green CRT monitor. At first my photo was not a good shot, this is using a flashlight to force lighten the inside.
Top of the rocket and missile has shining parts, it’s nice accent.
Main rotor’s structure is complicated and mechanical, good looking. I did drybrush on the edge of them in metallic color.
I show you this underside, when displaying it’s almost hiding. The national mark of red sun is a very small round.
One more shot of the underside of the tail.
Rotor blades are slightly hanging when the helicopter is on the ground. I bent these large blades in warm water and curved very carefully.
Fragile parts are attached to the up, down, left and right side everywhere, holding position is very limited. It is a delicate aircraft than I had been thinking.
This eye level shot is best seen and strong visual, I suppose.
This kit has many hard to understand part and I may take some mistakes. Eventually it goes nicely camouflage paint I really like it. In fact, there is one more Apache in my stock that is US original version. I don’t mind taking this so soon, someday I would like to challenge it. This is my first helicopter plastic model and I enjoyed it very much!