The ubiquitous Bell Helicopter UH-1 Iroquois, commonly (or officially in the U.S. Marine Corps) known as the "Huey,” is a multipurpose military helicopter, famous for its use in the Vietnam War. The helicopter was originally designated the HU-1A, which is where it received its nickname - "Huey." The official U.S. Army designation Iroquois (Army helicopters are traditionally given Native American names) was almost never used in practice. The nickname became so popular that Bell started putting the Huey name on the anti-torque pedals. The HU-1A was the first turbine-equipped U.S. helicopter to go into production.
The aircraft was first used by the military in 1959 and went into tri-service production in 1962 as the UH-1. The last were produced in 1976 with more than 16,000 made in total, of which about 7,000 saw use during the Vietnam War. During the war 3,305 UH-1 were destroyed and 2,202 Huey pilots were killed.
The UH-1C, an early "short-body" Huey, was an UH-1B modified to be gunships until the arrival of the new AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter. Known as the "Huey Hog", UH-1Cs were powered by the 1100 shp T53-L-9 or L-11 engine and the new Bell 540 rotor with a 44 foot diameter, 27 inch chord, and a 13 inch-higher rotor mast. This gave the Huey the power to lift the weapons then in use or expected. The “Charlie” could also be configured to carry seven troops. This version could carry more weapons. Gross weight increased to 9,500 lb and the standard empty weight was 4827 lb. Bell built 776 “Charlies.”
Iconic to America's involvement in the Vietnam War is the ubiquitous Bell UH-1 Huey helicopter. Used in every role from medical evacuation guardian angels, to gunship angels of death, the Huey soldiers on in scores of countries to this day.
The model is built with one hundred-eight pale grey styrene parts (including several optional weapons), five clear styrene parts, and decals for two schemes. These are on five sprues sealed in plastic bags.
The styrene is slightly brittle, but not fragile. Hobby Boss’ molding is clean and crisp, with no flash. No ejector pin marks or sink marks are present on visible surfaces.
The airframe parts have engraved panel lines and details. Rivets are properly raised where appropriate.
The airframe is molded as two fuselage pieces without the engine cowing. This is a modular style for multiple Huey versions. This is a smart, logical concept. However, the sprue with the rotor and rotor mast is the same one in Hobby Boss’ UH-1B. Thus, the rotor system for this kit is wrong, measuring at 40 foot diameter with 18 inch chord.
The specific nacelle halves are on a separate sprue and are mounted atop the fuselage after the fuselage is joined around the cockpit. The fuselage is completed with the two boom wings.
The cockpit is built with twenty-five pieces, including two-each of seats, collectives, sticks and rudder pedal sets, M60 series reflex sight, an instrument panel with raised bezels, and the engine transmission. The remainder of the interior you build after you decide which of three configurations you will build–gunship or medevac. The rest of the helicopter is built with the single piece skids (with two mooring fittings), exhaust nozzle, cargo doors, twin pitots, tail skid, antenna fittings, rotors and canopy pieces.
The four weapons configurations are each built with six or fourteen parts. These are also of the same sprue supplied with the UH-1B. These are the (two of each) 7-round 2.75 in (70 mm) M158 Rocket Pod (seven individual rocket tubes, two retaining collars, and five part M156 Universal Mount), M21 armament sub-system (7.62 mm GAU-17/A minigun on M156), M159 19-Tube 70mm (2.75”) rocket launcher, and M3 armament sub-system 24-round 70mm rocket rectangular launcher. Finally, Huey Hog’s signature M5 nose mounted 40mm grenade launcher.
Unfortunately, the Huey Hog’s common weapon system, the M6 armament sub-system of four M60C pylon mounted machine guns (frequently paired with rocket launchers) is not included. This configuration is shown on the box art.
Aside from the rotor the profile and dimensions appear accurate. The miniguns are one-piece but well detailed. Aside from the cockpit assembly, there is no detail inside the crew compartment.
The clear parts are distortion-free with sharply defined framing. One concern is that several parts are to be mounted on the clear windscreen. Thus, the potential for glue blemishes will require careful handling. The kit includes no clear navigation or landing lamps.
Instructions, painting and decals
Hobby Boss’ instruction sheet is two pages of approximately 19 undefined stages. It should not be confusing.
The painting guide is a page with a color 4-view of each ‘copter. Colors are referenced for Mr. Hobby, Vallejo, Model Master, Tamiya and Humbrol.
The kit includes markings for 2 U.S. Army Hueys:
1. UH-1C, a/n 15242, “Easy Rider,” 174th AHC gun platoon “Sharks”, 1970
2. UH-1C, s/n 66-15186. This is in a green/olive/brown/gray scheme.
The decals appear to be very good, with excellent registration, fine printing and color density. The finish is glossy, with the carrier film trimmed close to most items. The national star and bar insignia is a black outline.
Except for the wrong rotor system, Hobby Boss did a fine job on their Huey Hog. "Rivet-counters" may disagree. Nevertheless, Hobby Boss’ new kit offers some good detail and plenty of options.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Sharp molding. Many armament options.Lows: Wrong rotor system. External weapons not the same as box art. Minimal interior detail.Verdict: Hobby Boss’ new kit offers good detail and plenty of options.
About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR) FROM: TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES
I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art.
My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling!
My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...