Bell UH-1N/Bell 212
The Bell “Hueys” have been a workhorse of rotary wing groups in many air forces for decades. The UN-1N/Bell 212 is the twin engine of the ‘Huey’-family, sporting an enlarged fuselage.
This kit is a re-issue of the venerable “Twin Huey” from Italeri. The kit comes in two sprues (molded in medium gray plastic) plus a third sprue of clear parts. There is no flash and no ejector pin is located in any visible area. (Good engineering there!) The sprues include 7.62 mm machine guns. Decals look very nice, although the green on the Italian national markings seems to be a little bit out of register.
Not surprisingly, construction begins with the interior. You have the option of installing a “fabric” bench for personnel carrier or to leave the whole cabin open for cargo. The interior detail is reasonable for the scale and perfect if you are planning to build the helicopter with the doors closed. The pilot seats have molded-in seatbelts and both collective and cyclic controls are provided. The instrument panel has raised detail. No decal is provided for the instrument panel, so you’ll have to dry-brush the detail.
Before closing the body, I added some weight to the nose. There is no indication for it in the instructions, but it just made me feel better to know there was some extra weight. After I finished construction I was glad I did, otherwise the model could have been a ‘tail sitter’.
Closing the fuselage body presented no issues, with just a few minor seams to deal with. Adding the clear parts was simple, except for the windshield. I had to sand the top part of the front opening to get the windscreen to fit. The fit of the front and back side-doors is not perfect either. They are a few minor gaps and a small misalignment. Using a file to match the doors to each other helps.
Painting was done with Model Master Enamels and Pledge Future was sprayed in preparation for the decals. They behave nicely and have good color density. I choose the ‘German Border Patrol’ markings. I was a little bit surprised by the ‘First Aid’ markings having green crosses, but checking online references I’ve found out they are green in real helicopters, so use the ones in the decal sheet. Don’t replace them with red crosses.
The only molding issue I have found in this kit is that the control rods in the rotor head are molded short. No matter how hard I tried to get the parts to fit each other, they just don’t reach. It is not difficult to replace the molded control rods with scratchbuilt ones and you might want to do so.
This kit is recommended to modelers of all levels, except for the very novice to the hobby. If you have built a few kits before, then you’ll have no problems. If you suffer of AMS - Advanced Modeler Syndrome - then the interior of this kit is a canvas for super detailing and it can be built with open doors.
I want to thank Model Rectifier Corporation for the review sample. I would like to highlight the great customer support from MRC. During construction I accidentally damaged some clear parts. I contacted MRC support requesting a replacement part; within one week the part showed up in my mail box. Way to go MRC. That is top notch customer support!