"Pave Hawk" HH-60G
This the second part of the review of Kitty Hawk’s 1/35 "Pave Hawk" HH-60G. This review covers the engines, exterior, and armament of the Pave Hawk kit. Background on the Pave Hawk, description of the kit, contents, and interior assembly of the kit is reviewed separately:
The HH-60G Pave Hawk's core mission is recovery of personnel under hostile conditions, including combat search and rescue. Sikorsky HH-60G Pave Hawk 26227 of the 305th Rescue Squadron based at Davis–Monthan AFB participated in "Operation Red Wings II, On 2 July 2005, near Salar Ban in Northeastern Afghanistan. This aircraft picked up "Lone Survivor" Marcus Luttrell." Wikipedia/Jetphotos.
I used references provided by Werner’s Wings and online sources to build the Kitty Hawk model to reflect the "Lone Survivor" 26227.
After building the interior of the Pave Hawk, assembly of the engines begins in step 14. The engines have nice detail but somewhat simplified without a lot of wiring or piping. One of the engine halves, part F64, he has a tab opening but no part. The actual engines have a black box at this location, but no part is provided with the kit. Also, part F57 has a square peg that looks like an additional part should be attached. Pipe parts F66 are very delicate and I managed to break both of them during assembly, so I replaced them with solder. The last step in step 14 is installation of part F58. It would be much easier to install this part after steps 15 and 16 are completed. There are many online images of the engines to help with additional detailing and painting options.
Upper Fuselage Cowling "Dog House"
The Upper Cowling is assembled in steps 17 through 19 and presented difficulties with part fit and sequence. Like with the main cabin interior, Kitty Hawk uses an upside-down sequence to assemble the doghouse to the underside of the cowling and then mounts everything to the fuselage. This is counter-intuitive and confuses assembly as some views are from the bottom and others from the top. I plan to also build the Blackhawk version and will build the Doghouse from the bottom up on top of the fuselage to see if that works.
The bulkheads for the engine compartments are attached to the underside of the doghouse in step 17. Part C66 is missed labeled but obviously should be C56.The rear engine mounts, C12 and C13, need to be perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the chopper so the intake cowlings will fit properly later on.
Step 18 presented some real difficulties in assembly. The exhausts fit together OK, but the part labelled C8 should be C11, and the part labeled as C11 should be C8. There are ejection pins on these parts that should be filled as they will be visible after assembly. The pipes D43 & D44 installed on the engines are actually wrapped with insulation so it should have a rough texture. I used some Mr. Surfacer to add a little texture.
Parts E1 and E5 make up the transmission between the engines and rotor hub. I found it impossible to install these parts without cutting off the shaft connecting to the engine and installing it separately. The rotor hub is not labeled but obviously part C44. This part gets assembled hanging in space with no accurate location. The doghouse, transmission, and rotor hub should be dry fit to the top of the fuselage when these parts are glued to get them in the accurate location. This is another step that would be simplified if the doghouse would be built right side up on top of the fuselage.
Intakes and Transmission Covers
Step 18 also installs the front air intakes and cover for the transmission. This subassembly has a difficult fit to the doghouse and requires patching of the joints. The transmission covers on the Pave Hawk are spaced out so there is a gap to the fuselage. The exhaust ports for the fuselage, parts D48 and D52 are attached and should be dry fit to the top of the fuselage to get the correct location and minimize joints. Kitty Hawk does put these seams on panel lines which is helpful.
Step 19 installs the engine covers, antennas, and lights on the top of the doghouse, and shrouds over the engine exhaust. Assembling the engine covers left some large gaps with the adjoining panels.
Once the upper cowling doghouse is assembled, it is not installed on the fuselage until the very end of the assembly instructions. I thought it would be better to install it now in case some modifications need to be done for a good fit. It would also make painting of the fuselage easier to do it with the upper cowling installed. I decided to skip to step 23, assembling the fuselage halves, and then installing the doghouse now rather than later.
The fuselage halves are assembled over the interior shell in step 23. Make sure to drill out the holes noted in step 22 before assembling the fuselage halves. The fuselage has nice detail, but the rivets are recessed rather than projecting. The rivets do project on the window frames on the door panels, and panel lines are recessed. The shell of the interior on my assembly was too wide for the fuselage halves is to fit tightly together. After considerable trimming and sanding of the interior ribs I was able to get the fuselage halves together. I found it necessary to install shims/spacers on the bottom of the fuselage halves to get the parts to align. The resulting seam in the fuselage is very tight and only required minimum filling and patching. Most of the seam could be repaired just by applying liquid cement and scraping the joints smooth. Several parts are trapped between the fuselage halves in this step, including the pin for the tail rotor and the tail landing gear. An option that is also provided for the FLIR if installed on the nose of the aircraft.
At this point I installed the upper cowling doghouse to the top of the fuselage. The fit was very good and only required some clamping for a nice tight joint to the fuselage. After installing the doghouse I returned to step 19 and painted and installed the exhaust shields.
Step 20 assembles and installs the main rotor assembly. The parts for this assembly seem to have more flash that required cleanup. The parts fit nicely and build into an impressive assembly with nice detail. Kitty Hawk includes fittings for some of the piping, but the piping is not provided with the kit. The blades are also attached to the rotor assembly in this step. The instructions don’t show an option for mounting the blades in a folded configuration for transport, however it should be possible to turn the blades and only use one of the two anchor points so the blades are folded.
Step 25 installs lights and other equipment to the underside of the aircraft, along with the rear stabilizer.
The nose of the aircraft is assembled in step 26 and installed in step 32. My nose did not fit very tightly and required extensive trimming of the instrument tray at the front of the aircraft. When installing this be back in step 13 it would be wise to check the fit of the nose before gluing.
Windows are installed in the cabin and cockpit doors in step 27 through 30. The fit of the clear plastic parts is very good, but the sprue connections are in the notch of the frame so careful cleanup is required.
Step 31 assembles the tail rotor, which fits together nicely. Kitty Hawk suggests some additional wiring with molded-on connectors.
Rear chaff dispensers are assembled and installed in step 32. Check to your references to determine if the dispensers are required. This step installs the front windshield to the cab and the aircraft’s nose. The gunner windows are also installed in this step and can be installed closed or in an overlapping open condition.
The cockpit doors are installed in step 33 and fit very nicely. The fit is tight enough that glue wasn’t necessary so the doors can be removed later to install pilot figures. The large sliding cabin door is also installed in this step and can be posed either open or closed.
The main landing gear is installed and assembled in steps 34 and 35 without any problems. The wheels have nice side wall lettering detail but are not sagged for the weight of the aircraft. I sanded a flat spot on the bottom to help the wheels settle down. I also assembled the metal landing gear set from Scale Aircraft Conversions for this aircraft.
The refueling boom is assembled in step 35 and there are options for the boom in extended and retracted positions. The top cover of the refueling boom is miss-labeled D41 and should be D39. A light GP23 is called out however only one is provided and was used previously. I substituted part GP22.
Step 36 and 38 shows optional parts G48 and G24 but only G24 is provided with the Pave Hawk version. The ammo box for the gunner’s position is installed in these steps. The front chaff dispensers are also assembled and installed in this step.
Step 37 assembles the GAU machine gun for the gunner positions. The last two steps of the instructions also show installation of these guns in the main cabin. The guns have good detail but the assembly is a little unclear for the brackets F19 and F20. Also, the shell ejection chute is called out to be PE10 but is actually PE3. I attempted to fold and bend the PE to shape but was not successful. The PE just doesn’t bend without kinking. It would’ve been better to use a vinyl piece or even a molded plastic piece for the ejection chute.
The machine guns in the gunner’s positions are installed in step 39. The feed chute for the ammo is also called out to be a photoetch which has the same problems of kinking when trying to fold the shape.
The Pave Hawk 6227 version I am building has Miniguns at both gunner positions, so I used a Live Resin set. The Kitty Hawk kit includes Miniguns on sprue F, but assembly is not shown in the instructions. Assembly instructions for the Miniguns are included with the Kitty Hawk Blackhawk version of the kit. The Kitty Hawk Miniguns have very nice detail, but need a vinyl or plastic ammo chute rather than the kit supplied photoetch.
Steps 40 and 41 show assembly of the upper engine and electronics hull doghouse but I had installed these previously to facilitate painting.
The last two pages of the instructions show assembly and installation of a GAU-21 machine guns on both sides of the main cabin. The illustration on page 32 shows the installation of Miniguns at the forward gutter positions but these are not detailed in the instructions.
Kitty Hawk provides decals for two versions of the paperwork:
- HH-60G "Pave Hawk" 6465 of the 41st Rescue Squadron ‘Jolly Green’, an overall gray dark gull gray scheme.
- HH-60G "Pave Hawk" 3689 of the 55th Rescue Squadron ‘Night Hawks’, a three-color green and gray camouflage scheme.
The decals are thick and required several coats of setting solution for the larger decals. I also used decals from Werner Wing’s excellent set for the Pave Hawk that provided decals not included with the Kitty Hawk kit. I created some custom decals for the tail unit designation and the Arizona emblem.
I painted the Pave Hawk with Mission Model’s acrylic paints. Dark Gull Grey was used for the basic color as I thought Gunship Grey was too dark compared to reference photos for 26227. Hairspray wear was added in several areas over Dark Aluminum. A dark wash was used to bring out surface detail and make the rivets stand out.
Kitty hawk has produced an excellent kit of the HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter. The kit provides very nice detail, accurately represents the aircraft, and offers options to build several variations of the Pave Hawk. Familiarity with the aircraft or good reference photos or very helpful when building this kit.
This kit is not an easy build and is better suited for more experienced builders. The instructions contain many errors and reworking some of the parts is required for a good fit. The recessed rivets on the hall or disappointing but otherwise the kit is very accurate. Substituting plastic or vinyl parts for the gun feed and ejection chutes would have been better.
In summary, Kitty Hawk’s kit was an enjoyable, although difficult, build that results in an accurate representation of the Pave Hawk.
Thanks to Kitty Hawk for producing this excellent kit and providing the review sample to IPMS.