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In-Box Review
148
AH-64 Apache
AH-64D Longbow Apache
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


Originally published on:
AeroScale

Introduction
The following is the introduction supplied by Revell of Germany on the instruction booklet.
Following a 1972 U.S. Army requirement for a new advanced attack helicopter to replace the Bell AH 1 Huey Cobra, five manufacturers submitted proposals. Of these, two were chosen for competition prototypes, the Bell YAH-63 and the Hughes YAH-64, the latter winning the competition and making its first flight on 30th September 1975. After protracted development with several machines, in 1980 the Martin-Marietta TADS/PNVS )Target Acquisition and Designation Sight/ Pilotís Night Vision Sensor) was adopted for the night attack role. The name Apache was adopted in 1981 and production of the AH-64A began in 1982.
Operation Desert Storm in 1991 saw the first major conflict for the U.S. Army Apaches, where they devastated Iraqi armour. The hard hitting armaments include up to 16 Rockwell AGM 114 Hellfire laser guided anti-tank missiles, pod mounted 70mm Hydra rockets and the 30mm M230 Chain Gun under the nose. The front cockpit houses the co-pilot/gunner and the pilot occupies the raised rear cockpit.
Experience in the 1991 Gulf War rapidly led to the development of the AH-64D Longbow version, with its very powerful and sophisticated long range radar mounted above the rotor head. The Hellfire ATM requires a direct line of sight with the target, and together with completely new advanced avionics systems, much of it housed in the enlarged box fairings each side of the fuselage, the Apache could now detect and attack targets while remaining virtually hidden from the enemy. Another advantage of the radar is that it can simultaneously survey, scan and track over 1,000 targets at long ranges even in the worst visibility conditions. But not all U.S Army AH-64Ds carry the longbow radar.
The Royal Netherlands Air Force (Koninklijke Luchtmacht /KLU) also flies the Apaches without the longbow radar. They use the registration numbers Q-01 to Q-30 which they received at the start of 2000 from the retired AH-64Aís. Over the years the KLU was often present at many air shows throughout Europe with a variety of aircraft from various squadrons, both static and flying amongst the best known of these are the F-16AM and the AH-64D of the solo display team. Fighter aircraft and helicopter begin their display together and are equally well known for their colourful paint schemes.
The 301st squadron stationed in Gilze Rijen was bestowed with the honour of representing the KLU during its centenary year and the 2013 display season with an Apache Solo Display Team. The paint scheme on Apache Q-12, which had already been given a special livery in 2011, was completely redesigned for this unique event. During the airshow the pilot performs loops, rolls and spins with his helicopter; manoeuvres that are not normally performed by helicopters and at the end of his aerobatic display fires the Apaches decoy flares
The livery is a tribute to 100 years of Dutch Military Aviation and from the side can be seen to represent the Centaurs arrow (the Centaur is the emblem of the 301st Squadron Redskins) being fired from his taught @longbow@ (the AH-64D) depicted in colourful shades of orange, grey and black.


Contents
The model is packaged in an end opening card box with a good artwork of the Apache in its colourful finishing option. The sprues inside the box are packaged in a number of heat sealed plastic bags; this does seem to have kept the mouldings in one piece and in good condition. Inside the box you will find;
  • 3 dark grey sprues
  • 1 light grey sprue
  • 1 clear sprue
  • An advice sheet
  • An instruction booklet
  • A decal sheet

Review
First impressions
An inspection of the sprues leaves me with mixed opinions of the contents. The dark grey sprues are I believe from older offerings of the Apache that Revell of Germany produced, and they are also stamped as 1986. The mouldings on these dark grey sprues are heavy in terms of thickness, flash is starting to become an issue, the seam lines are also becoming more prevalent and lastly the plastic seems to be very brittle. The light grey sprue is I believe a new addition to this product being the same colour I have become accustomed to from Revell of Germany aircraft kits. The finish of the parts on this sprue are just so much crisper and cleaner than the others, the finesse of these parts is much more what I have become accustomed to from newer Revell of Germany offerings.

Cockpit
The cockpit detail on this model is fair. The seats have reasonable harness detail and a the new instrument panels look good, but there are 2 sink marks on two of the screens on both instrument panels. This fault may not be as bad as it seems at first glance because when painted and glossed it will give the impression of depth. The figures provided with the kit are a nice inclusion for younger modellers, but the detail will not impress more discerning modellers and I definitely would not use them if you intend to leave the canopy open. Regardless this area should be reasonable as the finishing option of this model is the star.

Rotors
The main rotor head assembly offered here could be better refined, but with some care and TLC I am sure it could be improved to a better and more pleasing standard. The blade profile looks good for the most part, but the line detail on the blade near the rotor head is not of the correct length and they should be longer than they are. The tail rotor mimics the major components well, but most of the finer detail is absent from the mouldings. Revell of Germany has tried, I believe to provide a realistic finish, with what is there being enough to please a good percentage of modellers but not all. The blades of the tail rotor, which after all are the element most viewers will focus on, look good.

Fuselage
The two halves of the fuselage are as mentioned earlier a little on the thick side and the plastic brittle, the edge of the mouldings are also starting to show signs of the moulds aging and flash may become a more major issue with further and future use. The raised rivet detail is very good but the panel lines are a little on the soft side, that said I feel that once painted the rivet detail will carry off the look well. There are a number of finer details missing, but again in fairness the details could not be replicated accurately without the use of photo etched parts.
What I believe is the newer sprue certainly shows the advancements that Revell of Germany has made in their products. The parts on this new sprue are so much crisper and cleaner than the others and the details imparted really draw your attention to the failings of the other parts, the new fuselage wheel fairings and under belly will give this model an interesting look, but as I said earlier I am concerned about it making the older mouldings look worse than they really are. One concern I have about this model, is the number of parts, most very fine parts, that need to be added after the decals have been applied; this means attaching very fine pieces over decals and paint, which as we all know will result in a questionable join and it will in some of these cases be next to impossible to remove these layers cleanly enough to get the join.

Undercarriage
Revell of Germany has done a very good job of this area of the model, the legs and the wheel guard have been replicated, and in the case of the guards, in very finely moulded parts. The wheel hubs have good detail on the outer face and a reasonable level of detail on the rear, the tyres do have a tread pattern imparted on them, but it is soft and so definition is poor. The rear wheel assembly has a surprisingly good level of detail throughout, with the possible exception of where the frame meets the fuselage.

Canopy
The canopy included with the model has nice detail both on the inner and outer face. The inner face has the quilted material detail moulded in place, and this should look realistic and add a nice eye catching detail once a wash brings this detail out. On the outer surface, the panel lines or framing if you prefer look accurate, with the thickness of the clear mouldings being reasonable. The wiper blades for both front screens are moulded integrally, which is a nice touch. Both access doors can be depicted open or closed; the door handles on both the inside and out are provided as separate mouldings, and the hydraulic support arms for the doors look good.

Weaponry
In the believe you have purchased or are going to purchase this model to finish it as the air show display aircraft then weapons, both offensive and defensive are minimal. The chain gun is of course fitted and detail is of a reasonable standard for this scale, my only qualm being that the muzzle of the barrel is solid and would look better if drilled or the barrel replaced with a turned metal offering. Looking at the weaponry not used on the air show display aircraft; the Hellfire missiles look off but I cannot decide what is making me think it, it could be soft detail or profile I just cannot quantify why I don't like them. The rocket pods are reasonable and with some washes should be suitable spares for your box. The radar dome is a part of the new sprue and is as good if not better than I have seen offered elsewhere to date in this scale.

Instructions
The instructions are supplied in the form of a loose leafed booklet. The booklet follows the usual Revell of Germany format. The instructions start with an introduction to the model in German and English, followed by a quick guide into best practice for assembly and another guide to the symbols used. A list of Revell paints for the model are listed and fortunately for those that cannot get these paints a list of colours is included. A parts map is next to be covered, which is an area I find helpful when I cannot find a piece on the sprues. Construction of the model is covered in 63 stages using black and white line drawings; the stages are not overly busy but placement of parts is not always as clear as it could be. The instructions finish with the main painting of the model and decal application.

Decals
The decals are the real star of this offering from Revell of Germany; they have good clean colour with very little carrier film. Due to a large proportion of the model being covered with decals, I am glad to say that the decals have been cut in such a way that application should be as easy as it is possible to make them, but be prepared to use the decal setting solution of choice a lot. Along with all the bling for the outside of the model there are also a number of instrument panel decals. Regardless of possible problems with application due to the large area covered, this decal sheet does look impressive to me.

Conclusion
I will admit to not being overly impressed with the older sprues in this product, but the detail is reasonable; the new sprue and clear sprue have very nice detail present and it is a pity that Revell of Germany did not make all new moulds, but it is understandable. The decal sheet will make this a stunning looking model if the application goes well. With a little TLC and minor scratch work to some areas, this will be possibly the most pleasing and colourful Apache models on any shelf.

Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For details visit www.revell.de/en, @RevellGermany or facebook.com/Revell

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
SUMMARY
Highs: The new sprue looks very good and the decal sheet could and should make this a very eye catching model.
Lows: The older sprues really stand out against the new sprue in the kit.
Verdict: If you like colourful models this kit is for you.
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: 04896
  Suggested Retail: £17.99
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: May 31, 2014
  NATIONALITY: Netherlands
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.04%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 83.40%

Our Thanks to Revell of Germany!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Darren Baker (CMOT)
FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM

I have been building model kits since the early 70ís starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70ís, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2019 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. All rights reserved.



   

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