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AH-64A Apache

by Ian Robertson


AH-64A Apache


Hasegawa's 1/48 scale AH-64A is available online from Squadron.com




This is Hasegawa's 1/48 AH-64A Apache helicopter built out of the box.

The kit is somewhat daunting at first glance due to the large number of pieces involved (e.g., the main rotor assembly consists of about 20 pieces). However, as is typical for Hasegawa, the instructions and clear and the model is very well engineered, so the average modeler will have no difficulty with this kit. It is not the best choice for a beginner due to the number of small fiddly bits and the large windows surrounding the tandem cockpit.



Hasegawa's 1/48 Scale Apache


Construction Tips

Overall the kit went together without much difficulty.



However, there were a few trouble spots that deserved special attention:

  1. When the main struts were inserted into the fuselage I noticed a distinct lean to the model when I viewed it head-on. This occurred because one of the struts naturally pulled to a position I did not want it to go. I resorted to CA glue to attach the main landing gear securely in the correct position. Now the helicopter sits evenly.

  2. The fuselage sports a large number of finely tooled raised rivets. Excellent detail, but a pain to deal with when you get to the underside fuselage seam. Here's the conundrum - if you work to make the seam invisible you will lose a lot of rivet detail on the underside, but if you preserve the rivet detail the seam will be obvious. Solutions? One possibility is to pick your poison, seams or rivets. I opted for a different solution. I used Hasegawa's rivet maker and rivet making template (available at Hobby Link Japan in their tools section) to create new rivet detail where it was lost due to sanding. These new rivets are recessed, not raised, yet the effect goes a long way to restoring the detail on the underside. Thanks to Kent Eckhart (Boise Kent) for the tip.

  3. I had difficulty getting Hasegawa's wing-walk decals to settle without wrinkling and silvering around the edges. I should know better than to use Hasegawa decals given the poor success I have with them. The solution is simple - use paint on the wings rather than the kit's decals.



Painting and Markings


The model was painted in various shades of Army Helo Drab using both Model Master acrylic and Model Master enamel (the two colors look quite different oddly enough).

Once the basic coat of paint was added I lightened some areas and darkened others, although in my photographs these subtleties are largely invisible.

Wing tip lights were painted with Tamiya clear green and clear red.

Hellfire Missiles

The clear tips on the hellfire missiles were pieces of clear plastic that came with the kit. I used CA glue to attach these tips to the body of the missile. (Be sure to paint the end of the missile black before adding the clear tip, otherwise the grey styrene will show through.). The tip was then sanded and polished until it was smoothly integrated to the body of the missile. A drop of Future was added to give it a glossy appearance.





All images were taken outdoors with a SONY S-75 digital camera set at its highest picture resolution (2048 x 1536 pixels). Other camera settings were as follows: 200 ISO film speed, 1000th/sec shutter speed, F-stop 8.0, and fixed focus distance of either 20 or 30 cm.



Images were cleaned up using Adobe Photoshop 6.0 for the Macintosh. Specifically, the interface between the base and background were merged using the software's "blur" tool, and edges in some photographs were sharpened using the "sharpen edges" tool. Sharpening images in such a way helps to restore some of the clarity lost during image compression.



Additional Images


Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Model, Images and Text Copyright 2003 by Ian Robertson
Page Created 09 August, 2003
Last Updated 17 March, 2004

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