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Academy's 1/48 scale
CH-46E "Bullfrog"

by Ted Taylor

 

CH-46E Bullfrog



 Academy's 1/48 scale CH-46E Bullfrog is available online from Squadron

 

Introduction

 

Academy's 1/48 scale CH-46E Bullfrog kit is a treat - an unusual choice but one that will be welcomed by most Helo fans.

There is a surprising amount inside the box as you get a full interior fit with enough detail to suit the most discerning modeller. There are two sub types provided and markings for three machines, one being the presidential carrier of MCS 1 Nighthawks out of Quantico and the other two are standard service machines from MCAS New River, Squadrons 162 Golden Eagles and 261 Raging Bulls.

 

 

The parts are flash free and the detail is nice and crisp, in fact some panel lines are included which aren't there really i.e.. at the rear end there are some foot holds and the normal guide lines are cut as panel lines,
later to be covered by decal stripes. There are several alternative assemblies shown in the 12 page instruction booklet, windows flat or blown domes, doors open or shut, guns mounted or not, seats or stretchers for the interior and a loading ramp with three positions.

The interior consists of floor, side walls and ceiling, dealing with the side walls first there are a number of holes to be drilled out depending on you choice of fit. Full painting instructions are given and there are at least 30 decals for each side to be applied.

 

 

Construction

 

The seats can be set out or folded away but the tiny legs need support, so I assembled the floor and cockpit first with the separating walls in position and held in place with a lump of Blu Tack, this can be easily done.

I have put some stretchers on this side just to show what can be done here, the support straps were made from foil from a scalpel blade packet (a very useful supply). The remainder of the assembly was straight forward and the parts fitted well with the exception of the main undercarriage section onto the fuselage, here I had to cement one side first then leave it to harden before cementing the other side this pretty well cured the problem.

 

 

I made one or two mods to the parts, the entry door on the stbd side has a blob of plastic where the hand rail should be so I cut this away and made a rail from fine wire. The winch above that door has another blob of plastic where the support bracket should be so this also was replaced with a "D" shaped bracket from 20thou card and a couple of cables were added to the head of the winch for realism. There are photographs throughout the instructions sheet to help with all these details, I also cut a couple of tiny discs from 15 thou card for the fuel filler tops on the sponsons using a leather punch.

 

 

Masking, Painting and Markings

 

Before painting I masked up using Cutting Edge Black Magic set 48555 which fits perfectly, then all the doors were placed (not cemented) in position and the rear end had the large rear door (part A5) held in position with a bit of Blu Tack to protect the interior. I used Humbrol paints for this model as they dry so quickly, the colours used were #127 FS 26375 and #145 FS 35237 both sprayed with my trusty old Badger 200 airbrush.

 

 

A couple of coats of Johnsons Klear (Future) were dusted on before the decals were applied and there are heaps of them to put on. I have not put the walkways supplied on because every photo I can find show these low viz aircraft seem to be without them and they are a bit stark.

The decals I chose were for no other reason than the last four numbers were the same as the fleet number of one of the trucks I used to drive, I have not put every single data decal on as a number of them disappeared against the background colour and again in many photos, I see some not applied on the real thing but most of the important ones are there.

There are decals stripes for the rotors but these were so thin and weak I decided to paint the stripes on the blades so they can be seen, when all were dry the whole model was resprayed with Johnsons before I added a coat of flatting varnish, I have used a mix of 4 parts Klear and 1 part Tamiya flat base which was lightly dusted on to give a slight sheen.

 

 

Next day all the masking was removed and final touches were added plus items like lights painted by hand, the doors were removed and positioned as appropriate and the individual rear doors were set up to be in the lowered position. This was one model I thoroughly enjoyed making and I think you might too if you are a chopper fan.



References

  • Skyknight Family, close up No 3

  • By Phillipe Dognon & Christian Bouschon

  • Landing Zone Publications

     

 

Additional Images

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Model, Images and Text Copyright 2005 by Ted Taylor
Page Created 12 September, 2005
Last Updated 11 September, 2005

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