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Bell OH-58D Kiowa

by Juan Carlos Ramirez

Bell OH-58D Kiowa


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This is the MRC (now Academy) 1/35 scale OH-58D Kiowa Helicopter. I chose this subject due to the fact that my future brother-in-law currently flies the “D” model in South Korea for the U.S. Army. The kit was a load of fun to build but I must warn you that it may be a tough one for the weak at heart (I work in a biomedical company).

My number one issue with the kit was fitting the dreaded canopy. It had a very difficult fit but with plenty of Tequila and a #11 blade, you’ll be in good hands.

I began this project in August 2002 and finished January 2003. This kit has a load of detail!





I built this kit straight from the box. It had been many years of no modeling so I was rusty at first.

By the way, it was my first time using an airbrush in scale modeling (thanks to Tom Cleaver, Frank Romano and Ricardo Rueda for their advice).

The kit began with the interior (cockpit, avionics, etc). I used Model Master Aircraft Interior (basically lightened flat black) for the entire interior.

I added the pilot (yes, seated on the co-pilot side) because I wanted to challenge myself to figure painting (again, many thanks to Ricardo Rueda for the oil painting and uniform detailing).



After the interior was completed, I then moved on to the engine. I first painted the engine a chrome silver (Tamiya acrylic) then added the Burnt Umber, Sienna, and copper wash to give it that worn look. From here, the fuselage came together after putting all the interior, engine, and guts inside.



Painting, Decals and Weathering


I airbrushed the entire chopper with Model Master Army Helo Drab enamel.

 Tip for the wise – lighten your paint! The paint came out not too shabby but displaying it indoors will result in a dark looking object.

After the paint came the infamous Future over coat.



Applying the decals was a breeze, especially using the Micro Set/Sol systems which gave it that painted on look.

Weathering, dry-brushing, and panel enhancement came after the decals where I ended up shooting a coat of Testor’s Dull Cote.





Overall, this kit was fun but a challenge to build.

If anyone is interested in obtaining more details in the construction of this helicopter, please don’t hesitate to contact me at aerodjjc@yahoo.com .

Happy Modeling!


Additional Images


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Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2003 by Juan Carlos Ramirez
Page Created 13 May, 2003
Last Updated 17 March, 2004

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