scale models

Sikorsky HSS-1N / SH-34J Seabat

101 Helicopter AS Squadron, 21 FA Wing, Japan Marine Self-Defence Force, Omura Naval Air Bbase, Japan, 1971

Enough with the airplanes! Let’s build a helicopter! For my first one, I chose a classic airframe, the H-34. There were many differetn versions of this bird and subsequently there are as many scale models. I chose the Trumpeter UH-34D Seahorse because I liked the orange colour scheme on the box. When I started to build it though, I chose instead the japanese version (also included). I prefered the Trumpeter kit instead of the one from Italeri because of the included engine, folding tail and full internal cabin.

Before I started to build it, I did some research and I realized that Japan used the SH-34J Anti-Submarine version. The kit decals are correct, but the kit is missing several antennas AND the dipping sonar of the real helicopter.

I decided to go ahead anyway and build the missing details from scratch. The documentation was practically non-existent and I had to rely on some photos of a discontinnued 3D-printed set and some photos of the similar system used on the HO3S-3 (the anti-sub version of the H-19). In any case, not much will be visible in the end, so I think it will be OK.

Since the kit provides the option for a folded tail, I though to also fold the main rotor blades. It looks more interesting AND it saves a lot of self space! To do that, I used a conversion set (3D-printed rotor hinges and PE blade holders) from Scalewarship. It fits the Trumpeter kit even though it was made for the Westaland Wessex (which after all, is derived from the H-34).

The cockpit detail is sufficient. The kit even includes PE seatbelts. I only had to add the cyclic control sticks at the left of each seat. I also added some cables and pipes in the engine, some cables on the winch and the missing antennas (doppler radar etc).

The work in progress

The finished model

Products Used

Trumpeter “UH-34D Seahorse”1/4802886
Scalewarship “Westland Wessex HU5 Rotor fold”1/48N/A