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  • Writer's picture@PlaneThought41

Sandstorm PaveHawk: 1/48th Academy / Minicraft MH-60G

There was not a lot of choice (and still isn't) when it comes to building a 1/48th Blackhawk series helicopter. In the 80s and 90s it was Academy or Revell. I picked up this MH-60G kit at a very reasonable cost at my local hobby store as I had a UH-60 of theirs which was decent enough. It wasn't until the 2000s that Italeri introduced their Blackhawk / Pavehawk lineup.

Notable Kit Features:

  • Decals for instrument panel (not raised details)

  • Finely engraved panel lines

  • Basic crew seats

  • Interior fuel cells provided

  • Forward miniguns and .50 cal cabin guns provided

  • Off-center dome radar provided

Build Inspiration:

I had a book on Desert Storm operations with a photo of a MH-60G in theater camouflage (FS 33711 Tan base with FS 30117 Brown) which I thought would make a fitting subject for the display shelf. It would be a nice contrast to the standard UH-60 Blackhawk that I also had in the stash. I assumed that I would build the UH-60 first, as I had that kit already for a few years... but inspiration trumps older stock every time. ;)

Heads-Up Report:

  • Plenty of sink marks in the interior molding

  • Flash on some parts

  • The fit is a mixed bag on this one - some good, however as I recall the intakes were a real pain for fit and required plastic card as well as filler and sanding

  • Windscreen glass requires some work to get it aligned

  • Kit missing some sensors and grills

  • Interior lacking details and pilot seats are not correct shape (from what I could determine)

  • Rotors should have some droop flexed (or heated) into them (I flexed mine however they straightened over time)

Kit Additions / Modifications:

  • Crew seat belts added

  • Strakes replaced with plastic card versions

End Result:

The Academy / Minicraft MH-60G is a decent kit that builds up into a nice enough display, therefore I will still recommend the kit if you are looking for a bargain starting point. The interior could use a fair amount of attention or replacement parts (Cobra Company as well as Eduard made a set at one point). Look at your references as this series has a few variables depending on the time-period (or just build it the way you want it to look depending on your adoption of accuracy).

Completed build #187 - December 2015 using the 1/48th scale Academy #2139 kit.

Keep on building, gain experience, challenge yourself if you like, but try not to stress yourself out over the build - it is suppose to be an enjoyable hobby after all - Cheers

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