Cold Lake Rescue: 1/48th Italeri UH-1D (CH-118) Iroquois
Updated: Jun 23
First released in 1998, this 1/48th scale model kit of the UH-1D Iroquois, by Italeri, was eagerly awaited by model makers looking to get a nice "Huey" in this scale. Oddly not many manufacturers had tackled this prolific subject, which has soldiered on in various countries for decades, in one form or another. Unfortunately the kit assembly is a bit of a challenge.
Notable Kit Features:
Decent cockpit details
Nicely engraved surface details
Optional antennas, wire cutters and vents
Markings for US (70s), German (90s) & RAAF (70s) helicopters
In my opinion, all you have to do to get inspired to build a UH-1 Huey is to hear one... especially on start up, as that sound is something special! I built a few Monogram UH-1B/C kits in Vietnam era markings in my early model making days. Later I wanted a few Hueys in Canadian markings as well. There are several really nice markings used by Canadian forces and I chose this less common finish to represent the Rescue forces (many were in the high-visibility yellow finish). My CH-118 Iroquois (UH-1D Huey) served as a Base Rescue Flight out of CFB (Canadian Forces Base) Cold Lake circa 1973.
Seats could use some belts and armour if you are building a combat Huey
The fuselage halves did not line up very well. I had to cut the locating pins to get the alignment set
Fitting the interior into the fuselage halves was a real challenge. I had to do it in stages and clamp things in place. Filler was then used to close the gaps especially at the floor join
Fit issues continued with the roof installation (maybe my kit was warped?)
I also had a fit issues with the engine casing and radiators (which required plastic card strips to fill gaps)
Front glass was a pain to fit as well and I had a gap on the left side that required a plastic card strip to fill
Incorrect shape on rotors (?) They appear to be the later N rotors with the wider blades past the 1/4 length whereas the "D" blades were straight continuous chord. (I noted this post build so my rotors are incorrect here)
Kit Additions / Modifications:
Weighted nose with flat metal plate
Added seat belts
Used Belcher Bit Decals BD2 (Highly recommended)
I decided that the paint scheme for this 1/48th Italeri UH-1D (CH-118) Iroquois would be the less seen White/Red Rescue scheme as opposed to the traditional Yellow. After getting the glass all masked off, I sprayed the base coat of almost white with some variation of tone. The white areas were masked off in preparation for the red and then black areas (may have missed the top walkways however I couldn't get a reference photo of whether they were there or not). A gloss coat of Klear / Future was used for the decal / wash base. The Belcher Bits decals laid down very nicely and everything was top coated with a semi-matte coat (the anti glare panels and rotors were dulled down to a flat matte.)
The After-Build Report:
The Italeri 1/48th scale UH-1D Iroquois "Huey" kit is a bit of a mixed bag. In the end you can produce a nice looking model, however it will take some effort to get there. Due to the effort I wouldn't recommend the kit for beginners. One of the problems is (surprisingly) there is not a lot of choice out there for a 1/48th scale Huey model, so you may not find a better option. The 1/48th Kitty Hawk UH-1 finally gave model makers a well-detailed Huey kit however as Kitty Hawk recently went under, finding one of their kits is a problem.
Completed build #250 - December 2021 using the 1/48th scale Italeri #849 kit.
Feel free to comment or ask any questions - Keep on building, gain experience, challenge yourself if you like, but try not to stress yourself out over the build - it is supposed to be an enjoyable hobby after all - Cheers