On The Bench

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AH-64D Apache Longbow JGSDF
Hasegawa
Scale: 1/48


Started: October 2007
Finished: Project currently on hold. Stay Tuned.
Latest Update: Sun 7 Oct 2007
Hasegawa has recently reboxed their 1/48 AH-64D Apache Longbow to represent the 'production' version entering service with the JGSDF. Initial research indicates that the main external differences between the JGSDF variant and other Longbows is the support for Stinger AA rails on the tips of the winglets and incorporation of the updated Boeing Arrowhead PNVS system. Hasegawa provides a new spure (S) which contains the Stinger rails and tubes, but does not provide the updated PNVS turret.
I acquired the Aires AH-64D cockpit way back when the original boxing of the Hasegawa Longbow was released. I was not sure it is was that much better than the kit supplied tub, but a fairly quick comparison shows the significant improvement it will provide.
To enable the Aires pit to fit, a little surgery is required to remove some of the kits parts and thin the side walls (not by much actually).
Dry fitting of the resin cockpit reveals that Aires have done an excellent job. The biggest job preparing the resin was cutting off the huge block on the bottom of the tub..
Another view of the Aires tub dry fitted into the Has fuselage..
Comparison of the fuselage to my references, shows that Hasegawa have done a pretty good job (as expected). There are still some areas for improvement (if you feel so inclined). One such area is what I assume to be the APU exhaust on the starboard side (near the main engine exhaust when fitted). As can be seen from the picture, the kit has the outlet but no internal trunking.
15 minutes with some plasticard on the inside of the fuselage gives us som depth to the exhaust.
Still some cleanup to be done here, but at least the kit does not look hollow now :)
In addition to the Aires cockpit, I also have the Eduard PE set (49201) which I will use for all the fine details on the exterior of the model. One such area that beneifts from the PE touch is the A/C exhaust vents on the avionics pods.
There are also cooling vents on the fuselage proper (again for more avionics). Eduard has supplied replacement grills for these as well.
Its a bit difficult to see, but considerable thinning of the plastic was needed to get the grills to sit close to the outside surface. I think Eduard would have you glue the grills on the outside, bu that just looked plain wrong.
The Aires cockpit is almost a model in itself. Here the tub is prepared for a coat of paint with the addition of PE rudder pedals and scratchbuilt levers on the left console (front and rear). Aires does provide these tiny parts in resin, but one of my set was missing and the other broke when I tried to separate it from the sprue :(
Sorry to say that's as far as I've gotten. For the moment this project is on hold pending some more time and motivation.

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