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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Has anyone on the forum built this kit? What has been your experience with it? I see that there are several after-market cockpit upgrades available that I will avail myself of.

My son is a Black Hawk pilot with the 82nd Airborne in Afghanistan, so I'm looking forward to working this up while thinking about him every day!

 

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haven't heard anything, but she IS big and pricey, so that might be some indicator. I guess I'm saying I think she's sweet, but no conformation.

Good on your son!
 

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Oxidation Genius
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I started it a few years ago. There was some difficulty assembling the interior, if I recall, that made me set it aside. But I'm VERY impatient sometimes, so it may not be a problem for more patient people.
 

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Discussion Starter #4

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It will be great to see the progress of your build. And please say hello and thank your son for his service from all of us back here in the states !! Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks - the kit arrived in the mail today, so it's time to start!

Here's my son, picture sent two days ago, captioned "Behind my desk at my office..."

 

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Eduard PE is great stuff so it should be a great result. Please do keep us posted, love to see the build. (What a great scale).

Love the pic of your son and his caption! and I 2nd modelgeek's thoughts.

Model note - the pic is also excellent weathering refrence, see that rain/grime streaking above cockpit...this iste is about trains but has great techniques:
http://www.modeltrainsweathered.com/

Keep us posted!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks, Rokket - that's a very helpful site.
 

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No Worries - someone pointed it out to me, great weathering there. I need to really improve my weathering.

Just heard a funny story today, don't know if true, but is funny anyway:

a journalist asked a Marine Sniper i Afghanistan what they felt whe they shot a terrotist. The Marine's reply: "Recoil."
 

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Watch out when putting together the troop seats...very tricky on the bottom supports and the instruction sheet is not very clear on this.


DLM
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks, Don - I have heard that the troop seats are a real trouble spot.

My son is getting very enthusiastic about this project and has made all kinds of suggestions for detailing. I'm out of town this week on business and can't look at the kit to see how feasible the mods are. He is of course mentioning the red and white strobes on the top and bottom of the tail (white in the daytime, red at night), the "slime lights" for formation flying, BIM indicators, even an infrared strobe. (I guess I could use an IR LED for that, but who would know it was working unless you were wearing night vision goggles?!) The kit didn't come with a full range of numbers, so I will have to make some decals for those as well as for the 82nd Airborne logo stenciled on the nose.

I have not built a helicopter before so this will be a challenge. I have already ordered a second kit and second copy of the upgrade parts! He'll get whichever copy comes out best...I'll be experimenting on the one that becomes mine.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Got started in earnest on the project this weekend. My son is supplying me with lots of photos of the interior cabin, and I have downloaded the "Operators Manual" which is available online, as well as getting a copy of "Black Hawk Walk-around".

I had heard that there were troubles getting the cabin floor to line up properly with the doors - it sits too high and there is a gap between the deck and the fuselage. I inadvertently solved part of this problem when I sawed the hook compartment off the underside of the deck...I was reading the Cobra Co. instructions to remove the pedestal for the center console before adding the resin upgraded part, and I had the deck upside down so I sawed off the wrong part by accident! But it actually turned out to help with assembly. I removed about 1/16" of the box structure, glued it back on, and then the deck was flush with the door openings.

The other problem with the gap between the deck and the fuselage is due to three small tabs that protrude from the sides of the deck. These are attachment points for some of the troop seats:


The problem is that there are no corresponding indentations on the interior of the fuselage, so they push the walls away from the deck. I made a few small notches in the fuselage to accommodate the tabs:


If you decide to do this, note that the right-angled alignment ledge on the fuselage wall at the rear of the cabin is about 1/16-1/8" too far back - you need to slide the deck forward so that it fits properly to the troop doors.

I also started detailing the rear bulkhead to reflect the "hell holes" as my son calls them. These will be covered with OD "soundproofing" and I will add a scratchbuilt heater vent.


I know, this is basic stuff... I have been spoiled with great-fitting models from Fine Molds and Polar Lights!
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Here's the latest update!

Boy howdy, the troop seats are a MAJOR pain on this kit. I made the mistake of assembling the legs to the seats before putting the troop cabin together - I did what the instructions said to do, but you simply can't eyeball the correct angle for the legs. I scratchbuilt seat harnesses out of masking tape.


Using the Cobra Co. resin upgrade part for the overhead panel as a starting point, I scratchbuilt the engine controls, fuel selectors, and T-bar emergency cut-offs out of the smallest bits of styrene that I could manipulate. I painted mylar OD to simulate soundproofing, and I scratchbuilt the troop compartment transmission cover out of styrene. After this photo was taken, I added two hanging transmission filter bypass indicator access covers. [My son says, "That one and the one on the aft left side (gust lock cover) are the two we open up every flight on preflight so they get worn out easier, and you can indeed often find them hanging or smacking grunts in the face in flight."] These are styrene circles hanging from tiny bits of fiber optic strands, which you'll see in the last pictures of this update.


As I said, the seats were a pain. I found out that they wouldn't fit into the troop cabin, so I had to break the legs off of every one of them. I hung the seats from the ceiling supports, CA'd them in place (ensuring their were hanging plumb), and assembled the cabin. Then I had to superglue the legs back in again. I never could get them to line up with the holes in the floor...but they're "Close enough for Government work" at this point. Disregard the wet spot on the floor - that's some accelerant that hadn't completely dried before I took this shot.


I'm not too worried about how the crew cabin will look when complete, as my son informs me that when they fly in combat, they keep the troop doors closed. So, whatever we see on this kit will either be through the windows or through the gunners' windows.



My son informed me that contrary to the Walk-around book and the instruction manuals, the gunners' seats on his Black Hawk are solid black, even the harnesses and buckles.

Now to start work on the cockpit, and my first time working with photoetch... wish me luck!!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Had fun with the instrument panel; it went together very easily and with very little clean-up required


Tried a test fitting of things thus far...you can see a Cobra Co. fire extinguisher on the far wall. I have also added some ammo boxes from a Tamiya set, but these aren't visible in this shot.


I've been adding a lot of pastel dust to the cockpit...it's mighty dusty in Afghanistan!


Joseph Osborne at fireballmodels.info is making some special decals for me so that this will truly look like my son's Black Hawk - can't wait to see what he has put together!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks, To(m), for your kind comment. I don't consider myself to be at "that level" either!! I'm just playing around and hopefully able to fix mistakes before they become too permanent. All the great tips I get from the REAL modelers here on this BBS have saved me hours upon hours of learning curve...and have taken away the fear of experimenting!
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Next update - the cockpit is complete now.

This first shot is above and behind the pilot's seat. I have added a scratchbuilt handle and cable for the pilot's armor. You can also see the scratchbuilt framing for the area under the deck that is visible from outside the chin bubble.


The second shot is from a little farther back. There's a nice shot of the Cobra Co. fire extinguisher at the aft end of the center console.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Finished the wiring today and closed the fuselage!

Since the Black Hawk has white flashing anti-collision lights in the daytime, and they are red at night, I put white and red LEDs on separate circuits in the tail and underside of the aft fuselage.


There are also navigation lights, red on the port landing gear pylon, green on starboard, and white at the top rear of the tail pylon. These are also on a separate circuit.

Since this kit wasn't designed to be lighted, I had to make some mods. First, the holes in which the clear light pieces are mounted don't go all the way through the fuselage, so I had to drill them out. I put a small hole in each of the mounting stubs for the main landing gear pylons. I used a micro-mini 1.5mm LEDs that I found at Granddad's Hobby Shop, and I wire-wrapped the components, rather than soldering them, to save space. I also had to sand off the plastic bump on the end piece of the pylon, which is supposed to represent a light. Luckily, there are properly-shaped clear pieces provided, that would normally go on the end of the external stores pylons, but since I'm not using those pylons, the clear pieces were now mine for the grabbing. I drilled tiny holes into the end pieces of the wheel pylons for mounting the clear bits and for letting the LED light shine through.


All the wires exit through the starboard fuel port - which wasn't built into this model, so I had to drill a hole in the correct location. I put a small piece of styrene tube in there as a conduit for the wires. I left a small bit protruding from the outside, as an attachment point for the "refueling hose" which will actually be a conduit for the wires from the side of the ship into the base.


After cementing the fuselage together this evening, I realized to my chagrin that I had outsmarted myself again...in trying to cut down the number of wires that leave through the side of the ship, I combined the white anti-collision lights on a single circuit, and did a separate circuit connecting the red anti-collision lights. Problem is, that on a real Black Hawk, the topside and underside lights flash alternately. I won't be able to do that with the wires the way they are. DRAT!!! I guess that will be fixed in version 2.0.
 

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