1/48 Hasegawa, Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King
(Converted to Westland Mk 50/A)


1/48 Hasegawa Westland Mk.50/A Sea King - "Shark 22" 817 SQN RAN


by © Andrew Perren


The Kit


1/48 Hasegawa, Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King (Converted to Westland Mk 50/A)


After Market Accessories

  • Decal Set Hawkeye Models - RAN Sea King Mk50 – 1990’s Grey Scheme.

  • Plane Bits Resin Conversion set 48-010 RAN Sea King including brass 6 blade tail rotors.
  • Hawkeye Models Resin Conversion set 48CS-16 RAN Sea King Upgrade set including photo etch cargo step and blade antenna and Resin 6 blade tail rotor.

Construction

The kit was constructed according to instructions beginning with cabin/cockpit area.  Details were added to upper centre console using wire and extra belts to the crew seats made from tape. The remainder of the interior was completed OOB as no doors or windows were to be opened.  For major modifications and enhancements I chose to concentrate on the exterior.

Two separate resin sets were purchased from Plane Bits and Hawkeye, neither set was without its flaws but the Hawkeye set was far more complete. The best components were selected from each set.  Some resin components were rejected, these I replaced with scratch built items from various materials. Modifications are listed below as resin, etch or scratch.


 

Modifications



  1. All the moulded in rivets over entire airframe were deepened with a needle in a pin vise. I chose to do this because I didn’t feel the existing holes were deep enough to hold a wash and some had to be re-instated anyway as they were lost during construction.

  2. The upper fuselage spine Radome and Intake Sand Filter were added from resin parts. The radome was glued into place but the sand filter was given brass locating pins so it could be left off until final construction.

  3. The undercarriage Sponsons were replaced with the Westland shorter style replacements. Resin one piece items from the Plane bits set were used.  I made each side undercarriage assembly into a remove-able sub assembly consisting of the sponson and stub wing with the fuselage brace attached.  Brass pins allowed the entire sponson assemblies to be added after painting and decaling etc during final construction.

  4. Dipping Sonar Bay cover was created from scratch using styrene sheet before the Hawkeye resin set arrived.  The Hawkeye set has a resin part to do this job which I didn’t use.

  5. The side windows in a Westland Mk50 are different from a Sikorsky SH3.  The Hawkeye set has extensive instructions on the necessary changes.  The Port side aft window is moved to the correct location, 10mm further aft. The existing hole in fuselage is filled with a styrene plug from scratch and faired in. The Port side forward window is deleted – I glued the clear window in then filled and faired in.

  6. Various RAN style antennae and fairings added to fuselage underside from Resin components of the Hawkeye set. There are also upper and lower blade antenna added from  Etched metal.

  7. The etched cargo step is added under the main cabin door and support braces are from styrene rod. Do not follow the Hawkeye measurements here as they are wrong. You’ll just have to work them out for yourself referring to photos.  The finished step adds a lot to the model.

  8. Westland versions have a shorter tail stabiliser than the Sikorsky models.  Hawkeye provided this in resin however my part was marred.  The plastic kit item was shortened instead to match and a tip made from styrene. Westland models also have the support brace deleted.

  9. This model requires a 6 Blade tail rotor (kit provides 5 blade tail rotor) - Neither conversion set offered a good option.  The brass one was poor and the Hawkeye resin set was detailed but extremely weak. In fact it was broken just removing it from its sprue piece.  However the Hawkeye piece is mastered from the original Hasegawa pieces so I took the resin six bladed Hub, 5 kit plastic blades and one resin blade and pinned them all together with brass wire.  This produced a much stronger but still well detailed assembly. This was further detailed with wire. ( Resin/Plastic/Wire).

  10. The under fuselage Cargo Sling and associated cabling was added to fuselage underside from scratch using wire, bent to represent the hoist in its stowed position.

  11. All the Grab handles on the fuselage sides were replaced with wire.

  12. The Rotor Head was detailed from scratch with wire for hydraulic lines etc. All the reference photos I looked at showed a very busy area here.  Without the luxury of technical drawings for exact placement I chose to just make it as busy as I could.  There are in fact 60 individual pieces of wire on the rotor head. The entire rotor assembly is not fixed in place for ease of transport.


NOTE on the rotors:  It has since been pointed out to me that in this configuration the helicopter would have been fitted with new carbon fibre main rotor blades. The kit supplies the original style of metal rotor blades which have a different shape to the root end of the blade and no panel lines on the blades.   

 

  • On the Port side tail there is a long antenna which is added from styrene right angle stock. The Hawkeye set provides a piece but it looked over-scale to me so I sourced my own from plastruct mouldings.

  • The Port side fuselage has a wire antenna which was added from stretch thread, the posts and mounts were made from styrene stock. This connects to the resin blade antenna near the tail wheel.

  • A White rope was added to port side under the cockpit side window to the underside centreline attachment point from white thread.

  • A Grab Handle and control cables were added to under the rescue winch on the starboard side from wire.

  • Aircraft beacons were added to the tip of the tail and underneath the front fuselage from red reflective beads and a searchlight from a suitable MV lense.

  • The windscreen wipers also had clear washer tubes added from fishing line.


Painting

  • The model was airbrushed with Model Master enamels.  FS36320 Dark Ghost grey overall. Black areas on nose painted flat black.  All other areas of black are decals

  • White circles for Roundels masked and painted with enamel.

  • Rotor blades painted black (with a drop of white) with yellow tips for main and red/white stripes for tail.

  • Tamiya enamel clear gloss applied prior to decals and weathering.

  • Panel line/detail washes with thinned acrylic – dark grey.

  • Testors dullcote to seal in decals and weathering.

  • Tamiya clear green painted on upper cockpit windows interior surfaces prior to closing fuselage.


Decalling

Hawkeye decals set for RAN Sea Kings was applied as per instructions except for the white discs provided for roundels. These areas where painted white for a better result.  These decals are very tough and had to be cut to go over panel lines.

Weathering

A Panel line/detail wash was applied before decals.  Shading and exhaust staining added with tinted layers of Dullcote.  Rotor blades were painted silver initially and after being painted black were sanded back on the leading edges and tips to show wear.

 

References

Andrew's Sea King can be viewed at Hyperscale on this link: http://www.hsgalleries.com/gallery04/seakingas_1.htm




 

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