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Eurocopter EC145 Rega

 

Revell, 1/32 scale

Summary

Catalogue Number:

Revell 04492 - EC145 Rega

Scale:

1/32

Contents and Media:

White, grey and clear styrene

Price:

CDN $29.99 from northstarhobbies.com

Review Type:

First Look

Advantages:

Crisply moulded parts; Clear transparencies; Excellent decals; Fine detail

Disadvantages:

Interior details not representative of a REGA aircraft

Recommendation:

Highly Recommended

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reviewed by Dave Irons


Revell's 1/32 scale EC-135 Air Zermatt is available online from Squadron

 

FirstLook

 

The box is standard Revell Germay fare with opening flaps on either end, a very nice bit of box art depicting a photo of the actual helicopter on the front, some fragmented colour photos of the real helicopter and a brief history on the side panels, and photos of some other Revell products on the bottom.

The part trees are bagged in groups with everything then stuffed in one large bag. Three trees are moulded in white, six in light gray and two in clear. Thatís eleven trees of parts! Granted, three are fairly small, but the parts count is still impressive at 291. Now, the kit contains quite a few parts marked Ďnot for useí, mostly due to one tree clearly marked ďEC-135 POLICEĒ that you need for a few parts (even more than you think if you do a true REGA Machine).

There is minimal flash and it looks like most if not all ejector pin marks will be hidden once the kit is complete. There are a few sinkmarks that will require attention around the rotor mast on the upper engine shroud, and at the root of each rotor blade. On one of my two kitís they are more pronounced than on the other so you may get lucky! The ones on the blades will require some patience in cleaning up do to the adjacent raised detail.

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


The cabin windows on the EC-145 are bulged outward and Revell have captured this feature. Due to this however, there is some distortion in the kits clear parts. This is not a big deal as all the parts are crystal clear and when I viewed the decal sheet through all the windows as a test, they looked crisp and legible. The huge windscreen is virtually distortion free and will show off the cockpit area wonderfully. Since both sliding cabin and rear clamshell doors can be posed open, any distortion in the cabin windows shouldnít be an issue in viewing the interior.

The decal sheet is printed in Italy, looks to be nice and thin, and both my examples are in perfect register. Although not as large as some other Revell Germany sheets, it is comprehensive and covers all five of REGAís machines. As usual, all small stenciling is provided, even for the interior and the colour coding stripes for the rotor blades. Revell has even gone to the trouble of providing individual serial numbers for ALL the rotor blades. Thatís four blades times five helicopters! They are barely legible, but are called out for in the instructions. Good news is, if you screw one up and have to use a spare, well, who is really going to know! My only complaints with the sheet are the hokey blue decals provided to represent the screens on the MFDís in the cockpit. Some gloss black paint would be a lot more convincing for a shut down MFD! The other error is that on the ĎEC-145í logoís (decal 105), the actual ĎEC-145í portion of the decal should be in aluminum, not white as portrayed on the sheet. Well, thatís at least according to my reference photos.

 

 

Not having used any of the decals yet I canít comment on how well they work on the model, but if my experience with other Revell sheets is any indication, they should not pose any difficulties.

The instructions are straightforward, nicely illustrated, follow a logical evolution, have a brief history of the EC-145 and REGA, a parts map, and a small paint and decal map.

I think the paint and decal map could have been spread over two pages and made a bit larger, especially for those of us a little past our prime in the eyesight department!

However, there are a few errors and some confusing drawings in the instructions with regards to the REGA specific machines. This is due to the fact that Revell seems to be using various steps in the instructions for several kits, so some of the drawings have equipment shown that you donít have in this kit!

Okay, now you know what you get, itís time for the bad news. There are some errors in the kit with regards to an actual REGA machine. This is due in part to what looks like Revellís intention to get a few variants out of this kit.
The basic interior is correct, but the layout of the various bits of medical / rescue equipment is not representative of a REGA machine. You can use the stretcher and mount, the seats, and the bin on the rear door, but for the cabinets, the support structure for the various medical things that go Ďbeepí and the Ďbeeping thingsí themselves, you are going to have to scratchbuild if you want it to be dead accurate. Itís not as daunting as you would think and armed with some good reference photos, quite do-able. If you are comfortable using the interior bits supplied in the kit, then you can go on with the few corrections I will be listing in a follow up build article and have a very nice model just the same. I will also list the major interior corrections for those who want to go the extra mile.

I do have a photo of HB-ZRA just after delivery with the base interior with no cabinets, etc. installed, so technically, you could stick in all the seats and leave it at that and have an accurate model.

Now onto a nice little bonus in the kit! Many of the photos of REGA EC-145ís show a rear view mirror array mounted on the nose just under the main windows on the right side. No mention of this is made in the instructions, but, on the tree intended for the EC-135 POLICE helicopter, all the parts are provided for the mirror assembly. Whether it fits properly on this particular nose is another thing, but Iím sure with a bit of fiddling around it can be accomplished more easily than scratchbuilding the whole thing. Check references or snag a scan of the Revell 1:32nd EC-135 kitís instructions to figure out how it all goes together.

The mirror parts are 233, 236, 237, 239, and 240.

Now for a few little disappointments with the kit.

I had hoped that all of the doors would be provided separately, but the two swing out cockpit doors are moulded into the fuselage sides. A bit of careful surgery is going to be required to open these up. There is a small inspection window on the right front of the engine Ďpodí just forward of the intake. Revell forgot about it and have given you one of those cheesy blue decals to replicate the glass (decal # 53). Also, in this scale, I would have liked it if the anti-collision lights on the vertical tails had been provided as clear parts but they are moulded with the tail pieces. There are a couple of clear teardrop lights on the clear sprue that I assume are for the EC-135 kit, and could be used with some careful sanding off of the large attachment point.

There is a little problem with the two front seats as well. The seatbelts are moulded with the seats and become nearly invisible at the top, especially the right shoulder harness. Both belts should go through openings in the front of the seat to retractors inside the assembly. That detail is soft and nearly invisible.

The only other negative for me anyway is the way in which Revell chose to mold the forward clear parts. I would have preferred it if they had chosen to mould the entire nose section in clear with frosted areas to show the framework that gets painted. This way, they could have eliminated the problem of having a glue joint along the very large edges of the actual window area. It would also have given them the chance to have the forward doors separate and positional. Compounding the problem is a triangular portion of the upper fuselage that extends forward of the main roof and I can see this being a problem when it comes to proper fitment of the clear windscreen. If Revell had moulded this section as part of the windscreen, it would have provided a good solid painted over joint. Trumpeter has seen the light and moulded the entire nose section on their new 1:35th CH-47 in this way and I think Revell dropped the ball on this one. If they decided on the approach they have taken to ensure a clear canopy, then okay, but I think itís going to be a delicate area of the kit to get right.

Now, here are some things you should be aware of if you are going to even begin to build an accurate replica of a REGA specific machine:

In step 25, the instructions specify part 49B when in fact, you should use part 49C, with the vent in it.

In step 41, parts 81, the snow plates are not always fitted and can be left off at your discretion.

Do not use part 80 on the left side! This style step is used only on the right side, which is part 83. On the left side, use a modified part 126, even if not using the searchlight. Now, the mounting post for the searchlight has to be cut down flush with the top of the step like part 210, but you canít use part 210 because itís meant for an EC-135 and has different mounts. Iím not sure how well engineered the light mount is, so I would wait till step 55 to see if it needs to be cut down if you are mounting the light. Take a look at reference photos and you will see what I mean. (also of note here while talking about the skids, the handles on the sides of the skids are also sometimes removed, so if you break one of these little handles off, just sand the area smooth and drill a couple of mounting holes!)

Step 48. Okay, they have me here! I have yet to see a photo of the loudspeakers depicted by parts 221 and 222 installed. Go directly to step 49!

Step 51. Donít pay any attention to the step style depicted in the illustration, and only use the skid extension, parts 119 and 120 on the left side if the light is not mounted. Always use it on the right skid.

Step 58. If you want to display the winch swung out ready for operation, be aware that the winch housing itself is bolted rigidly to the arm and will rotate 90* to be perpendicular to the fuselage when itís swung out. It doesnít remain parallel to the fuselage as it is when stowed. Also, the flotation ring on part 134 should be painted in the same colour as the surrounds on the door handles (decal #25 for instance).

While talking about the winch, you should be aware that on many EC-145ís, the winch can be mounted on either side of the airframe. Revell has moulded the mounting points and electrical sockets on both fuselage sides of the kit. However, REGA only has this on the left side, so you will have to carefully sand off the detail representing this on the right side, being careful to damage as little of the adjacent rivet detail as possible.

All in all though, this is a very nice, finely detailed model, but the high parts count, small detail parts and a large windscreen that Iím sure will cause some stress make it a subject suited to more experienced modelers.

Since I have now already begun construction, a detailed build article on how to do an accurate REGA machine will follow.

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Highly recommended for all fans of Medivac Helicopters.
 


Review and Images Copyright © 2006 by Dave Irons
Page Created 31 July, 2006
Last updated 30 July, 2006

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