Build story - US NAVY Sikorsky HH-60H SeaHawk
Italeri 1/48 scale model
The Sikorsky SH-60/MH-60 Seahawk (or Sea Hawk) is a twin turboshaft engine, multi-mission United States Navy helicopter based on the United States Army UH-60 Black Hawk and a member of the Sikorsky S-70 family. The most significant airframe modification is a hinged tail to reduce its footprint aboard ships.
The U.S. Navy uses the H-60 airframe under the model designations SH-60B, SH-60F, HH-60H, MH-60R, and MH-60S. Able to deploy aboard any air-capable frigate, destroyer, cruiser, fast combat support ship, amphibious assault ship, or aircraft carrier, the Seahawk can handle anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASUW), naval special warfare (NSW) insertion, search and rescue (SAR), combat search and rescue (CSAR), vertical replenishment (VERTREP), and medical evacuation (MEDEVAC). All Navy H-60s carry a rescue hoist for SAR/CSAR missions.
The HH-60H was developed in conjunction with the US Coast Guard's HH-60J, beginning in September 1986 with a contract for the first five helicopters. The variant's first flight occurred on 17 August 1988. Deliveries of the HH-60H began in 1989. The variant earned initial operating capability in April 1990. The HH-60H's official DoD and Sikorsky name is Seahawk, though it has been called "Rescue Hawk".
Based on the SH-60F, the HH-60H is the primary combat search and rescue (CSAR), naval special warfare (NSW) and anti-surface warfare (ASUW) helicopter. It carries various defensive and offensive sensors, it is one of the most survivable helicopters in the world. Sensors include a FLIR turret with laser designator and the Aircraft Survival Equipment (ASE) package including the ALQ-144 Infrared Jammer, AVR-2 Laser Detectors, APR-39(V)2 Radar Detectors, AAR-47 Missile Launch Detectors and ALE-47 chaff/flare dispensers. Engine exhaust deflectors provide infrared thermal reduction reducing the threat of heat-seeking missiles. The HH-60H can carry up to four AGM-114 Hellfire missiles on an extended wing using the M299 launcher and a variety of mountable guns including M60D, M240, GAU-16 and GAU-17/A machine guns.
The HH-60H's standard crew is pilot, copilot, an enlisted crew chief, and two door gunners. The HH-60H is operated by Helicopter Antisubmarine (HS) squadrons with a standard dispersal of four F-models and three H-models. In Iraq, HH-60Hs were used by the Navy, assisting the Army, for MEDEVAC purposes and special operations missions. As the Navy transitions its Helicopter Antisubmarine (HS) squadrons to the MH-60R, remaining HH-60Hs are being transferred to its East and West coast special operations squadrons (HSC-84 and HSC-85, respectively).
Italeri 1/48 Sikorsky HH-60H - First impressions
If one have to describe the box contents of Italeri's 1/48 HH-60H SeaHawk scale model there wont be much superlatives. Interior detail is virtually non existent and there is a lot of ground to be covered if you want a decent model. I built this scale model several years ago. I have decided to add as much scratchbuilt details as I was able at that time.
Italeri 1/48 Sikorsky HH-60H - Cockpit
I commenced my build of the HH-60H scale model with the central console. As you can see there is only flat surface and some decals provided. I glued some plastic card on top of the existing plastic. After carefully studying available pictures I scribed the panels. With fine drill bit I drilled holes and then inserted whiskers from old toothbrush dabbed in superglue. To add another type of knob/button I used same technique but with sprue stretched to larger diameter. To make square buttons I used electrical tape cut to small square pieces. I have extended the central console with thin aluminium sheet.
Next it was time to upgrade the rudder pedals. I carved out the unnecessary plastic and added thin aluminium strips instead. From stretched sprue I recreated some linkage elements I sow in pictures from HH-60H walkaround.
Moving on I had to create the helicopter's instrument panel. This was done entirely from plastic sheet material layered on the kit part. I have removed the kit overhanging visor and later replaced it with scratch built one. I also added some wiring on the back of the IP.
I have created new pilot seats from scratch and parts of the kits seats.From masking tape I created the seatbelts and also scratch built a fire extinguisher and first aid bag. To make installation more like in real HH-60H I have removed the molded in supports and drilled holes instead.
I also recreated the structure behind the small nose windows and the overhead control panel.
Although the left door of the aircraft can be posed in open position there is no detail what so ever (same for the right door). Looking at pictures using milliput and various bits and pieces I managed to recreate some of the details on the doors of the helicopter. I also made new windows heat forming thin acetate sheet.
Moving in the rear compartment things were even more... hmm... FLAT. Again looking at pictures of the real aircraft, using milliput and all kinds of plastic and metal material I recreated the interior of the rear compartment. I also made the electronic equipment stand, some box that sits next to it and a rescuer sack. From tape I made some smaller bags that hang on the right wall.
After everything was ready I painted weathered the complete interior of the helicopter. The cockpit was overall black and the rear compartment - gray.
Italeri 1/48 Sikorsky HH-60H - Exterior
After the interior of the aircraft was completed I was already fed up with this build so not much mojo was left for the outside. Regardless of that I still made some improvements.
- I lowered the front suspension height and made sleeves for its connection with the fuselage of the helicopter. Also brake lines were added.
- I made indents for two lights and the lights that go under the chin.
- I spiced up the rotor hub drilling some holes and installing cables where appropriate.
- The external fuel tank was also detailed up.
- On the Main wheels hubs I installed the tie downs.
- Did the anti static whiskers on the rear horizontal stabilizer.
Italeri 1/48 Sikorsky HH-60H Paint and finish
This prototype of my HH-60H SeaHawk scale model was from HS-3 "Tridents" of the Carrier Air Wing CVW-8 and had boart number 614 at that time. It was located on U.S.S J.F.Kennedy
I primed the SeaHawk scale model with Tamiya fine primer from spray can and preshaded it with dark gray on the top and brown on the bottom. I painted the helicopter with off white belly and rest was overall light ghost gray. Light chipping with lighter shade of the base color was added. After gloss coat and decals I washed the model with dark gray wash for the top and earth color wash for the bottom of the aircraft. All was sealed up with satin clear.
Italeri 1/48 Sikorsky HH60-H SeaHawk scale model - Gallery
Italeri 1/48 scale Sikorsky HH-60H - Conclusion
I was very disappointed with Italeri's attempt at making scale model of the Sikorsky HH-60H SeaHawk, and I was really surprised to see it reissued by other companies - go figure.
Nevertheless even today, few years after I completed that scale model, I am really happy with what I achieved.
Until next time
Best regards and Happy modelling