by: Harald Haensel [ ]
Designated S-80E internally by the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, the Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion, and the Navy MH-53E Sea Dragon are the largest and heaviest helicopters in the United States military.
Sailors commonly refer to the Super Stallion as the "Hurricane Maker" because of the downward thrust the helicopter generates.
It contains 7 sprues with parts molded in light grey plastic, one with the clear parts, the instruction and two decal sheets. One with generic, walk way and maintenance marking, the other one with the markings for three different units. These are HMH-461 “IRONHORSE” Bu.161541 OIF, HMH-466 Bu. 162483 MCAS Tustin 1980’s and HMH-464 Bu. 162284 MCAS New River 1990’s.
The molding is mostly good. Some ejector marks are located really exposed and the use of putty will be tricky because they are located between the ribs of the fuselage left and right to the rear ramp and the ribs of the ceiling. The kit shows fine engraved lines and some nice details like the grids at the tail rotor. The detailing over all is good and you will get a nice piece out of the box.
But I thing there could be some more done specially at the rotor head and the cockpit. Let’s see what the PE guys will offer.
The kit can be built with extended or folded rotor blades, opened or closed side door and window, pilot and co-pilot’s windows and rear ramp. The tail section can be built in folded position too. To tie down the blades in folded position on the real thing 6 fasteners are used. Unfortunately there are only two fasteners in the box. For better adjustment it will be easier to build the folded blades after the assembly of the fuselage. Two cal.50 machine guns for the left gun port and the right side door are included, but look very simplified. The ramp mounted weapon system and the normally used XM-218 mini guns are not provided.
Academy provided a decent cargo compartment interior with sound proof wall texture, some troop seats, detailed floor and ceiling. To avoid ejector marks, Academy did an outer and inner fuselage. The outer consists of left and right side and the lower hull. The inner is made up of left and right walls, ceiling and cargo floor, this effort was not 100% successful as stated above.
A really impressive model, this kit will be an eye catcher and we will see it at many exhibitions.