by: Zach Patton [ ]
This is the second helicopter kit released by AFV Club that is based on Academy/MRC molds. The first is their 1/35 S-70C BlueHawk which is an updated and reconfigured Academy UH-60 BlackHawk. After watching a program on the Discovery Wings Channel about the Republic of China, or Taiwan's, helicopter force I instantly wanted to make a R.O.C. AH-1W Cobra. The only problem was that no one made one, not even the decals, in the U.S.A. Until now.
Opening the box
Once out of the package, there is not much to look at if you already own the Academy/MRC AH-1W. The molds are the same and the plastic is virtually the same. After delving further into the box I discovered the plastic bag with the new resin turret along with the metal gun barrels. Now I do not know why AFV only made a new turret because the stock one from MRC is the same, it just doesnt have as much detail. The R.O.C Army\'s Cobras have been updated with the Night Targeting System, or NTS, and you can only buy that in 1/35th scale through Cobra Company. But Ill get into that later.
Around 1996-1997 the Republic of China\'s AH-1W fleet was upgraded with the NTSF-65 Night Targeting System and the AN/ALQ-144 infrared countermeasure system. This brought their Cobra\'s up to the same standards that the United States Marine Corps has with their own AH-1W\'s. The problem is that when Academy/MRC orginally made their 1/35 AH-1W model, the Cobra\'s did not have the NTS retrofit. Thus not one major manufacturer produces a NTS Cobra ready to build. The only aftermarket company that does make the NTS upgrades is Cobra Company and to purchase that, you have to be willing to dish out another $26.00 US. AFV Club did not retool the MRC molds to include the NTS upgrade which is sadly dissapointing considering I waited four months from the time I pre-ordered it on Hobby Link-Japan to its arrival at my doorstep. The only additional parts that they give you is a completly new resin turret with metal gun barrels which is absolutly wonderful. The resin used is practically perfect not being to thick or too thin. Other than the turret however, it is the same Academy/MRC kit first made back in 1992 as I stated before.
The decals are definitely the major plus with this particular kit. With this set it allows you to build any of the R.O.C. AH-1W\'s using the multiple numbers given on the sheet. The only downside is that to make more Whiskey Cobra\'s with the Taiwan markings one either has to but more AFV kits or get the cheaper Academy Whiskey and make copies of the AFV decals. Anyway, the decals do not seem to be too thick or too thin and are nicely detailed to give a real effect once the model is finished.
I paid $35.00 US for this kit off of Hobby-Link Japan, which is the only carrier of the kit that I know of so far. I did not know at the time of purchasing though that all it was was a \
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Copyright ©2020 text by Zach Patton [ ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Model Shipwrights. All rights reserved.
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