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OH-58D
Kiowa Warrior

Observation and Attack Helicopter



3rd Battalion
101st Aviation Regiment
U.S. Army

Iraq, 1991




This model added to kgwings.com on November 10, 2004
In the latter part of 1980, the US Army announced its requirement for a new scout helicopter under the Army Helicopter Improvement Program (AHIP).
In a year's time, Bell's OH-58D was chosen as winner of the competition and in late 1985, the first Kiowa Warrior was delivered to the Army.
Although similar in appearance to its predecessor (the OH-58A Kiowa) the Warrior is far more powerful and maneuverable. The OH-58D is designed for precise control during nap-of-the-earth (noe) flight and can maintain a heading control in winds up to 35 knots.
A significant feature of the Warrior is the mast mounted sight (MMS) located above the main rotor. Television, thermal imaging, and laser range finding are transmitted from the MMS to multifunction displays (MFD) inside the cockpit.
Using the MMS, the Warrior can hide below treelines and ground contours while locating, and designating targets for other helicopters or field artillery.

Photography tip number 22: Remember to clean paint out from under your fingernails before taking !
The detail was a little soft on the Hellfire missiles so I used replacements - ironically from a different Italeri helicopter kit.
The instrument panel has nice raised details that include believable Multifunction Displays and gauges. I used green sequins to bring the MFDs to life. I added masking tape seat harnesses and collectives to finish out the interior.
I made the Infrared jammer out of a gold sequin which was scored and folded into a cylinder. The effect is pretty convincing in this small scale.
Italeri did a good job overall producing this kit. With a few modifications it builds into a convincing early Kiowa model D.




Kit: Italeri  #027

Scale: 1/72
Review: 2 sprue trees contain 47 parts molded in dark green, 1 tree contains 6 transparent parts. All parts are free of flash and crisply formed with fine raised rivets. Construction is simple and straightforward. Fit is generally good with the exception of the windscreen which required sanding, shaping and filler to blend into the fuselage. The kit includes weapon options of Hellfire, Stinger, and 70mm rockets. The detail was soft on the Hellfire so I borrowed from an Italeri Apache kit.
Decals:
Optional markings provided for 1/277th AVN. US Army, Fort Rucker, 1990.
Paint: Testors Model Master Enamel "US ARMY HELO DRAB" was used overall. The base color was then lightened with Testors #1168 "White" and used to simulate faded paint and weathing. Testors #1530 "Jade Green" was used for the "greenhouse" windows. Testors Dullcoat Lacquer was applied overall.
After Market Parts: None.
Customizing: On the inside I added seat harnesses made of masking tape. I used green metallic sequins for the MFDs. No collectives were provided in the kit (why is this standard practice for 72nd scale kits?) so I fabricated my own. The pilot's armor plating was too thick so I trimmed it away and made my own.
 On the outside I added supports for the cable cutters, bulges to the rear door, and searchlight. I replaced the main rotor pitch control rods with stretched sprue and used the same to create the missing tail rotor control rods.
 This particular release from Italeri (#637) did not include the IR jammer installation, so I created my own. The IR reflector was made from a gold sequin, scored in a grid pattern and rolled into a cylinder. All lights were created with bits of colored sequins coated with 3-minute epoxy. Black sequins were used for the optics of the MMS. The Hellfire seeker heads were made by drilling out the front of each missile and inserting a piece of gold sequin then filled in with 3-minute epoxy.
Cost: Purchased from MJDesings for $8.00(US), a very good value for the price.

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