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Bell AH-1G "Huey Cobra"
Attack Helicopter

Charlie Troop 9th Cav 1st sqdn
68-15064
“The Crystal Ship"
Charlie Troop, 1st Squadron,
9th Cavalry, 1st Air Cavalry Division (Airmobile)
United States Army
Phuoc Vinh, Vietnam, 1970



AZ Model Plastic Kits

This model added to kgwings.com on December 2019

KG Wings - AZ Model 1:72 scale model of AH-1G Huey Cobra

In 1965 as the Vietnam war intensified, the U.S. Army needed a dedicated "fire support" helicopter that could be put in to production as swiftly as possible. Prototypes submitted by Bell, Sikorsky and Kamen competed in a fly-off which resulted in the Army placing an order for 100 production Bell Model 209s.

KG Wings - AZ Model 1:72 scale model of AH-1G Huey Cobra

The production Model 209 was designated AH-1G (Attack Helicopter, Type 1, G or 7th in the Bell Huey Series). It got it's nickname "Cobra" after a Bell representative visited the 114th Aviation Company "Cobras" stationed in Vietnam. The Army adopted the name which was the first deviation from the Army practice of naming their aircraft after American Indian tribes or animals.

KG Wings - AZ Model 1:72 scale model of AH-1G Huey Cobra

The initial production Cobra had a max. speed of 171 mph (277 km/h) and a max. range of 357 miles (574 km).
The chin-mounted M28 turrent would hold either a pair of 7.62mm miniguns, or a pair of M129 40mm Grenade launchers, or most often one of each.

KG Wings - AZ Model 1:72 scale model of AH-1G Huey Cobra

About the kit: AZ Model provided a weapons load that was pretty much standard for the Cobra, a pair of M200 rocket pods (which represents 38 x 2.75 inch Folding-Fin Aerial Rockets) and a pair of M18 pods (which would contain GAU-2 7.62mm ×51mm miniguns).

KG Wings - AZ Model 1:72 scale model of AH-1G Huey Cobra

Photo-etch mesh screens are provided for the main engine intakes and the intake above the canopy. I used some sheet styrene to block off the side vents on the engine cowling, otherwise you can see daylight through the empty fuselage.

KG Wings - AZ Model 1:72 scale model of AH-1G Huey Cobra

The canopy glass is not terrible on this kit but it leaves a lot to be desired. The nice details inside the cockpit are difficult to see due to the distortion of the thick clear plastic, and even after careful sanding and trimming it doesn't blend into the fuselage as well as it should. A nice thick vac-form canopy would be a huge upgrade for this kit.

KG Wings - AZ Model 1:72 scale model of AH-1G Huey Cobra
The decals are really well done on this kit, bright and opaque and perfectly in register. They blended in nicely with a light coat of Micro Sol. I was pleasantly surprised with how well the mouth/teeth fit around the gun turret.
KG Wings - AZ Model 1:72 scale model of AH-1G Huey Cobra

The canopy glass is probably the weakest feature on this kit, it's not terrible, but it could be much better. The nice details inside the cockpit are obscured due to the distortion of the thick clear plastic, and even after careful sanding and trimming I wasn't able to blend it into the fuselage as well as it should be. A nice vac-form canopy would be a huge upgrade for this kit.

KG Wings - AZ Model 1:72 scale model of AH-1G Huey Cobra

Here's a shot before the canopy was closed up. The provided brass seatbelts are a nice touch. I thinned down the side armor plates and headrests to make them more scale accurate. There is room to add more custom details in the cockpit area but if you use the provided canopy part you won't be able to make them out anyway so no real need.

KG Wings - AZ Model 1:72 scale model of AH-1G Huey Cobra

This was a fairly quick and easy build, the only problem I had was figuring out how to install one of the instrument panels the way the instructions suggest, I ended up having to modify the part and add some shims to get it into the proper position. Overall I'm pretty happy with this kit, there are a lot of Cobra kits in this scale and with the included metal details and decals this one stacks up pretty well.




AZ Model Bell AH-1G Early Cobra
AZ Model
Kit: AZ Model #AZ7416
1:72 Scale Model
Scale: 1/72
Value:

This kit retails for about $20.00 (USD) at the time of posting. Considering the level of detail, the inclusion of brass detail parts and markings for 3 aircraft, this is an excellent value.

The Kit:

Approximately 59 plastic parts molded in light gray, 12 brass parts, 1 transparent canopy, 1 decal sheet, 4-page instruction sheet.

Parts have crisp detail with little cleanup required. Parts fit well overall.

The instructions are fairly easy to follow but there are a few places for improvement. Brass parts are not indicated differently than plastic parts so the part numbers 1 through 12 are duplicated in the instructions, make sure you study the illustrations know which one is which. The illustration shows instrument panel (part 47) should attach to the cockpit tub (part 56) but I couldn't figure out how that could possibly work so I attached mine to the fusalage halves.

There are a several option choices to make with the weapon pods, cockpit, tail rotor direction, and fuselage details, unfortunately the instructions are not that clear which aircraft should have which options. If you're a stickler for detail then you'll have to do your own research to make sure you get it right.

I managed to break the landing skids off during the final stages of building, which is par for every small scale Cobra I've ever built. If you know how to replace the insertion tabs with brass then I highly suggest it, it will save a lot of heartache.

The transparent canopy is pretty thick so visibility into the cockpit is distorted. A vac-form canopy would be a really nice upgrade for this kit.

I feel this kit captures the look of the Cobra well, I didn't notice any glaring problems.

Decals:

Decals are printed in tight register, crisp and completely opaque.

Decals are provided for 3 aircraft:
1. 66-15259 Virgina Rose, Bien Hoa, Vietnam 1967
2. 66-17054 Sound of Silence, LZ Mace, Vietnam 1971
3. 66-15064 The Crystal Ship, Phuoc Vinh, Vietnam 1970

Conclusion:

This is a good kit with good detail and good fit overall, it compares well with other Cobra kits in this scale. Any fan of small scale helicopters should enjoy this one.

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