Police (CHP) Helicopter Hughes 500D 1:48 Scale Academy Model Kit #12249 Review

2014 May 29
by Doug

Right On Replicas, LLC Step-by-Step Review 20140529*
Police (CHP) Helicopter Hughes 500D 1:48 Scale Academy Model Kit #12249Review

Review and Photos by Alan Mann Alan Mann (Thumbnail)

The Hughes 500 Police helicopter went into production in 1969 and is one of the fastest helicopters in its class. The 500 is a civilian version of the US Army’s OH-6A Cayuse/Loach. The improved Hughes 500D became the primary model in 1976, with a more powerful engine, a T-tail, and new five-blade main rotor; a four-blade tail rotor was available and was optional. In 1977 the California Highway Patrol (CHP) began using the 500D as the main service helicopter in their air unit and continued its use until 1985. A point of reference for the builder is this kit is an actual replica if a unit in service and the tail number used in the kit is a real number the CHP used. Note the photo of the actual unit CHP used. You can see it here CHP Hughes 500D.

For the Modeler: This review is based on the Academy 1/48 Scale Police Helicopter 500D model kit #12249. There are no skill level notations but if you read the very tiny little print on the side of the box it is listed as age 14 and above. The age requirement would consider this as a kit for the advanced builder (Skill Level 3). There are 66 parts in this kit and they are molded in White and Clear. This kit has previously been released a multitude of times and has even been produced under different brands such as Hasegawa. This kit is a 100% re-release (Re-pop) and is quite available in hobby stores and online avenues. Some neat features of the kit are it comes with an “in scale” companion motorcycle and three people figures. Also, the side door can be installed open or closed. A downfall of this kit is it is a Japanese released kit and therefore, the instructions are not in English.  There are English translations available, but they are limited. A third of the instructions sheet is a paint and decal guide for the kit; it even has the real CHP unit in Black and White photos included. At 1/48 scale the parts are small and the build requires more effort to paint and decal so take your time. Finished Dimensions:  Helicopter: From Blade tip forward to tail tip 7-¼” long. From Blade tip to Blade tip 7″ wide. 2¼” tall.  Motorcycle: 1-7/8″ long. ¾” wide. 1¾” tall.

Covered in this Review:  If you want to perfect your build; basic construction; preparing parts for better finishing; alternate assembly sequence suggestions for fit and ease of finishing; motorcycle construction and detailing; decal carrier considerations; touching up the paint on small models; scratch building an antennae for the bike; complete paint and adhesive selections and applications; test fitting; sink, tab and mold seam identification; paint masking techniques; detailing the  window trim with a Sharpie pen; interior detailing and finishing; rotor blade construction and detailing; fixing warped parts; military version pieces discussed; glue to use for the windows; decal preparation and application; are all fully examined in this pictorial 17 page, full-color Step-by-Step review in PDF format.


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