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Title: 1/48 Kitech Airwolf
Description: Commissioned work


druid_99 - January 21, 2008 06:31 AM (GMT)
Hi guys...

Another model kit in progress from me. I hope this year I can complete more than last year. It's actually a commissioned build from my friend. He asked me to build four models for him. One is a Blue Thunder helicopter (Kitech), this Airwolf helicopter (Kitech) and two Gundams (Bandai - the mech is yet to be decided).

Since this is a Kitech model kit, I don't think it will be a smooth building process. The model kit will surely test my nerve and patience on building it. The model kit itself is a copy of the long discontinued Airwolf model kit from MPC. Since it is a copy, this model has all the problems the MPC model has.

First is the panel lines. It is huge!!! Looks like a scaled down of the Nile River (ok, ok, I'm exaggerating here... :lol: ) but the panel lines is really thick and deep. I will have to fill it in with epoxy and scribe a new ones. Take a look at the picture below. I will also remove all the unnecessary lines, rivets and add some things to make it look like the Airwolf.
user posted image

I start with the cockpit assembly. The ejector mark and fleshing is too thick and visible that I have to use my knife, files and sandpaper to smooth and level it... and this is only at the instrument panel.
user posted image

When I have smoothed it out, I glue the front of the instrument to the housing. Fitting disaster again!!!... There are gaps everywhere!!! I decided to just let it as it is and to rebuild the instrument panel face using plastic sheet later and rebuild the gauges as well using the available reference.
user posted image

The interior is very simplified that I have a hard time to restrain myself not to start cutting and detailing it as it won't be visible at all after the body halves has been attached. It is assembled and I will paint it later with whatever colour I think will suit it as there is also no colur guide for this model kit.
user posted image

Another fitting issue. The side vents on the chopper is made out of two parts and when assembled, again, the gaps and misallignment are present. This will also needs to be puttied and sanded off.
user posted image

There are a lot of problems with this model kit but I will try and document all the corrections, modifications, rebuilding and scratchbuilding that I'll do to this model kit to make it looks like the Airwolf helicopter as close as possible. Plus I will also need guidance when I build my own Airwolf... :lol:


Captain Kirk - January 21, 2008 07:03 AM (GMT)
Nice work, dude!

Actually, this Kitech kit is still better than the original AMT/MPC kit. It has more additional (accurate) details added onto the fuselage, and provides pilot & crewman as well, for a cheaper price. Hahahaha

Go Figure! One of the few times the copy kit is better than the original. I have both kits and can definitely vouch for that! :D

Awaiting your progress on this (are you going to try to build Airwolf II as well? Red & Black colour version....)

cheers,

Ken B)

druid_99 - January 21, 2008 07:10 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Captain Kirk @ Jan 21 2008, 03:03 PM)
Nice work, dude!

Actually, this Kitech kit is still better than the original AMT/MPC kit. It has more additional (accurate) details added onto the fuselage, and provides pilot & crewman as well, for a cheaper price. Hahahaha

Go Figure! One of the few times the copy kit is better than the original. I have both kits and can definitely vouch for that! :D

Awaiting your progress on this (are you going to try to build Airwolf II as well? Red & Black colour version....)

cheers,

Ken B)

Wow! I didn't know that the Kitech is much more accurate than the AMT/MPC ones. Got to get me another one. :lol:

As for building Airwolf II, I'll have to see how this build goes like and decide (to build or not) when I finish this model.

PoohBear - January 21, 2008 07:39 AM (GMT)
Thank you, sir :)

Now I know where to look if I decide to build my 'Serigala-Udara' :D

Keep it coming.

cheers and happy modelling :)

honeymic - January 21, 2008 08:00 AM (GMT)
I will keep a close eye on this WIP also ... as Me also have that 2 Kitech Kits ... Udara Serigala ... and Biru Petir ...

mr b - January 21, 2008 11:05 AM (GMT)
Wah

Brings back alot of memories.......you are doing a great job.....I do have the kitech offering ....but only when I have a straight 2 weeks to work on it..or so.....when I will have such time I dunno....:)planning the airwolf II...

Got the Asohama << I think metal airwolf.....its based on the original plastic....kit ...but the rotors turn (Even the tail rotor) doors open and gear retract....

Do a search on ARC forum ......there was one tread with a testors colour one guy used very very close to the original.....HTH but to get the colour its not going to be easy....

Good Luck with you build.........

Rgds
Mr B

kuman - January 22, 2008 01:44 AM (GMT)
err.. they got Airwolf 2? where?

anyway... another one from Imran for 2008...
eventhough i dont have the "Serigala Udara" ..-yet... but i'll follow this as well justa s i follow the progress of Loo (?) "Petir Biru" last time which resulted me in getting the "Petir Biru" recently :D

keep on it Imran

kuman

druid_99 - January 24, 2008 03:03 AM (GMT)
Thanks for the encouragement guys.

Mr B: The actual colour for Airwolf is actually Phantom Grey Metallic by DuPont paint on top and pearl white on the underbelly. I will search ARC for the build-up that you mentioned. Thanks.

Kuman: Airwolf II also known as "Redwolf" is actually the same type of helicopter (BELL 222) which is build by the F.I.R.M (also the guys building Airwolf)actually to replace Airwolf but was then also stolen by their test pilot (how ironic :lol: ) and was eventually destroyed by Airwolf.

The only difference is that the Airwolf II has black (top) and red (underbelly and nose) colour scheme while the Airwolf has black (top) and white (underbelly). The Redwolf is also equipped with a laser weapon. I think the first debut was somewhere in the third season of the Airwolf series (which the Redwolf was also destroyed on the same episode).

Ok, enough of the history lesson :lol: . It's progress reporting time...

Not much though. I didn't have much time to do anything as yesterday and the day before was a very tiring day for me. Sleep as early as 9.30pm. :lol:

All that I've done the last few days is only thinning the air intake on the sides of the Airwolf. I have to remove the parts that I glued earlier and will need to rebuild it.

Before sanding and thinning process.
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After sanding and thinning process... looks better don't you think?
user posted image

I have also thinned the air intake on top of the helicopter near the main rotor.
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Next, I will need to fill this with epoxy before I can glue the gun bays on. This will also needs more dry-fitting and putty before it is completed.
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Ok, that's the only progress that I have currently. Now I will show some assembly instruction errors that is present on the instruction sheet.

First is the side air-intake assembly.
user posted image

Take a look at this area, the part number B50 and B46?
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The part B50 should not be glued to the part B46. It should be assembled at part number B43 where the jet exhaust should be (it's on the left-hand-side part in this picture)
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The second error is again is the placement of parts. Shown below is the overall picture. Note part number B36.
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Let's have a closer look shall we.
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The part number B36 should not be attached on top of the helicopter near the rotor as shown in the instruction. It should be placed on the nose of the helicopter right in the middle. Further reference from the Airwolf helicopter (or even the BELL 222A) will confirm this.

That's all for now. :D

dremel - January 24, 2008 03:47 AM (GMT)
Aku respect lah dgn W.I.P you bro....with alot of an informations....well done ,keep it coming ;)

mr b - January 29, 2008 12:46 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (druid_99 @ Jan 24 2008, 11:03 AM)

The only difference is that the Airwolf II has black (top) and red (underbelly and nose) colour scheme while the Airwolf has black (top) and white (underbelly). The Redwolf is also equipped with a laser weapon. I think the first debut was somewhere in the third season of the Airwolf series (which the Redwolf was also destroyed on the same episode).


Hi

Airwolf II also did not have the turbo and weapons housing ...it was just a standard 222 with the cabin windows blacked off

Nice progress on your build.....hope to see it completed....soon

rgds
mr b

druid_99 - January 31, 2008 03:17 AM (GMT)
Ok, more updates...

I'm tackling the instrument panels as the gap was big and the only option I have is to rebuild the instrument gauge.

The dashboard is cleaned and angled using nail file.
user posted image

Let's work on the instrument panel now shall we? First I sand off the gauge face to level out the surface.
user posted image

Then using two pieces of 0.4mm plastic sheet, I draw the outline and cut it to shape. The first layer is glued onto the sanded-off gauge face and the second one will need some cutting to be done.
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Shown below is the first layer plastic sheet glued onto the gauge face.
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Some holes is drilled onto the first layer to replicate the gauge and after that plus some detail added, shown below is the completed instrument panel. It's still a bit rough though.
user posted image

When that is done, I tackle the front landing gear housing next. Since it is attached to the interior of the helicopter, it is a hassle to get it allign properly before assembling the body halves.
user posted image

To make it simpler, I cut off the landing gear area and separate it from the interior. By doing this, i can put the landing gear housing first and tinker with the allignment of the interior without worrying that it will affect the allignment of the landing gear.
user posted image





druid_99 - January 31, 2008 03:31 AM (GMT)
Continuing with the updates.

The one thing that really bothers me is the missile launcher. It is a solid piece without any holes where the missile will be launched.

Using various sizes of drill bits, I drill the holes on the missile launcher.
user posted image

When all three is already drilled, here's the outcome.
user posted image

When that is done, I continue with dry fitting the interior. It is visible in this picture that the seat is too thick that the holes where the controller stick should be located is partially covered.
user posted image

To solve this problem, I file off some parts on the rear of the seat so that it does not cover the holes. Lucky the back of the seat is thick so I don't have to worry about the seat getting too thin and flimsy. After filing, the hole is of an acceptable distance from the seat.
user posted image

After all that, the parts are all painted and glued together. Notice the controller stick location and the seat location that has been modified.
user posted image
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Next... more problem... <_<

druid_99 - January 31, 2008 04:01 AM (GMT)
Ok, as mentioned in the previous post, the interior is completed and will be attached to the body halves before gluing it together. Prior to that, some of the clear parts like the windows minus the front window has to be attached first.

Here's the problem... there's some gap on the windows on the lower nose of the chopper. I'm not sure whether to replace it using clear plastic sheet or cast it in resin.
user posted image
user posted image

Looking at the future that I might be building one more for myself, casting another looks like a good idea but I still need to think about it.

Another area is the window on top of the windshield. This will also needs to be dealt with.
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That's all for now. If I have decide on the approach to tackle the windows, I'll update it in here. :D

PoohBear - January 31, 2008 04:52 AM (GMT)
This is a nice site for some reference:-
http://projects.airwolf.tv/ssmockup/preview


druid_99 - January 31, 2008 04:54 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (PoohBear @ Jan 31 2008, 12:52 PM)
This is a nice site for some reference:-
http://projects.airwolf.tv/ssmockup/preview

Yup, it's a good site. I've been using them for reference purposes. Thanks for the link PoohBear. :D

druid_99 - February 5, 2008 04:08 AM (GMT)
Progress is a bit slow. I've decided to drill off the rear exhaust area before I rebuild it.

First, using the drill, I make a few holes near the edge of the circle. user posted image

Then, using a sharp knife, I cut the areas along the holes and took out the plastic covering the hole.
user posted image

Finally, using needle files and sandpapers, I clean the areas to a neat circular shape.
user posted image

I like using this method because I can control the areas that I work with and reduce errors that might happen if I simply cut the holes off using knife or drill. Unless I have the drill bit the same size with the areas, I'll be more comfortable with this method.

That's all for now. :D

druid_99 - February 18, 2008 07:38 AM (GMT)
Ok guys, update time...

I've done quite a lot last weekend and overall, it's about 60% to 70% completion I think.

On with the updates...

I've drilled the holes for the front air vent and the rear exhaust previously. Using metal tea strainer I bought at the shop for RM1.20 (I think) I got a sheet of mesh to be used for the Airwolf.

First I cut the mesh according to the shape and size, then using either super glue or epoxy, I stick the mesh on place. Since nothing can be seen inside the intake, I glue a plastic sheet on the back of the mesh... I know, I know... redundant job... but at least the detail is better... :D

user posted image

I've also added the mesh to replace various vents on the model.

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As for the intake, it is filled up with epoxy putty, sand, putty and sand again... A lot of effort is needed to fill in the gaps...

user posted image

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More updates after this...

Poopeh - February 18, 2008 07:48 AM (GMT)
Nice work. You really pay attention to details huh

druid_99 - February 18, 2008 07:52 AM (GMT)
The last few posts, I've mentioned about the lower screen on the Airwolf that has a terrible gap and after thinking for quite some time (plus a few errors and cursing along the way) I finally decided to rebuild the screen using thin perspex.

All that I do is by cutting a 0.5mm perspex for about 2cm width, then apply some heat with the paper packing still intact, I'm using fire from cigarette lighter (another thing that I have in my toolbox although I'm not a smoker... :lol: ) and apply some heat on the perspex.

When it is heated enough I just carefully but quickly bend the perspex into the shape of the helicopter body. When the perspex has cold and set, I place the perspex onto the opening of the screen, using pencil, I draw the outline and carefully cut the perspex into shape...

I cut it slightly bigger than its size and the excess perspex is then filed to shape until it fits the area. The reason that I did not cut the shape the exact shape of the screen is because, being clear part, I can't repair it if I accidentally scratch so, better be safe then sorry.

After the part is completed, it is glued onto the body using two-part epoxy. Shown below is the completed screen, sorry I don't have any progress pictures on this.

user posted image

As for the window opening on top of the windshield, fron the reference available, it is actually bigger than the ones on the model, so I cut it according to shape and will be rebuilding the glass later using perspex as well.

user posted image

More update next...

dremel - February 18, 2008 08:02 AM (GMT)
Finaly berjaya juga replace cermin tu ye? well done bro.....salute ;)

druid_99 - February 18, 2008 08:13 AM (GMT)
I have also glued the interior and body halves of the helicopter. Fitting is just so-so and there's a huge gap near the main rotor that needs to be filled up. I will do that later.

user posted image

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Another error that I noticed on the model as well as the instruction. The gun on the sides of the helicopter is upside-down on the instruction as well as the model. Item B49 (in the picture below) should be on top instead of the bottom. You have to rebuild or rearrange the gun placement as the model kit itself also has the same error. You can't simply turn the gun upside-down because the gun will not be properly alligned with the placement. The simplest option is to cut the rods on both sides of the gun and put in a new one.

I haven't done it yet, it's just a rough idea and I'll tell you guys if I've tackle it.

user posted image

That's all for now... :D

druid_99 - February 18, 2008 08:17 AM (GMT)
Poopeh: Thanks, it's either a gift or a curse... :lol:

Dremel: After a few tries and a few broken perspex finally berjaya jugak... The trick is not to apply too much heat on the perspex. I think using heat gun will give better control to bend the perspex. Lagipun only 0.5mm... if it's more than that, I've to surrender lah... hahaha...

druid_99 - March 5, 2008 12:46 AM (GMT)
Ok guys... more update. The Airwolf is actually progressing quite ok and I'm quite happy with the progress now. All the clear parts has been attached and the only thing needs to be done is to redo the side gun placement.

From my previous post, I've shown that the side guns is positioned upside-down in the instruction as well as the model and I have to redo the placement as well as extending the gun joints. Here's how I do it.

First I need to prepare the new location for the side gun joining stubs to be placed. All I do is draw a line from the end to the front of the gun placement to get the allignment straight and drill a hole the same measurement with the actual ones.
user posted image

Next handling the side guns. Shown below is the side gun. It's small and flimsy and the all the joining stubs on the sides of the gun will need to be removed. Just a cut with the knife (carefully) is good enough.

The gun
user posted image

Removed the rear stubs.
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When that is removed, I use a drill to drill a hole for the replacement rod to be added.
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When that is done, the rod is glued in place.
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This is done to the front joining stubs as well...
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Only one more rod to be added.
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The joining stubs will be measured and cut to the correct measurement when all the other parts on the helicopter is prepared. There are one part that needs to be filled before the guns can be attached. The side covers for the guns as shown below.
user posted image





druid_99 - March 5, 2008 12:56 AM (GMT)
Ok, since the body halves of the helicopter is attached, the front tyres needs to be attached prior to this. I found out that the front landing gear bay is too wide that the internal frame of the landing gear can't be properly alligned. What I do is I cut some thin plastic strips and attach it inside the landing gear bay to act as a guidance for the landing gear.

user posted image

No problems with the rear landing gear though.
user posted image

Notice from the above picture the amount of putty used to fill the gaps on the underbelly. :lol:

As I mentioned in my previous reply, the clear parts has been attached. Shown is the clear parts which has been covered with masking tape prior to sanding and priming before the painting pprocess.
user posted image

The masking tape on the nose is placed there because I need to rebuild the bump on the nose because the ones supplied with the model kit is not properly curved and it has a lot of gaps that is beyond repair.
user posted image

Here's the overall view of the Airwolf.
user posted image
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Next... need some suggestions from you guys...

druid_99 - March 5, 2008 01:08 AM (GMT)
Ok guys... I need suggestions on how to do this.

The exhaust for the engine is badly done. It does not look even a bit like the actual Airwolf.

Shown below is the actual exhaust (thanks to Merle from Airwolf.tv forum)
user posted image

And this is the one from the Kitech.
user posted image
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Do you guys have any suggestion on how should I do this?

desmosedici - March 5, 2008 01:38 AM (GMT)
Get your hands on an Italeri 1/72 H-53, the exhaust cones are about the same shape, angle and size.

Otherwise your other option is to build it up from tube and cut shapes to fit. Very leceh.

druid_99 - March 5, 2008 01:45 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (desmosedici @ Mar 5 2008, 09:38 AM)
Get your hands on an Italeri 1/72 H-53, the exhaust cones are about the same shape, angle and size.

Otherwise your other option is to build it up from tube and cut shapes to fit. Very leceh.

Thanks for the suggestions Desmosedici.

Will the 1/72 H-53 modelkit exhaust fit into this 1/48 (scale wise)? Otherwise I think I will have to opt for the latter option.

Any other suggestions guys?

Bud Bilko - March 5, 2008 01:58 AM (GMT)
druid_99,

Good technique with the perspex! I'm keeping that as a note. To be honest, even the most crudest kit can be build. Nothing is impossible. More please.

Sarge.

kuman - March 5, 2008 02:08 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (druid_99 @ Mar 5 2008, 09:45 AM)
QUOTE (desmosedici @ Mar 5 2008, 09:38 AM)
Get your hands on an Italeri 1/72 H-53, the exhaust cones are about the same shape, angle and size.

Otherwise your other option is to build it up from tube and cut shapes to fit.  Very leceh.

Thanks for the suggestions Desmosedici.

Will the 1/72 H-53 modelkit exhaust fit into this 1/48 (scale wise)? Otherwise I think I will have to opt for the latter option.

Any other suggestions guys?

:D

wah imran.. very the detail one...

the "latter" option is also no problem for you... try it..then maybe some of us here can "copy-cat" you step as well.. :D


kuman

xamel1975 - March 5, 2008 02:25 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (druid_99 @ Mar 5 2008, 09:45 AM)
Will the 1/72 H-53 modelkit exhaust fit into this 1/48 (scale wise)? Otherwise I think I will have to opt for the latter option.

Scale wise should be no problem. The Airwolf eventhough it's 1/48 is small in real life. The question would be whether you're willing to buy another kit just to use the only the exhaust part? :lol:

Another method is to use a hollow metal pipe (I think you still have those spares metal tubes, right?); compress it using pliers (since we don't have a grip-vice) until it gets to the desired oblong shape and cut it accordingly.

druid_99 - March 5, 2008 02:35 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (xamel1975 @ Mar 5 2008, 10:25 AM)
Scale wise should be no problem. The Airwolf eventhough it's 1/48 is small in real life. The question would be whether you're willing to buy another kit just to use the only the exhaust part? :lol:

Another method is to use a hollow metal pipe (I think you still have those spares metal tubes, right?); compress it using pliers (since we don't have a grip-vice) until it gets to the desired oblong shape and cut it accordingly.

That's the problem. Buying a kit just to get the ehaust.... not justifiable... :D

The hollow metal pipes that I have did not have the size that is needed. All are too small to be used.

I think I better scratchbuild the exhaust. After pondering and looking through the pictures, I decided to scratchbuild it... I got a rough idea on how to tackle it and I'll try it tonight. If it works, I'll share it with you guys... ;)

desmosedici - March 5, 2008 04:40 AM (GMT)
Druid, I have a couple of H-53 exhausts. Will cast in resin this weekend if you like. You'll have to hollow it out yourself though. Price is a cup of coffee.

dremel - March 5, 2008 05:21 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (xamel1975 @ Mar 5 2008, 10:25 AM)
QUOTE (druid_99 @ Mar 5 2008, 09:45 AM)
Will the 1/72 H-53 modelkit exhaust fit into this 1/48 (scale wise)? Otherwise I think I will have to opt for the latter option.

Scale wise should be no problem. The Airwolf eventhough it's 1/48 is small in real life. The question would be whether you're willing to buy another kit just to use the only the exhaust part? :lol:

Another method is to use a hollow metal pipe (I think you still have those spares metal tubes, right?); compress it using pliers (since we don't have a grip-vice) until it gets to the desired oblong shape and cut it accordingly.

Ithink your brother is right....metal tube....but you must find out how to cut it nicely..

druid_99 - March 10, 2008 02:05 AM (GMT)
Ok guys, update time...

First of all, thank you for all your suggestions on handling the exhaust issue and thanks for the offer to recast in resin Desmosedici.

Like I mentioned previously, I have a rough idea on how to tackle the exhaust and I spend the last weekend trying to implement the idea and what do you know.... it works!!! :lol: Ok, as promised I will share to you guys on how I rebuild the exhaust.

First of all, I study the angle of the exhaust and the overall look of the exhaust and what I see is actually it is not a very complex shape at all. I work on it when I'm totally sure how it really looks or supposed to look like.

First I get a cylinder plastic tube which is about the size of the exhaust hole.
user posted image

Then I cut it at an angle (more than 45 degrees) as shown below.
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When it is cut, this is what you have... looks similar to the exhaust is it?
user posted image

This is then cut to size and glued onto the exhaust area.
user posted image

Since I was lazy on that day, I decided not to trouble myself cutting and shaping plastic sheets to get the shape of the exhaust so I just mix some epoxy and shape it to replicate the rest of the exhaust.
user posted image

The exhaust is completed and it only needs some sanding and also trimming to get the right length before it can finally be ready for priming and painting. The exhaust will also needs to be thinned as the plastic is a bit too thick.

That's all for now...




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