Not Just Jets! - Italeri's 1/72 scale AH-64D apache Longbow

 
Completed model depicting US Army Bu #00234 debut airframe.  Model photographed on custom display base and background. Settings: 5D Mark II w/ 24-105 f/4L lens @ 105mm, f/22, ISO 200

Completed model depicting US Army Bu #00234 debut airframe.  Model photographed on custom display base and background.

Settings: 5D Mark II w/ 24-105 f/4L lens @ 105mm, f/22, ISO 200

Italeri's Kit #080

Italeri's Kit #080

The majority of the models we make resin accessories for are for modern jet aircraft.  After all, they're my personal favourite subjects.  I have a lot of ideas for the jet models in my huge stash in the way of upcoming resin sets.  But, that in no way means I don't have a affinity for the modern military marvels that are attack choppers.  I think they're all awesome!  Whether they're helicopters originating from the U.S., NATO, Russia, or wherever the country of origin; like our logo tag implies; if its modern military aircraft, were a fan.  So, in the spirit of scale modelling and inspiration for my fellow 1/72nd scale modellers out there, I wanted to share a few photos and talk about of one of our display models.  

The AH-64D Apache

My supply of bits and pieces for scratch-building, organized in their own plastic baggies for detailing model kits and creating our resin accessories.

My supply of bits and pieces for scratch-building, organized in their own plastic baggies for detailing model kits and creating our resin accessories.

I looked over at the display shelf and grabbed the first helicopter that caught my eye..Italeri's 1/72 scale AH-64D Apache.  I'll forgo on a history lesson, as fellow modellers, you guys are all too familiar with this formidable war machine.  I built the model primarily straight from the box, however I added details here and there to enhance its appearance and to improve accuracy.  Out of the box, the models over-all appearance and features is accurate.  Italeri did a good job of establishing the look of the updated Apache Longbow featuring it's AN/APG-78 Fire-Control & Targeting Radar above the mast and rotors.  Another standout feature of the Longbow done well by Italeri are the forward fuselage expanded avionics banks.  Details I wanted to add that appear on the real machine that were not depicted in the kit were various grab handles and antenna wires.  I also wanted to scratch-make the cage around the Apache's 30mm M230 chain gun.  For scratchbuiding details, I keep a supply of bits and pieces of styrene, sprue from old builds, thin cooper wire, etc.  I keep things organized in individual plastic baggies to make it easier to find bits I need for detailing. 

To create these various small parts for my Apache; I would employ one of the most used scratch-building techniques, heat-stretching sprue.  In the photos below are the steps on how I created the tiny grab handles:

There you have it, the grab handles are made.  I repeated the stretch-sprue technique to make the antenna for the tail fin, tail boom UHF wire, and the gun cage.  I completed the model using other tried and true tips and techniques that I mention in my E-Book, Building and & Finishing 1/72 Scale Modern Military Aircraft.  Below are several photographs of the completed model:

Click on the photos below to have a closer look.

Well, I hope you all found this useful for your own 1/72 scale modern military aircraft!  Like I mentioned, "Its not just jets."  As you can see, you can do a lot with just a versatile technique like heat-stretched sprue to add much needed details not present straight out of the box.  I hope this inspires you to try your hand at the technique and more scratch-building.  Keep the radar on!  Cheers. 

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