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
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.