The Bell UH-1 Iroquois, nicknamed “Huey” was the first turbine-powered helicopter to enter production for the United States military. It is powered by a single, turbo shaft engine, with a
two bladed main rotor and tail rotor. The original designation was HU-1, from which the nickname originated, but this was later changed to UH-1. The helicopter was developed by Bell
Helicopter to meet the United States Army's requirement for a medical evacuation and utility helicopter and its inaugural flight took place on October 20, 1956. The Huey went into
production in March 1960 and more than 16,000 have been produced worldwide. The first combat operation of the UH-1 was in the Vietnam War under U.S. Army service. Other
branches of the U.S. military (Air Force, Navy and Marines) also used Huey variants built according to their specifications. Approximately 7,000 UH-1 aircraft saw service in Vietnam.
Several variants have been produced over the years and used by militaries worldwide. Later variants are still in service today.

The Bell UH-1 Huey is the latest release in
L’Arsenal’s line of 1/350 scale aircraft. This little set comes with a pair of resin helicopters and photo-etch parts packaged in a zip-lock bag.
No decals are provided, which is really the only minus with the well done set. The resin fuselage and tail boom are well cast with recessed door and window frames and detailed engine
cowl. Some resin flash needs to be removed and a bit of casting over pour along the bottom needs to be sanded smooth. There are recesses to attach the skids, elevators and hand grabs.
I am not sure is the rotor shaft is part of the casting or not but if it is then they were broken off on both resin fuselages and need to be substituted with brass or plastic rod.
The photo-etch parts include the main and tail rotors, skids, elevators, hand grabs, tail skid and a fin that sits atop the cabin. Spare fins, tail hooks and hand grabs are provided is case you
lose one while handling these tiny parts (I know that this came in handy for my build!). Assembly instructions are provided on the paper insert that also serves as the package label and it
contains a keyed diagram of the photo-etch parts and their locations on the resin fuselage.

I decided to build one the Hueys in the set in U.S. Marine Corp markings. A search of the Internet provided images of a simple scheme to use but as this set does not come with decals for
markings I needed to find another source. I then remembered that
Iron Shipwrights sells a USMC aircraft markings decal sheet that even provides decals for the windows on a Huey which
would be perfect for this project. I acquired the set from
Iron Shipwrights and I started on my little build. As expected the build is quite easy with the only tricky part is handling some of the
smaller photo-etch parts. I airbrushed the fuselage/tail boom with Testors Model Masters Field Green and then gave it a coat of Tamiya Gloss Clear for decaling. The decals from the
ISW
sheet went on well but the window decals were a tad smaller than the kit windows. Since these decals were not made specifically for this model I was not expecting them to be an exact
match and I took bits of the other window decals on the sheet to fill in the gaps. Once the decals were in place I gave the model a dusting for Testors Dullcote. To make the door frames and
other recessed lines stand out some I applied a thinned wash of black watercolor with a brush and once dry applied another dusting of Dullcote to seal it. I added the photo-etch parts losing
a grab handle along the way (thankfully extras are provided). With everything now in place I gave the little chopper a final coat of Dullcote. I decided to place the Huey in a ground scene
using some model railroading fine turf material. I applied a layer of acrylic gel to a wood base and then applied some of the fine turf material making sure I covered all of the gel. When this
tried I brushed on some epoxy to the bottom of the skids and glued the Huey in place. I still need some more practice working with the turf material but it made a decent base for my Huey.

This is good and simple aircraft diorama accessory and it could be used in a variety of scenes be it Vietnam vignettes using the Swifts and Pibbers produced by
L’Arsenal or perhaps on the
flight deck of a carrier or amphibious assault ship. Ultimately it is up to the modeler but whatever you choose the
L’Arsenal Hueys will look great.
Felix Bustelo
Rotor Rogue of Rockaway
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