Since the establishment of the United Nations, Australia has had a
healthy involvement in peacekeeping duties in the South East Asia and
Pacific regions. This was no exception in the early 1990s when Australia
assisted the UN with the monitoring of democratic election, and other
aid relief – mine clearing and disarmament. To assist with these efforts
the Australian Army dispatched six S-70A-9 Blackhawks from B Squadron 5
Aviation Regiment, Townsville, Queensland. These were transported to
Cambodia with the assistance of a C-5 Galaxy during May 1992.
After accruing around 500 hours during a 15-month period the Blackhawks
returned home. The white colour schemed remained on many of the
aircraft, until such time as they were due for their major service.
Several Blackhawks were observed at RAAF Base Richmond during January
1994 on bushfire fighting duties still sporting the overall white
camouflage, (though missing the United Nations marking and returning to
the standard markings and stencilling).
To build an Aussie Blackhawk in 1/48, the best kit to purchase (to
date) is the Academy MH-60G Desert Hawk, as it give you the correct
stabiliser & exhausts for the S-70A-9 as well as other part which can be
used to improved the kit.
Construction starts with the cockpit. It is hard to acquire but I highly
recommend that anyone building a Blackhawk get hold of the Eduard photo
etched sets, both interior and exterior.
All the cockpit consoles were replaced with photo etched parts, as well
as a new dash, and roof detail. I added sheep skin seat covers to the
pilots’ seats by adding some super glue to the seats and sprinkling some
railway modelling sand. Seat belts were added and paint Black-Green. The
cockpit is painted all black (too easy), so if you do decide to place
all this detail into the cockpit, consider opening the cockpit doors
otherwise much is lost. As for the cabin, everything is Dark Gull Grey.
Aussie Blackhawk’s have a different seating arrangement to their
American counterparts. The cabin seats run down the middle of the cabin,
with the loadmaster and gunners seats in the standard position. The
MH-60G has mini-guns and other equipment in the cabin, which should be
omitted from the S-70A-6. The mini-guns should also be replaced with the
two 7.62mm machineguns supplied in the kit. The kit is then put together
as per the instructions. These Blackhawks rarely carried fuel tanks so
the wing stubs are added.
As for the exterior, the Aussie Blackhawks have many radios and aerials
to suit which need to be added. One thing I neglected to build for this
kit is the step that the Blackhawk carries just off the main cabin
doors. These are standard on all Aussie Blackhawks and need to be added.
There is quite a lot of black and tan detail around the air intakes,
exhausts, and tail. Kangaroos were carried middle way down the tail
boom, with green ‘boxing kangaroos’ carried on the cockpit doors. United
Nation’s markings on the main cabin door and under the fuselage.
Although Hawkeye Models Australia and Aussie decals both offer decals
for the Australian Army (and Air Force) Blackhawk’s, they both have not
included the markings for the Cambodian scheme. Therefore I resorted to
printing the decals using a laser jet the decals. The boxing kangaroo
was hand painted.
Model and Description Copyright © 2002 by
Ryan HamiltonPage Created 01 March, 2002
Images Copyright © 2002 by Pieter Stroethoff