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AH-1G Spanish
& IDF/AF Cobras

Special Hobby, 1/48 scale

S u m m a r y :

Description and Item No.:

Special Hobby Kit No.SH48202 - AH-1G Spanish & IDF/AF Cobras

Contents and Media:

176 parts in grey plastic (not all are used), 13 clear parts, one decal sheet with markings for 4 airframes.

Price:

GBP£35.99 EU Price (GBP £29.99 Export Price) plus shipping at Hannants

Scale:

1/48

Review Type:

First Look

Advantages:

This is a new-mold AH-1G Cobra in the novel scale of 1/48th. Surface details are abundant, crisp, and scale appropriate. The crystal clear canopy parts are posable and the quality decal sheet provides markings for 4 airframes plus stencil data.

Disadvantages:

Slightly challenging canopy assembly (just go slow :).

Recommendation:

This is a very nice kit that will build into an impressive model. It’s nice to see an AH-1 in 1/48th scale; a scale that’s catching on for armor subjects. What adds to the allure of this kit is the size; the Cobra is impressively large in 1/48th. I was so impressed with the loaner kit used for this review, I purchased a copy for myself. This Cobra is definitely going on my future build short list. Highly recommended.

Reviewed by John Miller

Introduction

 

Now, I’m not normally a whirly-bird kinda guy but the Cobra is such a svelte machine that seems to exude a functional lethality just sitting. Perhaps it’s the abnormally thin fuselage and/or the stepped, tandem cockpit.

 

 

What ever it is, the AH-1 is one mean-looking machine done justice in 1/48 scale by this new kit from Special Hobby; one of my all-time favorite model companies. This is a beautiful kit that just begs to be built; so many models, so little time. Keep ‘em coming, Special Hobby :)   


 

Background

The Bell AH-1 Cobra is a single-engined attack helicopter developed and manufactured by the American rotorcraft manufacturer Bell Helicopter. A member of the prolific Huey Family, the AH-1 is also referred to as the Huey Cobra or Snake.

 

 

The AH-1 was developed using the engine, transmission and rotor system of the Bell UH-1 Iroquois, which had proven itself to be a capable platform during the Vietnam War. It was produced in response to a need for a dedicated armed escort for transport helicopters to give the latter greater survivability in contested environments. Accordingly, the AH-1 was a dedicated attack helicopter, featuring a tandem cockpit, stub wings for weapons, and a chin-mounted gun turret. The first examples of the type entered service with the United States Army during 1967; other branches of the US military also opted to acquire the type, particularly the U.S. Marine Corp, while export sales were made to numerous overseas countries, including Israel, Japan, Spain, and Turkey. 

Edited from Wikipedia

 

 

FirstLook

 

The Kit

In a nicely decorated, lidded box are 11 sprues of grey plastic, one clear sprue, and one decal sheet with stencil data and markings for 4 airframes. Now, “11 sprues”; that’s a lot but many of them are small with few (6-8 parts). 

As is the norm with the current generation of Special Hobby kits, surface details (inscribed and in relief) are abundant, crisp, and beautifully rendered. There is very little flash with which to contend and the sprue gates are surprisingly small.

Parts layout and engineering are conventional. Construction begins with the cockpit, composed of a tub with front and rear positions complete with controls, console details, floor boards, and rudder pedals. Details for both instrument panels are provided by decals. The seats are each composed of 4 nicely-molded pieces and lack molded-in harness details (seat harnesses are not provided).

 

  • Special Hobby Kit No.SH48202 - AH-1G Spanish & IDF/AF Cobras Review by John Miller: Image
  • Special Hobby Kit No.SH48202 - AH-1G Spanish & IDF/AF Cobras Review by John Miller: Image
  • Special Hobby Kit No.SH48202 - AH-1G Spanish & IDF/AF Cobras Review by John Miller: Image
  • Special Hobby Kit No.SH48202 - AH-1G Spanish & IDF/AF Cobras Review by John Miller: Image
  • Special Hobby Kit No.SH48202 - AH-1G Spanish & IDF/AF Cobras Review by John Miller: Image
  • Special Hobby Kit No.SH48202 - AH-1G Spanish & IDF/AF Cobras Review by John Miller: Image
  • Special Hobby Kit No.SH48202 - AH-1G Spanish & IDF/AF Cobras Review by John Miller: Image
  • Special Hobby Kit No.SH48202 - AH-1G Spanish & IDF/AF Cobras Review by John Miller: Image
  • Special Hobby Kit No.SH48202 - AH-1G Spanish & IDF/AF Cobras Review by John Miller: Image
  • Special Hobby Kit No.SH48202 - AH-1G Spanish & IDF/AF Cobras Review by John Miller: Image
  • Special Hobby Kit No.SH48202 - AH-1G Spanish & IDF/AF Cobras Review by John Miller: Image
  • Special Hobby Kit No.SH48202 - AH-1G Spanish & IDF/AF Cobras Review by John Miller: Image
  • Special Hobby Kit No.SH48202 - AH-1G Spanish & IDF/AF Cobras Review by John Miller: Image
  • Special Hobby Kit No.SH48202 - AH-1G Spanish & IDF/AF Cobras Review by John Miller: Image
  • Special Hobby Kit No.SH48202 - AH-1G Spanish & IDF/AF Cobras Review by John Miller: Image
  • Special Hobby Kit No.SH48202 - AH-1G Spanish & IDF/AF Cobras Review by John Miller: Image
  • Special Hobby Kit No.SH48202 - AH-1G Spanish & IDF/AF Cobras Review by John Miller: Image
  • Special Hobby Kit No.SH48202 - AH-1G Spanish & IDF/AF Cobras Review by John Miller: Image
Thumbnail panels:
Now Loading

 

Once the seats are assembled onto the cockpit tub, the tub and the main rotor mount are then trapped between the fuselage halves, which are surprisingly large. Cockpit side panels (2 per seat) are added next thereby completing the cockpit assembly. This should look quite convincing right out of the box however the lack of seat harnesses with such a large, clear canopy may be an issue for some. If one is inclined to purchase aftermarket sets, I suspect there will be a wealth of 1/48 Cobra details from multiple manufacturers in the not-too-distant future.

 

 

Next up is the addition of multiple belly panels, rear fuselage stabilizers, and the wing stubs (comprised of halves). The wing stub hard points are very nicely detailed. As far as armament, the builder is given the option of two different 2.75in rocket launchers (the M158 launcher with 7 rockets or the M200 with 19) as well as M18 minigun pods and the M35 armament subsystem. Of note, load-out diagrams are provided for each airframe covered by the kits decals. The nicely detailed chin turret, complete with both the 7.62mm multi-barrel minigun and M29 40mm grenade launcher is next thereby completing armaments.

After adding the single-piece landing skids and nicely detailed tail rotor, the next major assembly is the main rotor head. This is a some what complex assembly so the folks at Special Hobby provide a colored schematic that greatly aids in understanding the relative positions of the parts; very nice.

 

 

The multi-piece, crystal-clear canopies are next and here is the only “Red Flag” step that I see in the assembly sequence. The top portion of the canopy must be glued to the left and right rear canopy pieces; clear part-to-clear part. This is not a big deal for someone with a little experience but it may be a challenge for those new to the sport of scale modeling. As shown in the instructions, the best approach is to affix the canopy pieces onto the fuselage and each other at the same time to ensure proper alignment. Furthermore, I would use odorless Gold CA Glue (Bob Smith Industries) for this step in order to lessen the chance of crazing the clear parts. Note that parts are provided to pose both the front port and rear starboard canopy panels open; very nice. This is an awesome option as there will be a wealth of detail to be seen in the front and rear offices.

A nice addition to the kit is a towing rig comprised of a set of twin out-rigger wheels that affix to the rear of each skid and a tow bar that attaches to the front. This should dress the assembled kit up quite nicely. 


 

Markings

The decals, printed by Special Hobby, are crisply printed with good color density and hue.

 

 

Stencil data and markings for four airframes are provided as follows:

  • AH-1G Cobra, 007-8, Z.14-8 (BuNo. 72-21464), Spanish Navy, Air Arm 7.

  • AH-1G Cobra, 01-702, HA. 14-2 (BuNo. 71-15091), Spanish Navy Air Arm, 7 Escuadrilla, Base Naval de Rota, Spain, 1973-84.

  • AH-1G Tzefa, No. 126, Evaluation Unit/First Attack Helicopter Squadron, Chel Ha’Avir (Israeli Defense Force), Basis Tel Nof, Israel, 1975-76.

  • AH-1G Tzefa, No. 130, Evaluation Unit/First Attack Helicopter Squadron, Chel Ha’Avir (Israeli Defense Force), Basis Tel Nof, Israel, 1975-76.

 

 

Conclusion

 

This is a very nice kit that will build into an impressive model. It’s nice to see an AH-1 in 1/48th scale; a scale that’s catching on for armor subjects. What adds to the allure of this kit is the size; the Cobra is impressively large in 1/48th. I was so impressed with the loaner kit used for this review, I purchased a copy for myself. This Cobra is definitely going on my future build short list. Highly recommended !

Thanks to Mike “The Weatherman” Millette for the loan of the review kit, again.

Now go paint something!
—J
 
For more on this review visit Modelpaintsolutions.com:

https://modelpaintsol.com/reviews/special-hobby-48-ah-1-cobra-48202


Review Text and Images Copyright 2022 by John Miller/Model Paint Solutions
Page Created 10 February, 2022
Last updated 14 July, 2022

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