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Preview: 1/72 Italeri RAH-66 Comanche

Kit Info
Manufacturer: Italeri
Scale: 1/72
Media: Injection
Price: 53.00 HKD at Hobbyeasy

The Subject
The Boeing-Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche was an advanced five-blade armed reconnaissance and attack helicopter designed for the United States Army. It was intended to replace the OH-58 Kiowa Warrior as an armed scout helicopter.

Designed with stealth in mind, it incorporated multiple techniques to reduce its radar cross-section (RCS) and other areas of visibility. The RAH-66 was armed with a 20Â mm three-barrel XM301 cannon under its nose and could internally carry 3 AGM-114 Hellfire or 6 AIM-92 Stinger missiles under each retractable weapons pylons. It can also externally carry 4 Hellfire and 8 Stinger missiles on each stub wing.

The RAH-66 program was canceled in 2004, before mass production began, after nearly US$7 billion was spent on the program. Two RAH-66 prototypes were built and conducted flight testing from 1996 to 2004. Since the cancellation the prototypes have been placed on display.

Info adapted from Wikipedia.

The Kit
The kit was originally released in 1996. The latest boxing still comes in the same side opening box which is still easily crushed. The 2 sprue trees come in one sealed bag with the canopy in a smaller separate bag. Parts breakdown is very basic and are molded in olive drab. It looks to be a simple build. I also think there aren’t any aftermarket parts for this kit.

The panel lines are recessed but are quite thick on the main fuselage. Italeri gives options for open or closed internal pylons and external stub wings. It even looks like one can model both: internal weapons bay open and external stub wings loaded with missiles. The kit comes with 12 Hellfires and 2 Stingers to arm the Comanche.

Cockpit details are OK with raised details and molded on belts on the seats. I’m not sure if the seats are accurate: they look like car seats to me. 😀

There are minor flash around some parts but nothing really major.

The chin cannon is made of only 2 parts and the barrel assembly doesn’t rotate. Details aren’t great either.

The canopy is big and clear which unfortunately will clearly show how bare the cockpit is. It’s also made of one whole piece so you don’t get an open canopy option. On the plus side, no fitting issues if you choose to have the canopy closed.

The markings included are for the 1st prototype only and is very sparse. The whole helicopter is also basically 1 color: olive drab. Lots of what-if options though if you model a production RAH-66.

Revell has a rebox of this kit and a snapfit version. Tamiya also reboxed this kit. And since this helicopter remained only as a prototype, I’m not sure there will be another company that will release a brand new kit.

So for now, this is the only game in town if you want a 1/72 Comanche. I actually like the design of the RAH-66 Comanche very much. It looks both stealthy and deadly when loaded with weapons. I’m glad to finally have this in my collection.

Preview courtesy of my wallet

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Tags: , , , , , , Last modified: 25 February, 2020