For this year’s annual TNI aircraft build, I decided to combine it with my annual helicopter build and decided on getting the TNI-AD’s AH-64E Apache Guardian done. What was originally thought to be a straightforward build wasn’t to be. Unsurprisingly really…
In any case, this is the base kit…
As usual I tackled the cockpit first and barring the lack of seatbelts, it is very nicely done. I added the belts with 0.7mm masking tape and based the look on photos I found online.
Even better, everything is in black! I did break up the monotony by using Model Color Black Grey on the seat cushions though. The screens were also painted green. This really isn’t accurate as they should be black (since they’re off) when the AH-64 is not powered up, but it adds a bit of visual interest. Details were then picked out using a silver color pencil.
A quick dryfit shows that the parts fit quite well. However there are gaps on the tip of the tail boom and the insert behind the rotor. The instructions called for various holes to be opened but I decided not to do it as I found out the TNI AH-64E is configured quite differently from the usual AH-64s.
The holes for the pylons are already came opened and there’s a long seamline running down the kit that will need to be addressed… carefully.
I went online to find reference photos of the TNI Apache but only came up with a few shots that had the specific TNI-AD AH-64E details showing.
Unlike other AH-64Es, Indonesia’s AH-64E is configured with the AH-64A/D’s exhausts which point to the side. In addition to that, there are various lumps and bumps that are unique.
A feature of the AH-64E is a full flat bottom. I based the design of the plate on what I found in the Hasegawa AH-64E instruction sheet.
It’s not 100% accurate but it’s at the bottom so I can live with it.
To address the lumps and bumps of the different configurations, Academy offers various inserts which don’t quite fit flush. I had already committed the cement though so I’ll have to accept the slightly raised panels.
Based on photos I have to do these mods on the port side of the tail. 1) added an additional upper vent 2) a blanking plate was added 3) a blanking plate was added 4) a 45 degree fin was added. I later found out that the kit comes with the 45 degree fins for both port and starboard sides (parts A43 and A44)
The mods were all done with 0.25mm and 0.5mm plastic plates.
The starboard side also has a triangular prism housing but the kit only includes one so I made a copy by stacking plastic plates and sanding it to shape.
The mods on the starboard side were 1) a 45 degree fin 2) a triangular prism housing 3) a blanking plate 4) a recessed rectangle slot. I recently found out that the slot is a meshed cover but I think it’s fine in 1/72 scale 5) a long and shorter downward-facing vents. These are small enough that I can get away with having no openings on the vents.
Remembering the problems I’ve had with canopies in my previous builds I did a dryfit on this one. The friction fit is so good that it took a bit of force to take if off again.
Before re-attaching for a final time I went ahead and masked off the canopy.
See? Not a straightforward build after all…