The rotor is next. The base kit is an AH-64D so I need to modify it to the one that equips the AH-64E.
My reference for this comes from the Hasegawa AH-64D and E instruction sheets. I made sure they were the same size and then superimposed them together to get a better idea of how the new blade tip should look relative to everything else.
The end of the blade should be straight so I cemented a small piece of plastic plate. I then marked out the section that needs to be cut off. Once cut, the leading edge was then sanded down into a slope while the trailing edge was thinned.
Reports say that Indonesia bought Longbow radars that sit on top of the rotor but every TNI-AD Ah-64E picture I’ve seen so far doesn’t show them installed. The kit doesn’t include a cover plate should you choose to leave the Longbow radar off so it needs to be scratchbuilt. I found a photo of a Dutch AH-64 with the cover plate installed as reference:
I punched out plastic disks using 0.5mm and 0.25mm plastic plate for the cover.
I then had to sag the main rotor. This was done by heating the blades carefully with a hair dryer and then bending them by hand. Once I was satisfied with the sag, I ran cold tap water to cool down the plastic. I did end up breaking one of the blades and had to mend it using UV putty.
The weapons are next. The chain gun is very detailed out of the box but comes only in the ‘off’ position with the barrel pointed slight up.
I thought it was the the easier way so I cemented the Hellfires to their rails at this point but kept the upper and lower rails separate for now. The Hydra 70 tubes only come with the fully loaded option. These were then set aside.
Back to the kit itself, I noticed a step at the bottom of the forward fuselage. I inserted a piece of 0.25mm plastic plate then faired it into shape.
Next are more TNI-AD specific lumps and bumps. The first is moving part B67 closer to the starboard engine housing. It was modified by cutting off the top part and using just the base. On top of this part I attached the antenna A7. Note that I’d already painted and masked off the exhausts at this point so I can attach the housings to the fuselage.
I need another A7 which isn’t included so I made one out of plastic plate and rod. This scratchbuilt one was attached to the bottom.
Unlike the kit options, the satcom antenna sits on an elevated base which needs to be scratchbuilt. I again made this from plastic plates.
Next are all the handholds around the canopy. These look overly thick when compared to photos but I think anything thinner would break easily. Even then I manage to break the one on the starboard side.
The M-TADS/PVNS on the nose, wing stub pylons and the tailwheel were also attached at this point.
Gap filling is next and then I can proceed to painting.