Revell 1/48 Sikorsky H-19 (S-55)

Kit #s 181300 and 173
Collector's Market Value ranges from $25.00 to $125.00 depending on boxing and condition
Images and text Copyright © 2007/2012 by Matt Swan

Developmental Background
        During the final days of World War 2 the helicopter was just beginning to see some service with the military. Small, delicate units were being used as rescue units hovering around aircraft carriers to pick up those pilots who had to ditch for one reason or another. The helicopter's load carrying ability was still very limited and balance was of critical importance but the machinery was being found useful. By 1949 the US Air Force had began to truly accept the helicopter and was looking to improve the load capacity. They went to Igor Sikorsky, the father of helicopter technology and placed a requirement for a helicopter that could transport ten men plus crew.
        Sikorsky had been busy on resolving several issues that he had already identified with the technology when this requirement was handed over and it was only seven months later that he was able to demonstrate a breakthrough design that provided for the lift capacity required but also dealt with the load balance issues. The S-55 flew on November 10, 1949 and with the rotary engine mounted forward in the nose and the cargo area positioned directly below the main rotor shaft, was able to accommodate the 10 man cargo and not be hyper sensitive to load shifts.
        This helicopter featured all metal blades, shock absorbers on all four landing struts and large clamshell doors around the engine. This feature provided for very easy servicing of the engine which really was a very standard aircraft type of engine (initially a 600hp R-1340-57 engine) where most of the operational bug had already been resolved. This resulted in a very easy aircraft to service and maintain. Another problem that helicopters had experienced was that during a hard landing rotor bounce would often result in the tail boom being severed and the helicopter taking massive damage. Sikorsky built in a three degree down angle into the tail boom that combined with the shock absorbers help to prevent this occurrence. As the type went into full production the engine was upgraded to a more powerful 700hp R-1300-3 and for military use the machine was designated H-19B "Chickasaw".
        Sikorsky built over 1000 examples from their US factory and around 500 were built under license by Westland Aircraft in the UK, Sud-Est in France and Mitsubishi in Japan. The H-19 began its service career during the Korean War as an unarmed transport but several field modification were done to attempt to arm the unit. Various combinations of rockets, machine guns and cannons were mounted to the aircraft but the type did not have sufficient power to handle this additional load. The French experimented quite a bit with trying to arm this helicopter and ultimately gave up and shifted over to the H-34 Choctaw and Piasecki H-21. The French did give it a rather unusual name referring to it as "Elephant joyeux" (Happy elephant).
        This helicopter served with distinction for the US Army as well as with armed forces from Israel, Chile, South Africa, Denmark and Turkey. It was used by the French, Japanese and British. It was configured with wheels for land operations and floats for water operations. It was used for SAR operations, medical evacuations, tactical control and front line cargo support. This type began its military service around 1951 and by 1959 was already being phased out in favor of the H-21 and H-34. Today there are several examples of these helicopters in museums and a few still in flying condition.

The Kit(s)
        In 1955 life seemed much more simple than today, commies were bad and hot dogs were good. In the Southern states an up and coming pop performer named Elvis Presley had recorded five songs and was beginning to gain fame. The Salk vaccine against Polio was introduced in 1955 and one of our most feared diseases had its fangs pulled. The United States began offering foreign aid to South Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. In the world of plastic modeling something fabulous was happening, the few model manufactures in existence were changing over from acetate plastic model kits, sometimes called "A" kits, to polystyrene plastic kits, called "S" kits. This change helped set the industry to begin to move into growing popularity that would become a golden age of modeling lasting through the beginning of the twenty first century. In Venice California the Revell Company had been working on mold set #707 which was released as kit #173 on March 15th, 1955 with the box title of S-55/H-19 Rescue Helicopter. The list price at that time was $0.98.
        At this time in model development manufactures did not focus on maintaining a particular scale such as 1/48 or 1/72 but rather produced what was known as "Box Scale". This was a model kit that was scaled to fit the box it was to be packaged in. Today we tend to look at this kit as a 1/48 scale kit but in truth it is not, it is actually 1/49 scale - box scale. The original release of mold #707 was done with two different box arts and shot in an olive drab plastic. During the same time period Revell leased the molds to Tsukuda who issued the model under their brand as kit #H01-1900. As this kit was from the same mold it offered the same plastic but did have some different decals for a rather colorful Japanese rescue aircraft. At this time the molds were designed with only land based running gear but in October 1955 the molds were modified to include a set of floats as an option and kits were shot in silver plastic. In 1958 the full kit with floats was reissued with the addition of a plastic base all done in silver plastic. Around this time the concept of manufacturing models all of similar scale was beginning to take hold and since these molds were so close to 1/48 Revell simply labeled all these kits as 1/48. 1972 was a big year for this kit; in 1972 the molds were given a limited run by Revell Japan without the floats as kit #181300 "Sikorsky H-19" shot in olive drab plastic. This issue included a little tiny tube of styrene glue. Obviously this particular boxing is very rare and brings a high price to collectors. All issues of this kit since then were done in silver plastic and bear the designation 1/48. Also in 1972 the kit was reissued once again with no base, with reworked instructions and a new name, "Sikorsky Rescue Helicopter". In 1972 the copyright dates were removed from the molds with the bottom of the fuselage simply bearing the Revell logo and a slightly rough spot where that date had existed however the 1972 Revell Japan issue does include the 1955 copyright date on the fuselage. Finally in August 1978 the kit was re-issued for the last time, identical in every way to the 1972 "Rescue Helicopter" issue. Since then mold #707 has resided in the archives of Revell-Monogram in Morton Grove Illinois with no immediate plans for re-issue.
        There does exist one other 1/48(?) scale S-55 kit that is unrelated to these kits and that is the old Aurora S-55. This kit was produced by a company called "Helicopters for Industry" who specialized in "Stand" models. When they went out of business Aurora bought these molds and issued the kit under their name. This kit does not have the level of detail found in the Revell kit and is of slightly larger scale, probably in the neighborhood of 1/43. As a matter of helicopter model trivia "Helicopters for Industry" also produced the H-21 Flying Banana, HUP, HOK and Hiller Hornet during the same time period. I bring all this information up simply to avoid confusion should you be looking for one of three old kits and think the Aurora kit is from the same molds, it is not. Its value is based entirely on rarity. Back to the Revell kit ....
        The kits arrive in standard top opening boxes with all parts sealed in a common poly bag. Both the limited run Japanese kit and the standard Revell kit have nearly identical parts sprues with the rescue version having the floats attachment pieces tacked on to the fuselage sprues and two small additional sprues containing the float halves themselves. There is some medium level of flash around some parts and the fuselage is covered with large bulky rivets. When these molds were mastered the industry standard was for raised detail and that is what we get in spades, lots of raised detail. Really the worst of it is in the rivet work with there being several lightly raised panel lines and some deeper engraved panel lines here and there. There is not much to speak of for interior detail with these kits and what is offered is hugely incorrect. The cockpit seats are large, bulky and not at all close to what the actual seats looked like. The instrument panel is simply a plain piece of plastic with no detail at all and there is not even a decal to help this area out. The crew figures are thin with sink marks in the body and heavy flash. There is no detail to the cargo compartment. The engine bay clamshell doors are provided as separate pieces and there is an engine with some support pieces. Initially this engine looks very plain but upon examining actual S-55 engines it is surprisingly close. Add some wires and hoses and you have a passable rotary engine here.
        Rotor blades are adequate and rotor head is passable. Tail rotor is of the same quality as the main rotor. The kit clear parts provide for the flight compartment glazings only. There are not clear pieces provided for the cargo cabin windows and it will be up to the modeler to scratch build something there. The clear parts are very thick with well defined raised frame lines. They are designed to insert from the interior and while pretty clear for the time period will cause some distortion. On the plus side they are beefy enough that should the modeler care to use them as masters for smash molding or vacuforming new pieces they will provide a good base for that option. Below are images of the parts from both the 1972 issue and the Revell Japan issue, the only difference besides color of plastic is the addition of floats, float attachment hardware and an individual being hoisted on a winch.

You may click on these small images to view larger pictures

Decals and Instructions
        The Revell Japan instruction sheet is a very simple single page sheet from the original 1955 issue. While all the text on this sheet is done in Japanese it does contain six small exploded view assembly steps and a single image for decal placement. There are no color charts but there are a few color call-outs within the pictures (all in Japanese of course). The 1972 instructions are quite a bit better, not up to twenty first century instructions standards but a huge step forward from what the modeler had to deal with in 1955. Here we get a medium sized three panel fold-out that contains now forty five exploded view assembly steps. Makes you wonder how the modeler got by with six images in 1955. We still get no color chart and no color call-outs. There is a single image devoted to decal placement.
        Decals are very limited regardless of which kit issue you are looking at. My experience with helicopters says they are covered with little warning stencils and service stencils, more so than just about any other type of aircraft. For each of these kits we get very basic markings with either Coast Guard logos or Japanese hinomarus. We get basic tail rotor warning strips and some basic unit numbers. The decals in the Japanese kit look to be severely yellowed and will most likely break apart if the modeler attempts to use them untreated. The Coast Guard sheet looks much better and will probably survive use. I have adjusted the contrast on the Japanese sheet so you can see the white markings. You may click on either of these two small images to view full sized scans of the sheets. Color density does look good and print registry looks okay as well.

        1/48? 1/49? It's pretty darned close, close enough for me not to care. Shoot, I've used 1/43 scale cars right alongside 1/48 scale aircraft kits and they look pretty good so this minor scale variance does not slow me down one bit. Even though we are looking at a kit that is more than fifty years old it certainly looks like a "Chickasaw". The basic shape and external components are there and look to be fairly close to the real thing. Yea, it is covered with those god awful raised rivets all over the place but that can be easily fixed. Internally the kit is very weak and the modeler must put some work into either building scratch components or converting other parts from contemporary kits to use here. I did a little research then over a period of a few hours assembled a new pilot seat from stuff I found in my spares box and some stock styrene sheet. Click on the small image for a look at what an S-55 seat should look like. The kit pieces do fit together well and the instructions are useful. The decals are basic at best and would benefit from the addition of any generic 1/48 scale helicopter decals.
        There are no aftermarket items made for this kit. I have made a set of resin replacement pieces for the cockpit and new vacuformed clear parts that include cargo bay panes, if you are interested in acquiring a copy of these sets drop me an email. As it stands the modeler has to do some work to make this kit shine. I give this kit a fair recommendation at best due to the lack of internal detail, limited decals and heavy raised rivet detail. Look at the box art of the Rescue version - seems the modeler that built it shaved off all the rivets. If you are a fan of helicopters you probably should have one of these if for nothing more than the historical significance of the type.

Construction Update 8/19/12
       Well it certainly has been a long time since I've worked on this project. Bet ya'll thought I gave up on it but the truth is I have been making little improvements on the detail sets over time and am at last ready to jump back into the project. Never say die!
       Let's start with a review of the various detail sets that have been created. First was the flight deck with a new instrument panel, seats, center console, yokes and collectives. I also did a fire extinguisher and an overhead console - only some later aircraft used the overhead console. Next comes the cargo/crew bay. In here I have a correct, uninsulated forward bulkhead with exposed ribbing that also doubled as flight deck access ladders. I did an aft bulkhead, set of four canvas crew seats for the Starboard side and a set of three folded seats for the Port side. Now I have gotten some flake from a few people about the number of seats but based this off the actual aircraft photos at my disposal. I guess the number of seats varied from aircraft to aircraft. I made cardboard templates for the roof and floor then cut these parts from sheet stock. All other detail pieces are resin cast pieces. Also I cut out the Port cargo door and made a new resin piece to display that in the open position. After this came the windscreen and side glazings. Obviously the kit does not include anything for the cargo bay plus the few clear parts they do include suck. They don't fit for crap and are so thick you cannot see any detail inside. All this is corrected. Lastly I used some RTV material to copy the sides of the fuselage with new bulged windows in place to create a resin master to make sliding side doors that were of scale thickness - all you have to do is cut out the existing door frame and insert the new one - easy as pie.

Construction Update 8/26/12
       After a considerable amount of effort all the little detail parts are completed. I've spent weeks making masters, creating molds and doing test shots to ensure the parts are what I want them to be. Now it's time to start building things up. Beginning with the instrument panel it is painted gray on the face and black elsewhere, instrument faces are done in flat black them instrument decals from Mike Grant Designs are used to bring it to life. Once this stage is complete the part is sealed in Future. It has a very shiny look right now but will get some dull coat later in the process. The center console is done with flat black and details are picked out with various Testors enamels. The cabin floor needs major surgery now; the original center console must be removed leaving a smooth floor surface then the areas below each seat must be cut out creating an 11mm wide gap between the aft bulkhead and the front edge of the floor. The rotor transmission housing is assembled and the part is painted an overall interior green. One of my new details is a fire extinguisher mounted on the aft bulkhead over the center console; you can see that in place now. The seats are assembled, painted and attached to the short section of the aft bulkhead. Center console is super-glued in place and the collectives are attached as well as the new main sticks. The back side of the IP is detailed with invisible thread painted black then the entire assembly attaches to the top end of the center console.

       Now into the cargo bay. Using paper card templates I made new floor and ceiling panels from plastic sheet stock. The new resin details are attached to it and test fitted carefully to the fuselage. I had to remove almost all of the inside alignment points from both sides of the fuselage as well as the top alignment pin inside the flight deck area. The Starboard cargo door is also removed. When doing work of this level I cannot express how important it is to test fit pieces often and adjust you surfaces as needed in small increments.
       You may notice in the images below that the aft cargo bulkhead changes from open to closed. I have seen both styles of bulkheads on these aircraft and eventually settled on the closed version as my final choice for this build and the detail package I offer for sale. The forward bulkhead displays solid beams which is actuality would have lightening holes throughout but I decided to not go that far. I imagine it would not be too difficult to modify the part with a hand drill should one wish to. Overhead we see an angled box running down the center of the ceiling, that is the drive shaft housing taking power from the engine to the rotor transmission. Interior painting was a bit of a challenge as several different colors are found depending on where you are looking; the flight deck is interior green however the cargo bay is light gray but the engine compartment is zinc chromate - what a pain! Deciding on seating in the cargo bay took some time as there are so many different configurations, I finally settled on four seats along the Port side in the down position and three along the Starboard side stowed. I used a piece of magnet wire to create the upper webbing support and will install the Starboard seats just prior to closing up the fuselage. The last couple of fixed details in here are the fire extinguisher on the aft bulkhead and the prominent oil stand on the Port cabin wall. While you may see this interior assembly in the fuselage here it IS NOT glued in place yet - there is plenty more work to be done before that happens.

       Now the cargo bay/cockpit area are complete and ready for a wash and some pastel chalks - these are rubbed around on the floor to create some traffic patterns. It's time to return to the fuselage pieces and continue to fix them. First the raised detail has to go. If it was just raised panel lines I would not worry about it but this thing is covered in large raised rivet heads which you just do not find on the real thing. Sure, there are rivets all over helicopters but speaking of a scale size, this model is covered with things that would be the size of a man's fist. I scrape these off with a #23 leaf blade and in doing so many of the raised panel lines are damaged as well. I figure that since I'm going to have to fix these I may as well just do the whole thing. One nice thing at this juncture is that even with the rivets and panel lines scraped off they still leave a very noticeable color impression where they had been making it very easy to scribe the lines and to follow the rivet path with a riveting wheel. Okay, it all sounds easy but I have invested many hours in overhauling the exterior and there is still plenty more work to do such as fixing those open cooling vents all around the engine bay.
       My biggest issue with the cooling vents is that you can see through them which is as it should be however, there should be some stuff inside breaking the line of sight AND all the vents should be screened. I selected a fine screen usually used my armor modelers to make tank cooling vents, it's very fine and cuts very easily with a razor knife so great stuff to work with and cheap. Starting with the side vents I used a sanding drum on my Dremel to thin the fuselage wall from the inside. Care must be taken that the plastic is not overheated and allowed to melt - that would be bad. Once most of the grunt work was done with the sanding drum I shifted to 400 grit wet sand paper and smoother out the surface. I had to be sure to leave a step where the cargo bay forward bulkhead would meet the fuselage so as to not have a gap inside. Now a piece of screen is cut to cover the inside vent area and is carefully super-glued in place. Now for the upper cooling vents; these are a little more difficult as they are delicate and prone to breaking off if handled roughly. I end up simply cutting small sections of screen to fit each opening and attaching them with spots of super-glue. Also at this point in time I removed the flight deck side door frames in anticipation of installing new vacuformed doors in the open position. There is one more set of cooling vents to deal with, those under the nose in the clam-shell doors. These are represented in the kit by simple raised grid within solid plastic. I ground these areas out with a burr bit then placed a piece of masking tape over the opening. With a fresh razor knife I cut out the masking tape to make a template for cutting screen. This was then installed just like the upped vent screen and included lots of test fitting. Later I will add some internal plumbing to break the line of sight from vent to vent and make things look busy in there. I will not be doing this one with open engine doors so the engine itself will not need to be detailed.

       I think I am ready to assemble the fuselage now. One thing to consider first is whether or not the rotor head will be permanently installed or left removable to ease of transport. If you want it permanent then install the main shaft and retaining ring now. I am going with removable. The side windows for both the flight deck and the cargo bay are cut from the vac sheet and masked then secured with clear parts cement. The interior assembly is set in place and secured with superglue. The fuselage is now closed up and clamped together to allow the glue to cure. Once the glue is set up nicely the seam is trimmed and filled with red auto body glazing compound. This is just a first level of fill and once sanded it then treated with Mr. Surfacer 500 and sanded again. The upped center console is now installed on the flight deck and the directional antenna is made from magnet wire and installed. The floats are sanded smooth then riveted with a Trumpeter riveting wheel. When installing the floats I found I was missing the Port aft landing gear strut, not sure how that happened because it was there earlier. Oh well, I manufactured a new one and of course once that was done and installed the original showed up, must have stepped out for popcorn or something. One last cooling screen needs to be dealt with, the one just behind the power transmission housing aft of the flight deck. I simply drilled this area out with a burr bit, cleaned up the edges with a razor knife and cut some Extratech fine metal mesh to fill the opening.

       Construction grinds to a halt as I find a way around yet another accuracy issue. It's not that I'm anal or anything like that but one can only accept so much. Now I'm looking at the wheels. Yeah, it has floats but the wheels get mounted in and under the floats plus I'll be building another example of this kit without the floats so one way or another I'm going to have to deal with this. The image to the right is what the kit offers for the main wheel and hub next to what it should look like. I started work last night and got the tires for both the front and back done but need to build that hub. My first attempt was not satisfactory so tonight I'll take another shot at it. Hopefully by end of the weekend I'll have a pretty nice set of wheels for the H-19.
       The first wheel I fashioned just looked goofy so I trashed it and started over. My second effort, while not a perfect replica of the real thing looks a lot closer, at least for the main gear. The nose gear in reality has these little strengthening fins as well but they are so bloomin' small I don't want to deal with them so I elected for a smooth hub on it and went to making my molds. Next on my to-do list is to deal with the various foot-steps and hand-grabs. When I was shaving off all the rivets I found a couple of raised items that seem to be foot rails, they were in the right place but were very indistinct so off they went. Using my Hold 'n Fold photo-etch tool I made new grabs based on reference photos. By using the Hold 'n Fold I am assured that each piece is identical then took one and marked mounting holes on a small piece of masking tape. The tape was then used as a drilling template everywhere one of these things needed to go which is about 5 or 6 per side.
       Now there are some other issues that are bugging me with this model, okay, maybe I am getting anal about it. Inside the right side cooling vent is a large oil tank that is clearly visible from the outside of the aircraft. Additionally we see a round opening in the cooling vents on that side which should house a filler cap for that tank. With the wire mesh in place this tank is not 100% visible so I don't have to be super critical about the surface detail, just need to give it a general shape. Now not only will we have a tank there but will have effectively blocked any through and through visibility. Later I'll stick a few pieces of wire in there to finish off the effect. As I start to place the last exterior detail pieces I realize the kit provided man hoist sucks so out come the reference images and a new hoist structure is fabricated. I found a couple different types of hoists that were used on this aircraft so don't be calling me on this one because I have pictures. While shaping and placing my control cables for this I realize I need hydraulic cables for the brakes which run down the main gear struts. Made those from medium magnet wire and superglued them in place. For every one of these wires I am placing on the models exterior I am drilling a small mounting hole to provide strength - don't want these things to get swiped off easily. I think the only things I have to do now before paint is get that front wind screen in place and mask all the doors.
       The front wind screen is trimmed to size then tacked in place with spots of superglue. Once held firmly the edges are sealed with a couple coats of clear parts cement. Once this has cured they are airbrushed with interior green then finished with a couple thin coats of Mr. Surfacer 500. Next the openings are filled with tissue paper dampened slightly with water. From here the entire model was shot with some neutral gray primer then thinned flat black was used to preshade select panel lines and rivet lines.

       From the very beginning back in 2007 I knew exactly what color scheme I wanted to do on this model. I wanted a nice U.S. Coast Guard orange and white with black accents. Everything has been building up to this moment! Once the preshading was done I then laid in heavy black bands where my accent lines would be. I carefully measured 4mm wide strips of masking tape and placed it appropriately. I had to do some tricky masking around some of the hand-grabs and hoist supports but really it was not nearly as bad as I had anticipated. Next the white gets put down. After some dry time the white is masked off with tape and tissue paper then the orange goes on. Now the masks come off. There is a little overspray in places and a few areas along mask lines that need touch up but nothing serious. From here it is all brush painting to trim the lines and fix little things like the hoist supports and hand-grabs. While I still have plenty of work to do it is time to start thinking about decals. I have none so all will have to be made with the exception of the Stars and Bars which will come from my spares box.

9/21/12 Let's talk "Decals"
       I would like to talk about homemade decals for a moment here. This does not have to be a big, difficult deal to make them. Here is the process I went through to make my decals; first since I wanted to make a Coast Guard unit I needed some artwork for the Coast Guard badge. I went on-line and searched Coast Guard and quickly found a whole bunch of images. I found one that showed the correct design and coloration for the aircraft I was looking at and made a quick copy into my Adobe Photoshop CS-2 program. Looking at my reference pictures I could see that the CG badge should be slightly smaller than the cargo door window, also the USCG lettering should fit onto the door face. Next I scanned the actual model door and placed it into the software, now I had a scale ruler to work with. I was then able to size the badge to fit and placed several copies on a fresh sheet with at 300 dpi. I selected a stencil font and did my text, sized it to the scanned image of the door then placed it on another sheet. I'm using two sheets because one will be printed on white and the other on clear carrier film. The St. Petersburg text was done the same as the USCG text. The warning arrow and text for the tail boom was first scanned from the kit decal sheet giving me the arrow and the text correctly aligned. Next the yellow background was removed leaving it white and then several copies of this image went onto the clear master sheet. I placed at least three copies of each image for each application on the sheet in case A) I screw one up and B) so that the ones on clear backing can be overlaid upon themselves to increase color density if necessary. Just like that, my artwork is done, now I just print both onto white paper.
       If I had a color laser printer I would simply print directly onto decal film at this point but I have an ink jet printer and really do not like the results from this type of printer with decals. I take my printed sheets and my blank decal film down to my local print shop and have them run it through a thermal color copier (costs me $1 per sheet) and then head back to the model table. Next step is to lightly coat each sheet twice with Testors decal fixative in a rattle can. I have done this step with Future before and it works as well just takes a little longer to cure. Let the sheet dry overnight and they are ready to go onto a model. Total cost is whatever each sheet of blank decal paper is (usually around $2.75) plus $2 in print shop work. My decals are ready but I am not, there is still work to be done on the model.
       I've been painting little things like the electrical lines feeding the hoist, brake hydraulic lines and taking care of orange over-spray on the float struts. The new oil tank is ready to be placed and is secured inside the right side fuselage with some superglue. Earlier I had glued a small block of plastic card to the back side of the engine firewall to simulate some engine parts - no detail, just something to block part of the view. When I test fit this with the oil tank in place things look excellent. There is some light visible looking through the screen mesh which is as it should be and things look busy in there. Because of the fine mesh and the couple parts blocking the view I don't think I will need to add any more detail in this area. Once the firewall was installed I glued the two halves of the engine doors together but not to the model yet. With these held in place I could see where I needed to add detail between the front landing gear mounts - there is considerable plumbing visible down there and various pieces of electrical wire were called into service to dress this area up.

       With the firewall in place I've used different sizes of magnet wire and some scrap electrical wire for larger hoses. Since all you will be able to see in here is stuff passing through I don't have to spend a lot of attention on making sure it connects to the correct places, just travels in the correct general direction. In this image at left the engine cover is not placed yet and only about one third of the work will be visible by time she is finished. Now the cover can be glued in place. It becomes obvious very quickly that this was intended to be built in the open position. Not only do the little tabs on the clam-shells have to be cut off but the remains on the interior of the doors need to be shaved off plus the interior edge of the door needs to be thinned to get a reasonable fit to the fuselage. After these minor modifications are done the clam-shell doors fit in place and the helo's profile at last looks like a Chickasaw.
       The main rotor and rotor blade assembly is painted and completed. The tail rotor is now in place and the wheels have been painted and glued in place. From here it is a short hop to Future, decals and completion. Decals are placed with Future as my setting solution and while I did make multiples in case I needed to layer them for color density they looked plenty good enough with just single layer applications. After the decals had cured I considered applying a wash to accent the panel lines and rivets but after reviewing several images of Coast Guard aircraft I decided not to go this way. Every Coast Guard piece of equipment I looked at was immaculate - these guys know how to use Simple Green (the Coast Guard cleaning agent of choice). As a final sealant I used Micro-Flat from Squadron then was able to remove the final masks. The last pieces to go in place are the sliding flight deck doors and the main cargo bay door and this model is complete. Consider this, these molds were first mastered in 1956, this kit on my work bench was injected and packaged in 1972 then went through several different hands before coming into my possession in 2005. In 2007 I first opened the box and began to make corrections to the kit and now nearly forty years after these sprues were placed in this cardboard box, here is a completed and corrected Sikorsky H-19 Chickasaw.

You may click on these small images to view larger pictures

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