MRC 1/35 AH-1W Super Cobra


BA 100




See review


Scott Van Aken






During the Vietnam war, the helicopter gunship came into itsown. Initially using H-13 Sioux then progressing to UH-1B's, the gunship wasalways a modified transport helo. That all changed with the AH-1G around 1965.Here was a dedicated gunship that offered no room for anything but crew andordnance. Gone was the fat body and the ability to carry troops. It was replacedby a slim, tandem cockpit helo that had lots of power, both engine and fire!

The AH-1G was very successful and spawned a number of evenbetter versions like the AH-1S/F used by the Army. The Marines knew a good thingwhen they saw it and a number of AH-1Js were procured.  The next generationof Marine Cobras was the AH-1T Sea Cobra. This had twin engines for increasedreliability and safety over water. 

While the Army decided that its next gunship would be a muchlarger aircraft, the AH-64, the Marines were very pleased with their smallerairframed Cobra. When it came time for another gunship, the Marines choseanother Cobra, the AH-1W Super Cobra, which entered service in the late 1980s.While similar in arrangement to the AH-1T, this is a snake of a different color.New, more powerful engines and the ability to carry a wide array of ordnance,made this a very effective platform. 

The AH-1W performed very well in the Middle East duringOperation Desert Storm. Since it was well sealed from the effects of sea spray,it was also well sealed against the damaging effects of sand, a problem thatcaused havoc with the Army's helicopter force. That and its effective weaponssystem bore the Super Cobra well in this and subsequent operations.


This is the first of many MRC 1/35 Helo kits. First released in1992, the light grey plastic parts have super detailing in the form of nicelyengraved panel lines. Rather than show all the kit sprues (which are too big formy scanner) a representative section is shown at left. A full cockpit and engine are provided as are a wideassortment of pylon-mounted weapons. Included are Hellfire and TOW missiles aswell as 2.75" rocket pods. The canopy can be built in the open position ifso desired. The overall workmanship is superb and though there is some flash,almost all of it is confined to the sprues themselves and not the attachingparts.

The instructionsare superb. In addition to telling you all the required steps and paintingneeded, there are photos of what each part should look like when done. Arepresentative section from the instructions are shown. As far as I know, theseare the only kits that are like this. A super idea and one that will really helpif you are unsure of what the final result will look like. There are a total of18 assembly steps and a painting guide and decal sheet for two helicopters. Oneis in the 'standard' of the time of two greys and a green. This helo is attached to HMT-303 and coded QT. Theother is from an unknown unit from Desert Storm and painted in tan and browndesert camouflage. This particular bird has only  a serial and nose numberwith all other markings painted over. Today's 'Whiskey' Cobras are painted intwo colors of air superiority grey and look just as drab as any other militaryaircraft. The decal sheet is small but sufficient and in register. 

Overall the kit looks to be superb and not that difficult tobuild. Probably the hardest part of it will be painting the camouflage scheme!

 Review copy courtesy of me and my wallet!! If any of youmanufacturers or shop owners want to send products for review and building,please contact me.