Hasegawa 1/48 Sea King HAR.3 'Falklands'
KIT #: 07456
PRICE: 6000 yen (about $55.00 SRP)
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 2017 Limited Edition kit with resin and p.e. parts


The Westland WS-61 Sea King is a British licence-built version of the American Sikorsky S-61 helicopter of the same name, built by Westland Helicopters. The aircraft differs considerably from the American version, with Rolls-Royce Gnome engines (derived from the US General Electric T58), British-made anti-submarine warfare systems and a fully computerised flight control system. The Sea King was primarily designed for performing anti-submarine warfare (ASW) missions. A Sea King variant was adapted by Westland as troop transport known as the Commando.

In British service, the Westland Sea King provided a wide range of services in both the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force. As well as wartime roles in the Falklands War, the Gulf War, the Balkans conflict, the Iraq War and the Afghanistan War, the Sea King is perhaps most well known in its capacity as a Royal Navy Search and Rescue (red and grey livery) and RAF Search and Rescue Force (yellow livery) helicopter. The Sea King was also adapted to meet the Royal Navy's requirement for a ship-based airborne early warning platform.

As of 2014, the WS-61 Sea King remains in operation in Britain, as well as several export customers: Germany, Norway, Egypt and India. Some operators have replaced, or are planning to replace, the Sea King with more modern helicopters, such as the NHIndustries NH90 and the AgustaWestland AW101 Merlin.

The HAR.3 and subject of this kit is the search and rescue version for the Royal Air Force. Fitted with relocated rear cabin bulkhead giving greater cabin length, extra fuel and additional observation windows; 19 built


Hasegawa has done a number of Sea King boxings over the years and while the kit does have one major omission (no cabin detail), the rest of the kit is considered to be very nicely done. Indeed, even though the original boxing is 20 years old, the quality of the parts is high with no evidence of flash or sink areas readily apparent.

The cockpit is very nicely done with both collective and cyclic along with separate pedals. All of the instrument areas have raised detail and you are provided decals if you wish to use those. There is harness detail on the seats as well.

One thing about doing a 'one size fits all' kit is that there are a myriad of holes that need opened and features that need filled and this kit is no exception with the instructions dedicating two full pages to ensure that you take care of those issues. In addition to opening up some cabin windows some need to be closed off and blanking plates are provided for this and to cover the dipping sonar opening in the bottom of the hull. 

The doghouse is partially molded in place, but there are bits and pieces that need to be added including the intake sections and the exhaust. The latter is split into upper and lower sections which means a seam that will be difficult to deal with on the inside. Most of the included resin pieces are destined for the forward underside of the hull. Hasegawa has provided a scale representation of where these all fit as they are butt joins.

Both of the landing gear sponsons are nicely done and the attachment points for these to the fuselage are large so they should be solid. Hasegawa has provided a separate tail section for this kit. Two reasons for this is to provide the correct size stab and tail rotor for the Sea King being modeled. The other, though not specifically shown in the instructions, is to allow the tail section to be folded. However, you'll have to deal with aftermarket or scratchbuilding to duplicate the inner framework to do this feature.

The rotorhead is very nicely represented and you are provided optional bits so that you can model the rotor blades folded. I think this is a great option as one of the 'problems' with big helo kits is the display space they take up due to the rotors. There are also a lot of other antennas for the underside, and this is where most of the photo etch will be used.

Markings are provided for two helos which are pretty much the same except for serial and unit badges. One is for 78 squadron based in the Falklands in 1990 while the other is with 1564 flight in 1983. Both are aircraft letter S but have different serials.  The decal sheet is very nicely printed and provides tail rotor markings as well as the black areas around the exhaust that are typical of Sea Kings.


As is usual with Hasegawa limited edition kits that include resin bits, this one, at 6,000 yen (about $55.00 at today's exchange rate), is not inexpensive. However, it can be found for less than retail and if you are a fan of this helo and work in 1/48, you may wish to search it out as often these limited edition kits sell out rather quickly.



September 2017

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Thanks to me for ordering this one direct from Japan. 

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