Minicraft 1/48 UH-60L Blackhawk






One aircraft


Scott Van Aken




Suffice it to say that the UH-60 has taken over the role of the UH-1 in the Army and National Guard as the standard troop transport/medivac/elint/etc chopper for the US Army and any other services that were flying the Huey. It is a huge success and has been adapted for use by many nations world wide.


This is not the first 1/48 UH-60 to be kitted. I do believe that Revell has that honor with one done many years ago. There is also one by Italeri. But this 1997 kit was $5 less expensive in the local hobby shop and so was the chopper of choice. Actually, what I wanted was a UH-60A, but this was all they had.

The box is crammed full of dark olive sprues. Minicraft packed the large and clear sprues in their own bag with the two smaller ones in a bag together. This keeps the parts scratch free and I like this kind of packaging. Detailing is very good with the required engraved panel lines. There is no flash and few ejector pin marks. However, those that are there are very many and very deep. The tail wheel/strut piece has no fewer than seven of them with three alone on the wheel/tire, making the part a disaster. The clear bits are quite clear and other than the small ones, have little distortion.

The cockpit and cabin are quite well appointed and a decal is provided for the instrument and console panels. There are separate control sticks and rudder pedals. Oddly, there is only one collective, but that is better than most chopper kits that have none! The rotor head is properly complicated looking as is the tail rotor. There kit includes a GPS antenna (with a huge ejector pin hole in the mount), cable cutters and a disco lights IR jammer. You can position the main doors open or closed. Same with the gunners windows. A window mounted machine gun and mount is provided. This version has the larger exhaust shrouds on it so I guess that you can't do an A model from the kit as most UH-60As I've seen don't have this large assembly; just regular, open exhaust. Though shown on the box art, I didn't see any flare/chaff dispensers and the kit does not come with the large sponsons for fuel tanks and such.

The instructions are fairly good and adequate to build the kit. Some painting information is given in the construction sections. No FS 595 data is given; just generic colors. There are decals for one aircraft, but no information is given about the aircraft at all. I can only assume that it is a Desert Storm version as it is called 'Double Vision'. The small decal sheet is well printed and appears to be opaque enough to handle the dark color that the chopper will eventually be painted.



I will leave it to those who know their helicopters to discuss any of the finer points of this kit. To the uninitiated, it looks like a very nice kit. Probably the only downer are the ejector pin holes which really ruin several of the parts. Those of us skilled with filler will fuss and whine while we work on them and the less experienced or lazy will ignore them!

Additional note: After writing this preview, I had a chance to ask many questions and found out a few things. First of all, you really can't build a UH-60L as the kit does not include the larger horizontal stabilizer of that version! What you can build is a late model UH-60A or any one of those that have been retrofitted with the HIRSS (that's the infrared masking exhaust). Good thing, too as the kit decals are for one of these modified UH-60As that partook in Desert Storm!

Review kit courtesy of my kit collection.

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