by: Andy Brazier [ ]
History The MD Helicopters MD 500 series is an American family of light utility civilian and military helicopters. The MD 500 was developed from the Hughes 500, a civilian version of the US Army's OH-6A Cayuse/Loach. The series currently includes the MD 500E, MD 520N, and MD 530F.
Info From Wikipedia
In the boxPacked in end opening box the two sprues for this tiny helicopter are packaged in one bag along with the resin parts, photo etch sheet and the decals. The resin parts are packaged in their own bag with the decals, and P.E packed in another separate bag. Due to one of the sprues being clear, damage to the parts is a worry as the clear parts are not protected from scratches, etc, from the solid sprue.
External detail is in the way of some very fine recessed and raised lines. Light painting will need to be done so not to hide the seams.
Detail for the interior is pretty decent considering the small size. The instrument panels sport decals for the dials and switches, and there is some raised details for the bulkhead and flooring. The seats of which there are two for the cockpit and a bench seat for the rear passenger compartment, unfortunately donít have any harness's supplied.
The tail unit is made up of two parts for the boom, with the stabilizers and tail rotor as separate parts which fit onto an insert on the rear of the tail boom. The reason for this set up is the old Profiline company, which first released this kit way back in 2010, produced a NO TAil Rotor system version.
The main rotors are made up of the five rotors and three parts for the hub. The mating surfaces are very small, so a lot of patience looks to be needed for this stage of the build.
The main body is made up of left and right halves and is moulded as clear plastic. The parts haven't any locating pins so care will be needed to align these two parts. The way the kit has been moulded the seam for the body takes advantage of the canopy framing, but any seam work that needs to be done will require very careful filling and sanding.
The four doors are separate parts so can in theory be posed open. These are also on the clear sprue.
There is two choices for the skids depending on which marking option you are doing, with one set of skids being slightly longer.
The photo etch set covers the exterior and makes up the various ariel's and the two engine exhaust covers. Different parts are used to cover the marking option you are doing. The fret is unpainted.
The resin parts are on one casting block, light grey in colour and have some pretty good detail on them. The resin parts have been added as the base kit does not have these parts included. The resin parts of which there is five parts, are for the three sensors on the nose and the other two are panels for the underside of the helo.
Instructions and decals The instruction booklet is made up of a folded A4 size paper and is glossy and in colour.
The front page carries a little history on the MD-500. The first page has the parts tree, with any parts (3) not used crossed out.
The build takes place over three pages, and has some in-depth notes on the interior colours for the three marking options.
Interior colours are for , surprise surprise, the Gunze Sangyo range of paints.
Any options are clearly marked along with the use of the resin and photo etch parts.
The last three pages are for the marking options, are full colour in left, right and underneath profiles. One of the main rotors for each version also has a separate colour drawing.
The three marking options are for,
Kawasaki OH-6D, 211879, Japan Air Self-Defense Force, - white with a high viz orange tail.
MD-500E, HH-11, Finnish Army - Olive green.
MD-500E,MDD-369FF, Chilean Army - three tone camo, of sand, light green and black.
In truth there is actually four options as Special Hobby supply an extra marking for the Finnish machine. You can make it into HH-10, and they state that photo references show this machine has the doors removed.
The decal sheet is not very big, and is printed in Aviprint, so issues shouldn't be a problem.
The sheet carries the unit codes and national insignia for the three marking options.
One nice touch is that the tail rotor has four decals that not only cover the two red bands found on the tips, but the full white colour of the two rotors.
Colour registration on my opinion looks pretty good on the most part but the Japanese Honora's do look a tad dark.
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