Aerospatiale SA-316B Alouette III / Chetak - Indian Navy
This is a model of an Indian Navy Alouette III or Chetak as it is known locally. Built out of the simple but rather crude Heller 1/72 kit, this little helo is instantly recognizable for its distinctive bubble head. The kit needed little modifications to make it look like an IN bird. Few blisters and antennae were added along with a scratch built winch.
The Chetak is has been a staple of the Indian armed forces since the mid 1960s and the Indian Navy was one of the first if not the first operators of the type. It is used in a variety of roles including commando drops, recce and even some torpedo operations. I find the Navy example most attractive for its glossy blue scheme. The decals are home-made and printed on a white inkjet decal sheet. The green windows are painted in Tamiya green clear and rest of the chopper is Vallejo Navy Blue.
India will soon replace the Chetak progressively with newer types in this decade and this beautiful anachronism of the 50s will be consigned to the glorious history books of the Indian Navy. Hope you all like the pics.
Photos and text © by Ratish Nair