1/72 Italeri UH-60L Black Hawk

Gallery Article by Raymond Biggs on Aug 15 2003

 

UH-60L Black Hawk"Super Six Two"

I first read the book Black Hawk Down as the movie was being released in the U.S. ( It was released two months later in New Zealand). The book gave an amazing first-person account of the fighting that took place on the streets of Mogadishu and the many acts of heroism by those involved.

Anyone who is familiar with the mission will know of the two Delta Force snipers Randy Sughart and Gary Gordon, who gave their lives to aid downed Black Hawk pilot Mike Durant defending the second crash site. Their tragic story inspired me to build this model, which represents "Super Six Two": the Black Hawk that inserted them onto the hostile streets of Mogadishu.

 

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The Model
Sadly this model was a bit of a nightmare to build, and presented a near vertical learning curve ( its is based on the photos supplied in the book, not the movie, which uses MH-60's). I'm used to building Aircraft and AFV's but had never attempted a helicopter, let alone one substantial interior detail! the kit is Italeri's 1/72 UH-60 Desert Hawk, and is an O.K. kit. The fit was fine except for around the cockpit which was horrible, but it does look about right dimensionally. the real problem came when painting the model, I'm not sure if it was the paint or the plastic, but something caused the paint to go horrible on the model, resulting in a "gluggy" look, though I managed to fix most of it.

The main task in modifying the model was the addition of Miniguns over the kits supplied M60's. I made my miniguns out of 1/48 mustang gun barrels, ERA blocks and smoke grenades care of Revells 1/72 T-80 tank model. The result is a fairly convincing minigun, next came the figures. I couldn't justify spending $20NZ to buy 100 modern US marines (Revell packs) when I only needed two, so I went to my ever trusty spares box and found a couple of pilot figures + two WW2 American soldiers. I carefully sanded down the soldiers helmets to looks like the Pro-Tech's Delta wear and carefully
painted them in desert fatigues. though you cant see in the photos, there is quite a bit of detail on the figures, right down to the arm patches!! (that's another long story though!) the cockpit received some spicing up via the addition of roof levers. The gear on the cabin floor is a sniper rifle and ammo bags. the former is a repainted M60 supplied with the kit, the ammo bags are 1/35 canteens with the tops removed.

Though this project was frustrating at times, it was immensely fun overall went together very smoothly. I plan to take another stab at "Super Six Two" using the knowledge gained from this project along with the release of Italeri's MH-60 combined with better paints and spares I have acquired (I've got some 1/72 miniguns and modern soldiers, wohoo!), so hopefully I can present an improved Black hawk model on ARC sometime soon!

Raymond Biggs

      

Photos and text by Raymond Biggs