In-Box Review
HH-34J Helicopter
Sikorsky HH-34J USAF Rescue Helicopter
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by: Joel Willstein [ JOEL_W ]

The Sikorsky H34 was developed as a replacement for the Korean war UH-19 Chickasaw by lengthening it, and installing a more powerful engine. Rather then the previous 4 position landing wheels, the H34 was designed with a tri-gear arrangement with the tail on the ground. Powered by a single Wright R-1820-84 radial engine, rated @ 1,525 hp. flown with a standard crew of two. Top speeds of 123 mph were attained.
The aircraft first flew on March 8, 1954, and entered operational service with the US. Navy in Sept 1954. Designated HSS-1 Seabat ( antisubmarine configuration), and HUS-1 Seahorse (utility transport configuration). The U.S. Army and US. Marine Corps placed orders in 1955 and 1957 respectively.
Using the United States Army's aircraft designation system, it was thus designated H-34 with the name Choctaw. In 1962, using the new unified DoD aircraft designation system, the Seabat was redesignated SH-34, the Seahorse as the UH-34, and the Choctaw as the CH-34.
Various operation roles included general utility transport, anti-submarine warfare, search and rescue, and transport. In it standard configuration transport versions it could carry 12 to 16 troops, or eight stretcher cases if used in the Med Evac role.
Besides serving in all four branches of the US military, it served in 27 countries including Canada, France, West Germany, Italy, Japan, & the Republic of China.

In the box
There are a total 6 main sprues, there is one additional sprue of medic stretchers, & one sprue of seats, one sprue of finely molded parts, a clear
parts sprue, and the large front glass in a separate small box, as well as two PE sheets. One with mostly very fine grills, and the other is all various harnesses, seat belts, and stretcher belts.
A nicely done decal sheet done in opaque colours, in register, with a colour two sided full page of both helicopter markings, one US Air Force Rescue, and one for West Germany. Unfortunately neither the instructions nor anywhere on the box has any
indication of the actual units.
Colour references are called out for Mr.Hobby, Vallejo, Model Master, Tamiya, and Humbrol paints, which is a really nice touch to have all the main companies listed with the exception the new Italeri line.
First overall impressions is that the plastic is molded in a neutral gray colour, which will make painting that much easier. The plastic is neither shiny nor is it a rough matt texture, giving the paint a proper surface to adhere to. All the panel lines are finely recessed, as well as the rivet detail, which has a in scale look, rather then overly done.
Looking at the instructions and sprues, the cockpit looks just busy enough so that further detailing is an option, not a necessity. Same for the cargo bay that will contain stretchers or seats. The nose doors are positional so one can display the engine bay with what looks like a extremely well detailed WR1820 engine with cooling shrouds and exhaust ducts. The main cabin door is positional as well.
There are numerous PE grills that allows you to see inside the engine compartment even with those access doors closed. One feature that I really like is that the main rotor blades are molded with a sag due to their unsupported weight.
I've test fitted a few main pieces, and the fit is exceptional. I really don't see the need for much filler, if any at all.

I've never built or for that matter bought a helicopter model, but I've wanted to build one for quite some time. And this kit looks like the perfect choice.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Extremely well detailed engine, cockpit, and cargo bay. Parts are all well finely detailed.
Lows: Missing the names of the units on the decal sheet.
Verdict: Over all, I'm quite impressed with the Gallery Model's offering. It's very impressive. I'm looking forward to building it.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: 64104
  Suggested Retail: $55.00
  Related Link: HH-34J Helicopter
  PUBLISHED: Mar 13, 2014
  NATIONALITY: United States

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About Joel Willstein (Joel_W)

I've been a plastic scale modeler on and off for most of my life since I 1st found them on a shelf at a local toy store way back in the very early 1960s. Once in High School modeling stopped until the mid 1970s when I got married, and needed a hobby that would keep me at home. After 10 years I to...

Copyright 2021 text by Joel Willstein [ JOEL_W ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


looks so same as H-34 US Marine
MAR 13, 2014 - 06:55 PM
I am unsure as I am at work 2000 miles from my stash, but I think there is a new seat sprue, and the floats sprue is missing, so some minor changes. I may have to get this and the army one too to complete my collection... Cheers Harald.
MAR 15, 2014 - 12:20 AM

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