In-Box Review
UH-1B Huey
UH-1B Huey
  • Hobby Boss UH-1B Huey

by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

The ubiquitous Bell Helicopter UH-1 Iroquois, commonly (or officially in the U.S. Marine Corps) known as the "Huey,” is a multipurpose military helicopter, famous for its use in the Vietnam War. The helicopter was originally designated the HU-1A, which is where it received its nickname - "Huey." The official U.S. Army designation Iroquois (Army helicopters are traditionally given Native American names) was almost never used in practice. The nickname became so popular that Bell started putting the Huey name on the anti-torque pedals. The HU-1A was the first turbine-equipped U.S. helicopter to go into production.

The aircraft was first used by the military in 1959 and went into tri-service production in 1962 as the UH-1. The last were produced in 1976 with more than 16,000 made in total, of which about 7,000 saw use during the Vietnam War. During the war 3,305 UH-1 were destroyed and 2,202 Huey pilots were killed.

The HU-1B, an earlier "short-body" Huey, was an improved model that was equipped with the Lycoming T53-L-5 engine of 960 shp, revised main rotor blades of 44 foot diameter and 21 inch chord, 13 inch higher rotor mast and a longer cabin that could accommodate seven passengers. This version was redesignated UH-1B in 1962. Gross weight was 8,500 lb and the standard empty weight was 4513 lb. Bell built 1,014 “Bravos” plus four prototypes. The UH-1B performed gunship and transport duties into 1967, until the arrival of the new AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter.

Iconic to America's involvement in the Vietnam War is the ubiquitous Bell UH-1 Huey helicopter. Used in every role from medical evacuation guardian angels, to gunship angels of death, the Huey soldiers on in dozens of countries to this day.

the kit
The model is built with one hundred-eight pale grey styrene parts (including several optional weapons), five clear styrene parts, and decals for two schemes. These are on five sprues sealed in plastic bags.

The styrene is slightly brittle, but not fragile. Hobby Boss’ molding is clean and crisp, with no flash. No ejector pin marks or sink marks are present on visible surfaces.

The airframe parts have engraved panel lines and details. The rivets are properly raised.

The airframe is molded as two fuselage pieces without the engine cowing. This is a modular style for multiple Huey versions. The specific nacelle halves are on a separate sprue and are mounted atop the fuselage after the fuselage is joined around the cockpit. The fuselage is completed with the two boom airfoils.

The cockpit is built with twenty-five pieces, including an M60 series reflex sight, instrument panel with raised bezels, engine transmission, and two-each of seats, collectives, sticks and anti-torque pedal sets. The remainder of the interior you build after you decide which of two configurations you will build–gunship or medivac. The rest of the helicopter is built with the single piece skids (with two mooring fittings), exhaust nozzle, cargo doors, twin pitots, tail skid, antenna fittings, rotors and canopy pieces.

Finally, the four (or five, if you count the chin-mounted M5 40-MM Grenade Launcher) armament choices, each built with six or fourteen parts. These are the (two of each) 7-round 2.75 in (70 mm) M158 Rocket Pod (seven individual rocket tubes, two retaining collars, and five part M156 Universal Mount), 7.62 mm GAU-17/A minigun on M156, M159 19-Tube 70mm (2.75”) rocket launcher, and XM-3 24-round 70mm rocket rectangular launcher.

The profile and dimensions appear accurate. The miniguns are one-piece but well detailed. Aside from the cockpit assembly, there is no detail inside the crew compartment.

The clear parts are distortion-free with sharply defined framing. One concern is that several parts are to be mounted on the clear windscreen. Thus, the potential for glue blemishes will require careful handling. The kit includes no clear navigation or landing lamps.

Instructions, painting and decals
Hobby Boss’ instruction sheet is two pages of approximately 19 undefined stages. It should not be confusing.

The painting guide is a page with a color 4-view of each ‘copter. Curiously, the medivac bird is portrayed sporting the chin-mounted 40mm grenade launcher! Colors are referenced for Mr. Hobby, Vallejo, Model Master, Tamiya and Humbrol.

The kit includes markings for 2 U.S. Army Hueys:

1. UH-1B, s/n 582081, Medical Detachment in Vietnam.
2. UH-1B, s/n 2105, 117th Aviation Company, Vietnam, 1964. This is in a olive/brown/black ‘Tiger stripe’ scheme.

The decals have good registration, fine printing and color density. The finish is glossy, with the carrier film trimmed close to most items.

Hobby Boss did a fine job on their Huey. "Rivet-counters" may disagree. Nevertheless, Hobby Boss’ new kit offers some good detail and plenty of options for low price.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Sharp molding. Many armament options.
Lows: Minimal interior detail.
Verdict: Hobby Boss’ new kit offers some good detail and plenty of options for low price.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:72
  Mfg. ID: 87228
  Suggested Retail: $10
  PUBLISHED: Jan 06, 2009
  NATIONALITY: United States

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright ©2021 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. 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.


Thank you Fred for your posting. I am interested in building some 1/72 scale helicopters at some time and this review was quite helpful. Although I might build mine as a civil bird, boring to some, but I thought I would do one anyway. Russell
JAN 09, 2009 - 11:40 AM

Click image to enlarge
  • Hobby Boss UH-1B Huey
    Sprue A
  • Hobby Boss UH-1B Huey
    Sprue B
  • Hobby Boss UH-1B Huey
    Sprue C
  • Hobby Boss UH-1B Huey
    Sprue D
  • Hobby Boss UH-1B Huey
  • Hobby Boss UH-1B Huey
  • Hobby Boss UH-1B Huey
  • Hobby Boss UH-1B Huey
    Cockpit parts
  • Hobby Boss UH-1B Huey
    Rocket pod close-ups