Humphrey is one of the most famous aircraft during the Falklands Conflict and was the helicopter stationed aboard the destroyer HMS Antrim. She took part in the retaking of the Islands of South Georgia, as part of Operation Paraquat. Later, she joined other ships to assist with the landings on the main Falkland Islands. She was attacked by Argentinian Dagger jets that strafed her with their cannons. Humphrey was damaged by fragmentation from the shells, making many holes that are still visible. These holes were patched with tape and Humphrey carried on flying.
This kit came with a photoetch set for seat belts and grills for the engine cowling and tail rotor gearbox. A number of scratch-built items were needed to the following places to improve the HAS 3:
Cockpit construction was straight forward, only addition is the sheepskin seat matting for the pilot and co-pilot using flocking powders. For those planning to use flocking power please utilise proper respiratory protection to prevent inhaling the fine material.
A number of sink marks in the cabin had to be filled. The electrical wires and piping is represented with wires and sewing threads* with Tamiya tape to represent clamps and 0.2mm plastic sheet to represent frame reinforcement.
*Sewing threads representing wirings are first smeared with PVA glue, this is to keep the fibers down and made them easier to paint later.
I closed the tail boom door leading to the tail avionics compartment.
Erected some avionics trays plus some radio boxes.
Once the fuselage had been joined, there were a number of places with matching issues with the panel lines and surface, especially to the nose parts 8b and 30b. Parts of the engine exhaust ring and its surroundings was removed during sanding, I had to cut out the rings with 0.2mm sheets to replace them.
Threads are used to represent wheel brake lines and the flotation bag alternate activation along the undercarriage strut. Later, I realized that I made a mistake with the orientation and had to reposition the brake lines from the front facing to aft facing.
Tailboom handles and cabin steps were all replaced by brass rods.
Part of the HF antennas were replaced with 0.4mm brass rods and thread through with EZ lines. The antenna blade locating pin replaced with a 0.5mm brass rod.
Sewing threads used for rescue winch motor hydraulic & electrical cables. Later discovered there’s a exterior light next to the winch motor, hoist/cabin door approach light, so I had to fashion one.
After I had closed up the fuselage, it was pointed out that the Radar/ Sonar operator station console was not removed to “save weight” …… as I initially thought. This confirmed was with a picture of Humphrey at the Fleet Air Arms museum, also the sonar was identified to be a Type 194.
Some pics from the net.
Using the cabin trap door as reference, with a jig the radar/sonar console/winch was built up from there.
The 2 crew seats, Radar console & overhead console, Type 194 sonar & sonar winch, cabin avionics tray was built up using various sizes of styrene rods and sheets.
The GPMG was scaled down from a 1/35 Takom AMX-13 kit with a custom mount & ammo box from styrene, the ammo belt uses 0.1 mm x 1.0 mm brass rods joined together.
The parts are mounted in this following order: GPMG mount, ammo box, 2 operator’s seat, overhead console (yes I have to hold the model upside down till the glue dries) and the main console and sonar winch assembly**. I position the ammo belt from the window and finally the GPMG. If observed closely, the mount has a 0.5mm brass rod at the tip end for the GPMG to sit, so yes the weapon can swivel fore and aft.
**The main cabin door is about 25x25mm and another 5 mm from the door frame to the roof of the cabin. The main console and winch assembly is build within this parameters. After painting the assembly, is then laid on it’s side and slide through the cabin doors then rotated internally into position with PVA glue.
All Navigation lights were replaced with clear spruces including the scratch built Hoist/cabin door approach light.
This model was finished with Mr Color extra dark sea grey followed by clear gloss for decaling. The kit's decals has silvering at a number of places. Weathering was done with raw umber oils. Most of the silvering was covered up with a coat of Humbrol satin.
In conclusion, there were fitting and panel line issues however these are minor and can be corrected easily. For a basic Wessex build, this is fine, however building a specialized version (in this case Humphrey needed a sonar and radar station) as a fellow modeler said "scratch one up or shut the doors”, I chose the former. The decals have shown some age as silvering can be found at a few places… after all, this kit has been in my stash for some 10 years.
4+ Publications and Warpaint series and much later a Haynes Publications magazine; found it sitting on a HB shelf during a meet.
I also obtained some pictures from the internet, I had to build and gather details concurrently.