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Agusta Bell AB-47 J/J-3

Tail Boom, 1/48

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Tail Boom 48001 - Agusta Bell AB-47 J/J-3
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: 47 pieces in grey-green coloured resin, six parts in white metal; vinyl mesh; vac-form canopy; copper wire Instructions, painting guide and ALPS decal sheets for 5 aircraft.
Price: Contact Maurizio Di Terlizzi for pricing and availability information
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Beautifully detailed; perfect casting; relatively straightforward construction; very clear and clean vacform "bubble"; jig supplied for tail rotor skid; five markings options (four Italian plus US Coast Guard).
Disadvantages: Basic instructions; ALPS white decals appear translucent.
Recommendation: Highly Recommended for modelers who have experience with resin kits


Reviewed by Brett Green

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The Bell AB-47 J was built under license by the Italian company Agusta from 1957. These helicopters saw service with the Italian Armed Forces, Police and Customs. The versatile AB-47 J could be fitted with skids, pontoons and dual controls.

296 AB-47 Js were built by Agusta. They were phased out of service in the early 1980s.

Maurizio Di Terlizzi has launched his own brand of resin kits called "Tail Boom". His debut release is a 1/48 scale Agusta Bell AB-47 J/J-3.

The kit comes packed in a sturdy plastic container with the parts protected by bubble wrap. Inside, there are 47 pieces finely cast in grey-green coloured resin, six parts in white metal; vinyl mesh; vac-form canopy; copper wire instructions, painting guide and two ALPS-printed decal sheets for 5 aircraft.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


The resin parts are flawlessly cast and beautifully detailed. The main parts are the halves for the cabin / tail boom. These feature flashed-over vents for the engine which will need to be cleaned out with a sharp hobby knife and sanding sticks. There are a few remnants of casting strips on the bottom of the cabin too, but cleanup should be quite fast and easy.

The remaining resin parts cover the cabin interior, the engine, rotor assembly, tail rotor and stabilisers.

The tail skid is supplied in white metal. These display very little casting waste and no pitting or spurs. Cleanup of these parts should also be very straightforward.

The tail rotor guard needs to be formed from copper wire. Both the wire itself and a resin template are supplied to ensure a perfect fit.

The grilles inside the engine vents are represented with sheets of vinyl mesh. This should look quite effective.

Some minor scratch building will be required, using stretched sprue or wire for rotor supports and some smaller pilot's controls.



The main canopy "bubble" is provided as a large single vacform part. This is exquisitely clear and completely free of any distortion (actually, in the image above, you can see my studio setup - a soft box on the left and a silver umbrella on the right flanking me taking the photo). You will need to take extreme care, however - especially if you plan to open the doors - as only one of these vacform parts is supplied.

Instructions are supplied on a double-sided A4 sheet. One side provides some history, bi-lingual (English and Italian) colour details and a single exploded view diagram. Additional reference will be essential for completely fitting out the interior of the model.

Decals are supplied for five helicopters - four Italian and one US Coast Guard. These appear to be ALPS printed and of high quality. One sheet is in multiple colours, while the other provides the white markings. The white markings appear to be a bit translucent on the sheet.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Tail Rotor's 1/48 scale AB-47 J In Progress

Maurizio Di Terlizzi has built one of these models, and he has kindly provided progress photos of his build.



These photos will be of assistance to any modellers building the kit for placement of parts and additional detailing, especially inside the cabin.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:





Tail Rotor's 1/48 scale AB-47 J is a beautifully detailed and flawlessly cast kit of an interesting helicopter.

Despite the relatively simple parts cleanup, you will still need some previous experience with resin kits before tackling this little beauty.

If you do want one, though, you'd better be quick. When this review sample arrived last month, there were only around 20 left. You can contact Maurizio direct to obtain details about pricing, availability and postage.

Highly Recommended.

Thanks to Maurizio Di Terlizzi for the review sample.

Review and Images Copyright 2007 by Brett Green
Page Created 16 February, 2007
Last updated 24 December, 2007

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