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Piasecki H-21 Shawnee

Special Hobby, 1/48 scale

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Special Hobby Kit No. 48088 - Piasecki H-21 Shawnee
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: 100 parts in grey plastic; 18 parts in clear; colour photo-etched fret; two white metal parts; 22 resin parts; approximately 70 etched metal parts; markings for four aircraft.
Price: USD$51.99 available online from Squadron
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Injection moulded transparencies; nicely printed decals; crisp surface detail; easy to assemble
Disadvantages: Simplified front and rear cargo bay bulkhead detail Missing cargo area seat back webbing
Conclusion: A well detailed kit overall, and will be much easier to build than Fonderie Miniatures' offering


Reviewed by Mick Evans


Special Hobby's 1/48 scale H-21 Shawnee is available online from Squadron.com
 

FirstLook

 

Special Hobby has released a 1/48 scale Piasecki H21 Shawnee.

This latest release provides the modeler with markings for operators other than the United States.  Marking options are provided for both French and German operators of the Shawnee. 

I reviewed and built Fonderie Miniatures’ 1/48 scale release of the Shawnee a few years ago and a quick comparison of the two kits shows the Special Hobby kit  to be much more cleanly moulded and the detail much crisper.  The kit also has an injection molded canopy and windscreen that will certainly be much easier to fit than the FM vacuum formed parts. 

 

  • Special Hobby 1/48 scale H-21 Shawnee Review by Mick Evans: Image
  • Special Hobby 1/48 scale H-21 Shawnee Review by Mick Evans: Image
  • Special Hobby 1/48 scale H-21 Shawnee Review by Mick Evans: Image
  • Special Hobby 1/48 scale H-21 Shawnee Review by Mick Evans: Image
  • Special Hobby 1/48 scale H-21 Shawnee Review by Mick Evans: Image
  • Special Hobby 1/48 scale H-21 Shawnee Review by Mick Evans: Image
  • Special Hobby 1/48 scale H-21 Shawnee Review by Mick Evans: Image
  • Special Hobby 1/48 scale H-21 Shawnee Review by Mick Evans: Image
  • Special Hobby 1/48 scale H-21 Shawnee Review by Mick Evans: Image
  • Special Hobby 1/48 scale H-21 Shawnee Review by Mick Evans: Image
  • Special Hobby 1/48 scale H-21 Shawnee Review by Mick Evans: Image
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Overall, the Special Hobby kit is certainly much better in the molded parts but the FM kit has much better internal detail, all of which is visible through the transparencies and doors.  Missing in the Special Hobby kit are the prominent webbing backs for the cargo compartment seats and also the lap seat belts.  Other obvious omissions are the main gearbox and drive shafts and some of the detail behind the cockpit. 

 

 

Even so, the Special Hobby kit has a plethora of external etched detail not provided in the Fonderie Miniatures kit.  Most of the internal detail missing in the Special Hobby kit can be easily added with simple scratch building that will result in a much better finished kit.

So, what do you get in the Special Hobby kit?  First up, this is quite a large kit when completed from nose rotor to tail rotor so you need plenty of room to display it. 

 

 

The kit contains 100 light grey plastic injection molded parts, 18 clear injection molded parts, 2 white metal parts, 22 resin parts and approximately 70 etched metal parts.  The cockpit is well detailed similar to the FM kit but the detail in the Special Hobby kit is certainly much crisper.  The only additions needed for this area are seat belts for the pilot and co-pilot. 

 

 

The area behind the cockpit has been simplified by Special Hobby.  The rear wall of the cockpit is slightly inaccurate in detail and a complete framed bulkhead is missing that normally sits about a metre behind the cockpit bulkhead just in front of the forward crew door.  Also missing is the opening (door size) in the rear cargo area bulkhead.  This doorway opens into an area that is approximately 1.5 metres wide and houses the front rotor angled gearbox.  This is all easily corrected with some minor scratch building by detail and accuracy enthusiasts. 

 

 

Special Hobby’s kit is certainly better finished all round, with crisper and cleaner surface detail.  All of the minor external detail missing in the FM kit is included in this release, these include hinges, brackets, antennas, windscreen wipers and cable hooks.  A trial fit of the fuselage halves and the transparencies indicates that the parts will actually fit, unlike the FM kit.

The decals look to be crisply printed on very thin carrier film, so they should snuggle down excellently into the surface detail.

 

 

Markings are provided for four aircraft as follows

  • H-21 Flying Banana, 8307, of WG7 Heer (German Army) based at Niedemendig in 1964.  This aircraft is painted in dark olive green and took part in a flying display during the open day of the British Army in Germany.

  • H-21 Flying Banana, PA-213, of WG18 Heer (German Army) in 1959.  This aircraft is painted in dark olive green with a yellow band around the mid section and was used for recovery operations.

  • H-21 Flying Banana, 31F.9, of 31Flotille Troupes de Marines (French Marines) based in Algeria in 1958.  This aircraft is painted in gloss dark blue and was one of the aircraft used to transport the wounded during the Algerian campaign.

  • H-21 Flying Banana, AAI, of the Armee de Terre (French Army) based in Algeria in 1958.  This aircraft is painted in dark olive green.

Thanks to Special Hobby for the sample


Review Text Copyright 2009 by Mick Evans
Page Created 12 May, 2009
Last updated 13 May, 2009

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