S-62 in 1/32 scale kit review & modelling report: half scratch and
half of a toy model
USCG S-62 photographed at Pima, Tucson in 1991
helicopter company of the famous helicopter pioneer Sikorsky developed
in the nineteen fifties the S-62 for commercial use with passengers. It
used experience obtained with the S-55 and also the S-62 got a single turbine
engine and a very large cabin. The layout also enabled emergency landings
in the water with a boat hull and sponsons. It could carry about 10 passengers.
The first S-62 flew in 1958 and was also used later on indeed commercially
although in low numbers.
A single S-62
and a later on a number of S-61 Seakings (seen below left) were used by
KLM NOORDZEE HELICOPTERS end sixties until the eighties.
"Once upon a time" I walked into a toy store coming across a S-61 Seaking looking model of New Ray in the Skypilot series. On the box it said 1/32. Always wanting large scale 1/32 models of Dutch used helicopters in the collection (like the EC-135, Cougar and Lynx) I bought this New Ray toy to investigate further.
Ray S-61 helicopter Skypilots toy had
provisions for a rotating 5-blade rotor with a motor and battery. But its
shape did not look bad at all! Now the question was: is in really 1/32
? I had seen on Internet various comments about the Skypilot series, most
toys having different scales dimensions in the same toy, usually in a range
from 1/32 - 1/42. NOTE: The New Ray Skypilot toy was issued in several
boxes, including this one:
To investigate further I had a very nice 1/72 Revell kit of the S-61 Seaking. I made a rough drawing and measured the dimensions. It turned out that the forward fuselage looked indeed 1/32 but the tail section and rear fuselage fairing and tail rotor looked way off, being more 1/38. Creating an accurate 1/32 Seaking would be very difficult, requiring an all scratch tail section and rear fuselage fairing. The toy model was laid aside.....
Half a year
later at Telford my friend Peter bought a 1/72 scale S-62 resin model
of WhirlyBird. It had KLM NOORDZEE HELICOPTERS decals in this neat
little kit. It turned out KLM started its helicopter services in the sixties
with a single S-62 before buying later on the larger S-61 Seakings. (of
which I have also a 1/72 scale kit made a long time ago).
I decided to check the dimensions of this smaller S-62 with the S-61 New Ray toy. First it turned out that the S-62 had a shorter fuselage and a shorter tail section! It also had a smaller 3-bladed rotor. So, was it an idea to make from the New Ray S-61 a 1/32 scale shorter S-62?
OK, I checked data and the S-62 WhirlyBird resin kit. I also made "photo" check superimposing the parts and a Seaking and a S-62 drawing found on the Internet, seen below:
that for those who have the S-62 KLM Whirlybird kit: do not use its
drawings for scale measurements. Use it only for decal placement!)
Starting the Build
Major razor saw work was done first. Here the orginal New Ray fuselage halves are seen:
Directly aft of the cockpit section a plug of 10 mm was removed. Aft of the main rotor fairing 25 mm mid-plug was removed. The rear of the tail rotor mast was cut off; it will be used to make new one.
Also, the starboard engine fairing
was cut away.
A cut was also made below the lower
cockpit windows to enable shaping and bending the forward bow.
The other parts looked very well usable.
The cockpit interior could use a little extra detail. Even the instrument
panel has raised details! I did not bother to check all clockwork though.
The cabin windows were cut out and
changed. In order to get a neat result, on the port side a whole rectangular
section was removed. A single clear plastic was set in place and all edges
puttied and sanded in shape. Masking the individual windows will later
do the job.
The main cockpit window has fewer
frames on the S-62. First with sandpaper the thick frames were removed.
After that, polishing with also polishing sticks was done. Frame insides
were painted black. The holes in the upper windows will be "camouflaged"
with the later transparant green varnish.
Now the sponsons were tackled. They
look OK for a S-62 but the attachment struts are different. Also the undercarriage
leg with a big single main wheel is located at the rear of the sponson.
Also the rear cut off tail rotor mast is seen and will be re-used.
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November 12, 2014