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Ted's Corner

  Derek Derks shows us





From 1954 until 1964, the Royal Netherlands Naval Air Arm (MLD) operated three Sikorsky helicopters. Besides their registration numbers, also names were painted on one side of the clam door Jezebel, Salome and Cleopatra.Assigned to either the Naval Air Station “Valkenburg” (search and rescue), or the aircraft carrier “Karel Doorman” for plane guard duties during launch and recovery operations. It has to be mentioned that they did save a large number of persons and pilots from drowning in all types of weather conditions. Being single engined and slightly under powered, they were unreliable. From the three helicopters, two crashed and one made it to the aviation museum.It was here that I saw the S-55 for the first time.  I decided to build one in scale. Second hand I found the mentioned Revell kit.


The Kit
 I completed the whole construction almost straight from the box. I used the Waldron punch and die set, together with Evergreen to slightly update the cockpit. For sound proofing the cabin and the area directly behind the pilots, I used thin foam. This you can find in the supermarket. When you order sliced Dutch cheese it gets packed on this material. It has (sometimes) already the punctured sound proof structure on it.
The model is airbrushed with xtracolor paint, medium grey and sky. Decals are from the box  and were applied with the help of Micro set and sol. The whole model was finished off with a thin layer of Glitsa parquet varnish. (70% methylated spirit and 30% Glitsa.) This prevents the decals from discolouring.


port view



side view


The “D” version from the Sea Stallion is adapted for mine sweeping operations in shallow and coastal waters. They were equipped with more powerful turbine engines to be able to perform safely while towing the sweeping system through the water. Mines are weapons to (temporarily) deny the enemy access to its own vital waterways and harbours. Normally, mines are being swept by special equipped small naval vessels.  These vessels are working mainly in small groups together.  They are progressing slow, but very accurate.


          To avoid the long process of sweeping a waterway, the US Navy created the SPU-1 system. It is a kind of platform, floating on water skis.  Through a long cable, the platform is connected to the helicopter. After connecting the system, the helicopter will slowly tighten the cable and then put the turbines into full gear. When speed is picking up, the SPU-1 system will lift out of the water and finally rest on it’s water skis. The system can handle acoustic, contact and magnetic. If working correctly during the mine sweeping, the mines will surface and will be destroyed by machine gun fire. The system described dates from the Vietnam and Desert Storm era. It gave the Navy a rapid and safe access in those waterways.  Another advantage was that it could be repeated quite easily. The 53D is no longer in the active US-Navy inventory.  It is replaced by the MH-53 Super Stallion


                                                                THE KIT

The kit was constructed straight from the box and was a great pleasure, with no problems what so ever.  It is a shame that Fujimi kits are so difficult to acquire in Europe. They are indeed high quality models.  Folding the rotor blades and settling them into their racks needs careful study. The cockpit is updated with an overhead panel and the punch and die set from Waldron made sure all the buttons and switches are in place, including the large levers to control the three engines. The main windows in the cockpit doors are omitted. This gives a nice bird’s eye view of the panels during display at model conventions.

Xtracolor engine gray was used for the overall fuselage.

<>    rear  

The RH-53D has been brought from the hangar deck to the flight deck of a US Navy carrier.  Technical personnel are preparing the “Mighty Beast” for another operational task. The rotor blades and tail rotor are still folded. The mule (tow tractor) that towed the helicopter to its spot on the deck is still waiting for further orders. Notice the extended mirrors that gave the flight crew a good rear view of the towing system. There is also a extended in-flight refueling probe to extend operations. Decals, Superscale 72-444, Flight deck is from Verlinden, “Mule” tractor is from Fujimi.

close up

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