Thursday, February 10, 2011

15mm Vietnam Commission: Helicoptors

Here's the pictures of the helicopters from the 15mm Vietnam order we completed for a customer. These are the models produced by Battlefront/ Wargames Illustrated. There was much clean up to do and assembly is not as easy as one would assume. The metal rotors are a pain to assemble being composed of 8 parts!

The ammunition belts for the 'Hogs' are really difficult to put on. They are made from metal and need to be glued onto the fuselage of the helicopter and then to the minigun. My big fingers made it even more difficult for me so Allison took a stab at this. She discovered that it is actually much easier to glue the end of the belt to the body first, let it dry, then bend it into position and glue the other end to the minigun. We use JB Kwik to ensure they stay put. The good thing is the belts do help secure the miniguns on the pods.

One of the gunners for the slicks does not fit inside the fuselage. I suppose you can glue him sitting on the edge of the door but I felt it better to put him in the fuselage where he's less likely to get knocked off. To make him fit, however, you must file off about a third of his head, part of his rear, and a bit off the bottom of his boots.

The decals are pretty thick. This makes them less likely to tear when putting them on the aircraft but makes them more prone to 'silvering'. Also, they don't like to stick to curved surfaces, even with using a decal softener. The shark's teeth were about useless and after attempting to get one to stick down I ended up removing it and just doing without. I could paint the shark's teeth on but it would take a ton of time and I didn't want to overcharge the customer. Also, some of the decals were misprinted, lacking red color and lettering! Battlefront's quality control is getting quite poor.

Rare earth magnets were used with the join of the helicopter to the base and to attach the rotor assembly to the body of the aircraft. This allows removal for storage and transport. I didn't bother drilling holes into the tops of the craft to sink the magnets down in. I didn't feel it was worth the time involved and and they can't really be noticed anyhow. Also, Battlefront's resin can be fragile at times and I wasn't sure how it would hold up to drilling and if something went wrong, we might not be able to get a replacement since these were limited production items.

The two crashed slick objectives.

The hog gunships:

 The slicks:

 All in all I think they turned out well. They are time intensive, however so I will have to adjust pricing on these if we ever do anymore in the future.


  1. Bob I've got several Helicopters, how have you achieved that nice green e.g What Paint range and what colour have you used?

  2. The helicopters were primed black, then airbrushed with Vallejo Model Air (VMA) Olive Drab. I then took Vallejo Model Color (VMC) 887 Brown Violet mixed about 1:1 with Cell-Vinyl's (C-V) Grey #1 (with is a very light grey, almost white) and drybrushed the models to bring the details out. The interiors are painted with VMC 836 London Grey.