Kitty Hawk’s 1:35 scale HH-60G kit contains consists of 621 parts on nine sprues. One clear sprue holds another 37 parts. A single large fret containing 69 photoetched metal detail parts is included. Two cast resin pilots are featured here as well. The markings come on a single decal sheet, and a supplementary decal sheet insert provides decal versions of the instrument panels. Markings are provided for the following two Pave Hawks:
- HH-60G Pave Hawk, 92-6465, 41st Rescue Squadron, USAF
- HH-60G Pave Hawk, 92-3689, 55th Rescue Squadron, USAF
Strengths: It seems that Kitty Hawk continues to progressively improve elements of their kit design, and this HH-60G kit really appears to shine. First up, the kit interior is outstanding and rich in detail. In the past, I’ve critiqued Kitty Hawk for “soft” instrument panel or side console details, but here, such parts bristle with sharp relief, and detail painters will be very happy. The flight deck and cabin are replete with other great features, such as detailed seats and seat frames (for both pilot and passenger seats), great stick, rudder pedal, and collective details, very nicely made photoetched restraints and belts (down the stitching details), the optional rear cabin Robertson extended range fuel tank, and two very nicely made pilot figures wearing the appropriate USAF-style gear. The casting and detail looks really good on the figures, but while the instructions show them coming with optional helmet-mounted NVGs, the goggle parts do not appear to have been included.
Door gunner positions can also be fitted with optional .50 caliber machine guns (but see below). Ammo belts are very well represented by some excellent photoetched parts. Flight deck and main cabin doors are separate parts that can be positioned open or closed. With all that detail, opened doors are an obvious choice. Show off what’s inside. As usual, Kitty Hawk does amazing clear parts, and the optical quality is sterling.
The kit comes with a really well detailed set of T-700 engines. One can certainly add some of the finer plumbing that’s absent, but the larger pipes and lines are included as separate parts. Engine access doors are also positionable. The rotor head and swash plate also look very complete, and the engine exhausts feature very nice exhaust shrouds. I like the way that the entire engine assembly drops down onto the top of the airframe. It’s a smart way to produce this assembly.
Other nice features include an optional extended or retracted refueling probe, an open or closed nose avionics bay, great chaff, flare, and IR countermeasures gear, various antennas, hand-holds, FLIR turret, radome, windshield wipers, cable cutters, the hoist system, and plenty more. The landing gear are excellent, and the tires even feature the manufacturer’s imprimatur. Nice! Photoetched details also provide a number or exterior airframe details, such as grills, vents, and trailing edge static wicks. In 1:35 scale, you have to be very detailed, and this kit appears to nail it.
The kit also comes with additional external stores: 30mm chain guns, seven and 19-shot rocket pods, and four AGM-114 Hellfire missiles. Their assembly and placement is not described in the instructions, and I am pretty sure these are not to be used on these Air Force Pave Hawks.
The decal sheet covers two HH-60Gs, one in a Euro One-style camouflage scheme and the other in the modern overall low-vis gray scheme (but sporting a full-on shark mouth). The decals look very good and well-printed, especially the instrument panel and console details.
While the test fits between the left and right fuselage halves revealed no issues, there’s a lot of interior, but this is an “in-the-box” review that does not get into assembly. My unscientific poll of a few folks who have built this kit report that this kit indeed fits very well. In the past, various Kitty Hawk kits have been plagued by fit glitches here and there, so this news is nice to hear. This kit has a lot of potential and it sounds like fit issues do not limit that potential.
Weaknesses: While I am a fan of the HH-60G and that it is one of my favorite rotary wing photographic subjects, I am far from a Pave Hawk subject matter expert. That said, I see no glaring or obvious accuracy issues. However, a few points in the instructions raised an eyebrow. It has also been reported that some part numbers in the instructions are miss-numbered, and while that might slow you down for a moment, they are easy to figure out. There seem to be no instructions involving how to position the separate engine access doors in the open position.
While there is an optional fit for window-mounted miniguns and floor-mounted GAU-21s depicted in the very last set of instructions (which also seems a bit out of sequence), the minigun assembly seems not be depicted anywhere in the instructions. I am also not sure that that door gun configuration is appropriate for USAF Pave Hawks. The instrument panel dial faces have no raised detail, and while they are provided as part of a single decal sheet, separate dial faces would accommodate the detail painter. I’ll likely use a punch and die set to render them separate from the decal sheet. Also note that with the way the painting and markings guide is printed, one will have to undo the staples in the instructions and remove the centerfold markings guide to get a complete look at 92-6465.