Westland Helicopters -
Hobby Boss 1/72 with various decals
Background Image: Rebuilding a civil Wessex at the WSM Helicopter Museum
Unfortunately for me, as I started the build I quickly realised that this is not
the best version to represent the sole S-
Knowing that I would now have to do some cutting and shutting, I briefly considered
changing the whole thing to the early Gazelle installation (which used the existing
Fortunately Hobby Boss provide the alternative exhaust pipe (I presume their “A” kit has different nose doors to fit it in), so a little filling and fairing of the existing hole followed by cutting of the new outlet resolved my issue.
The Sikorsky S-
Although initially developed as a Naval ASW helicopter, it saw most use as a transport,
with the US Marines deploying it widely in Vietnam, where its rugged and reliable
performance was put to good use. French S-
In the UK, Westland had seen much success with their Whirlwind variant of the S-
Only two and a half years after the S-
Haha – proper naval colours and an odd looking “sort of” Wessex, how could I resist building one of these !
This was fully intended to be a quick and simple sanity restoring build of a modern kit and standfast the colour scheme, I planned for it to be built “out the box”as Hobby Boss intended. However, not surprisingly, a few changes led to a few more, and so on.
The underlying kit is Hobby Boss’ UH-
Nevertheless, it is an easy build, with excellent fit, nicely judged detail and (in this version) a reasonable price.
Compared with the Revell/Italeri and Matchbox Wessex kits, this one is a far simpler and much less fiddly build (but a bit more complex than that from FROG). It comes with fair interior detail, consisting of some simplified cockpit seats, with cyclic sticks and prominent rudder pedals, plus a nicely done set of cabin canvas troop seats within an otherwise slightly bare cabin interior. The two cabin door guns (if fitted) will fill the gap nicely so that the level of detail provided is entirely adequate.
A number of other detail changes were needed, mainly around nav lights and radio
antenna. I kept the cabin door shut as I really wasn’t sure what Westland had fitted
in the S-
Paint is my normal Humbrol enamels, and the decals come from the kit and out of my spare decal box. The aircraft only existed with the piston engine and these markings for a very short period. On delivery from the US it was reassembled at RNAY Fleetlands in June 1956 and flew to Westlands at Yeovil in civil markings. The military serial XL 722 was allocated in July 1956 and it conducted a number of test flights with RN markings until December 1956 before being converted to carry the Gazelle gas turbine, with which it made its first flight in May 1957.
Wessex Gate Guard at RNAS Yeovilton