Westland Sea King HAR.3
D Flight, 202 Sqn, RAF Lossiemouth, 1981
Fujimi 1/72 with some scratch mods
The Sea King first entered service with the UK armed forces 50 years ago as an advanced anti submarine warfare platform for the Royal Navy. Nine years later the RAF also adopted it as a replacement for its Search and Rescue Wessex and Whirlwind aircraft. Based in small flights at RAF stations around the UK and in the Falklands, SAR Sea Kings remained in RAF service until 2016, when the entire RN and RAF SAR force was outsourced to civilian providers.
This particular build happened almost by accident. I have a number of these Fujimi
kits stashed away, but one of them was missing its cabin transparency -
Cue this kit, which was on sale, part started, at the Wells Saturday market for £5. Original problem solved, but I struggle to throw away any kit and the donor, whose cabin parts were assembled and the extra RAF windows cut out of the fuselage, has sat staring at me from my model pile for the last 18 months.
All pictures © by gengriz.co.uk
Derived from the Sikorsky S-
Despite its operational success, the Sea KIng was not initially a popular choice for the SAR role. Much heavier than the Wessex, but with a similar rotor disc size, it produced much more downdraft, making safe recovery of persons from small boats a tricky operation. Nevertheless, RN & RAF SAR pilots quickly derived ways around this, sometimes using the downdraft as a benefit, as dramatically shown when RN Sea Kings used their rotor wash to push lifeboats away from the burning RFAs, Sir Tristram & Sir Galahad, during the Falklands war.
Until the relatively recent release of Dragon, Revell and the newer Airfix Sea King
kits, the Fujimi kit was the best option available. Its a little simplified in detail,
based on the US SH-
So; what to do with the missing canopy. My first attempt was to create a female mould from one of the other kits, using aluminium foil and Plastic padding.
The mould was good, but I couldn’t get the acetate to form sufficiently sharply inside
it. Options such as clear resin would have been more expensive than buying a new
kit and that really wasn’t the point. However, following the success of replacing
parts on my 2017 A-
This worked a treat, with an old fruit acetate container heated using a hair dryer
then with the mould forced into it and pulled tightly around it whilst still applying
heat (warning -
The real thing -
The real thing -
My other Sea Kings (to date!) -