Amodel HUP-2

At first glance, Amodel's HUP-2 is an obvious improvement over the previous kits from Siga and Mach 2. The moulding quality is obviously higher, though still limited run. Whereas Siga gave you seats stuck to the inside of the fuselage with no floor, bulkheads, etc., Amodel's interior includes 17 parts, the highlight to me being a delicately moulded fire extinguisher. They still managed to omit the collector lever, like many before them! Clear parts are a weak point on both the Siga and Mach 2 kits. Amodel's parts a something of an improvement, but still not brilliant. Pavla offer a vacuformed replacement.

Where the kit is let down is the accuracy of the fuselage shape. The kit certainly looks like a HUP, but in comparison to photos, the aft rotor pylon is considerably off in shape, with both the leading and trailing edges being too sloped. The engine air intake in the belly is depicted as circular - it should actually be a seven-sided shape. The box art shows four cutouts in the leading edge of the aft rotor pylon, but only the top pair are moulded open, the lower ones are moulded solid. This may be correct for some aircraft - the Canadian Navy HUP on display in Ottawa has the lower openings plated over - but all photos I've seen of Aeronavale HUPs have all four openings present. The kit also shows a small strut-braced platform on the starboard side of the aft rotor pylon - again, I can't see any evidence of this on any of my photos of French HUPs.

Amodel offer 3 different boxings of the HUP/H-25. All include identical mouldings, with the only difference in the decals. Kit 72137, labelled HUP2/HUP3, includes markings for an Aeronavale HUP-2 coded 23.S-6, with no details as to location or date beyond '50-th years'. I believe Escadrille 23S was only formed in July 1954, and earlier carrier operations were undertaken by Escadrille 58S. I know of no good published source for HUP reference information, but I have found a number of photos online.

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