Cobra Company continues to provide exciting, new upgrades to the venerable 1/35 Academy Black Hawk kit. The latest one on the market is the UH-60 Upturned Exhaust System (UES) that brings the kit up to some of the latest standards. The UES is one of the latest modifications to the UH-60 series of aircraft that is being added after lessons learned in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. The older Hover InfraRed Suppression System (HIRSS) exhaust was found to be less than effective against the latest versions of heat-seeking missiles. The UES is designed to reduce the aircraft’s infrared signature by dispersing the hot exhaust gases through a grid of metal plates to cool it, then directing it up and into the rotor disk to be further dispersed.
Cobra Company provides two large castings to convert the HIRSS on the kit into the UES. They are single castings for each side and look great. They are cast in smooth grey resin with no flash and require very little clean-up. They are easily removed from the pour blocks with a razor saw and then sanded to fit. The instructions provide clear pictures that show where on the Academy fuselage to cut and how to place the new pieces into position. All the cuts are made along existing panel lines that are easy to follow. The instructions also show what pieces from the kit that are to be retained and added to the resin pieces to complete the assembly.
The only small downfall to the set is a function of the casting process. Due to limitations of the molds, the open ends of the exhausts are very shallow. The actual ones are pretty deep. This is easy to remedy by boring out the openings and adding your own baffles from sheet styrene if desired. Alternately, if left as is, they still look very good. It is up to the individual modeler to decide how he likes them.
Overall, this is a great set that will update the Academy kit nicely. With this set, you can make an up to date UH-60L by adding it to the Academy kit. Also, with this set and the Cobra Company UH-60M set, you can make a representation of one of the most up to date Black Hawks in service at this time. Cobra Company has another great set that will be very useful and is easy to use. I highly recommend this set.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Very nicely cast in smooth grey resin.Lows: The exhuast outlets are a bit shallow, but still look very nice.Verdict: An excellent set that will bring the Academy kit up to date. Highly recommended.
About Gino P. Quintiliani (HeavyArty) FROM: FLORIDA, UNITED STATES
Retired US Army Artillery Officer, currently a contractor at MacDill AFB in the Tampa, FL area. I have been modelling for the past 35+ years, really seriously on armor and large scale helos (1/32, 1/35) for the last 30 or so.