Jump to content

Heavy Attack - US Army AH-64E Apache Guardian


Recommended Posts

This is going to be a less involved build than my previous ones (F4U-1D, F-51D, Mosquito FB.VI, P-47D and AH-1G).   In this case, I don't have direct personal interest in the particular subject so I won't be taking a very deep dive into the real thing.      My only personal connection to the Apache is that I was once an Army grunt and always enjoyed flying (as self-loading cargo) in the back of Hueys (for a very brief time when I first got in) and Blackhawks.     The Apache is the latest Army Aviation subject I've built.    The rest of the "family" consists of:


The Ultimate Army helo, the classic UH-1H Huey.



Next up, one of the very first "Littlebirds" in service with the 160th "Nightstalkers". 



After that is Apache's scouting teammate for a couple of decades, the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior.



Lastly, the Apache's Grandfather, the AH-1G Cobra. 



So now I'm onto the Apache.   I'll be modeling a current version of the Apache, the AH-64E V.6 Apache Guardian.    This helo has all the latest bells and whistles including much improved night vision equipment and most notably - the ability to directly control UAV's (drones) and flow the UAV's sensor feeds directly into the Apache's cockpit, as well as to other aircraft and ground units.  It's truly a revolutionary capability.    For those interested, here is a rundown of the new features included in the V6.



One reason why I'm looking forward to this build is that I finally get a chance to try to replicate the horribly weathered look of these helos (especially when they are deployed).    Who says US army helicopters are just a boring overall dark green?




Makes late-war Luftwaffe paint jobs positively boring by comparison. 


So, from a modeling perspective, right now I'll be using the following aftermarket items:

 - Quinta's full cockpit set.

- Eduard's newly released cockpit seatbelt set. 

- 3D printed parts courtesy of Simone Plai of Italy.   These include his cockpit correction / upgrade set, a couple of M4 carbines, much improved SATCOM "eggbeater" antennas and air data sensors. 

- 3D printed parts courtesy of Shane Bezembinder of Australia.   These include a fantastically molded countermeasures control panel that was added in RL to the pilot's glareshield, Hellfire seeker heads, anti-collision light housings and much improved rockets / rocket pod faces. 


More about all these bits later.   I may also add some other 3D printed parts as they (hopefully) become available.  The list may include SPIKE long range missiles (currently being added to US Army Apaches) and the new version "R2D2" UAV control antenna mounted on the rotor hub.


Lastly, I'll be going with aftermarket decals.   Right now, Werner's Wings has announced a complete stencil set for the Apache (the kit decals are pretty bad) which I'll be getting.   Werner's Wings and Caracal Decals have also announced decals sets for this kit.   My purchase will be based on whatever subject looks the "coolest" and represents a later version Echo model. 


That's it for now.   Sorry for the extremely long-winded kickoff post.   I'll be back to show some actual plastic shortly.  

Edited by John1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Watching this with extreme interest. Are the 3D printed parts kits or files? Are they for sale somewhere? I have 4 kits to do sometime soon and so am on the lookout for some of the missing parts to print if possible.


Edited by Hagar
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Hagar said:

Watching this with extreme interest. Are the 3D printed parts kits or files? Are they for sale somewhere? I have 44 kits to do sometime soon and so am on the lookout for some of the missing parts to print if possible.


Are you saying you have 44 Apaches to build?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, markiii said:

Are you saying you have 44 Apaches to build?

My finger stutters every now and again lol. Its bad enough i have 4 of them.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 hours ago, Hagar said:

Watching this with extreme interest. Are the 3D printed parts kits or files? Are they for sale somewhere? I have 4 kits to do sometime soon and so am on the lookout for some of the missing parts to print if possible.


Hi James,


I purchased the printed parts from both guys.   Received them within a couple of weeks of ordering and the quality is first rate.    Shane has an account here on LSP so you can PM him if you need more info.  Both guys are very active on the FB 1/35 Apache Build Group page.   I highly recommend this FB page.   Lots of good info / pictures, from RL Apache pilots and modelers.    


The 1/35 AH-64 Apache build group | Facebook

Edited by John1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Started work on the cockpit.    The seats in the kit are "decent".   However, the PE belts that come with the kit are crap.  Quinta's decal set includes a full set of harnesses but they are completely straight and (IMO) nothing looks more artificial than an aircraft with perfectly aligned seatbelts on every crew seat.    I opted for Eduard's new harness set.   Nothing special about them but they get the job done.   Aside from that, I used Quinta's decals for the seat cushions.   They add a bit of texture that's present on the real thing, see below:


Note - these seats are for use in similulators so there are a few minor differences (such as the box below the seat that isn't present on the real thing.   The real thing's cushions also tend to fade to a weird purplish-grey color in some cases.   



Here are my initial attempts at the seats.




I ended up using RLM75 for the cushions. Seemed to be a decent match.    The remainder of the seat is Tamiya NATO Black with some bits picked out in ModelMaster Acrylic Interior Black (my favorite blackcolor) and Semi-Gloss / Flat Black.   


Also started prepping the 3-D cockpit correction / upgrade set.   A quality set of cuticle scissors is absolutely critical for this work (although the material used is surprisingly durable). 



Here's the aft bulkhead being prep'd for some of the parts above. This included cutting off the basic molded on electrical wiring and duct work.   The electrical wiring will be replaced by lead wire, the ductwork on the kit part is inaccurate.  Most of the ducting on the real thing is behind a fabric cover, the kit also neglects to include the prominent outlets.   You can see one of the replacement parts in the picture below.   



That's it for now, thanks for checking in. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Aft cockpit bulkhead is completed.    As mentioned above, I removed the molded-on wiring and A/C ducts.    Replaced them with lead wire and the 3D printed parts that included the A/C outlets and fabric covers missing from the kit.   The 3D part also has the single, smaller helmet tracking sensor that is fitted to the E model (earlier models had two larger sized sensors at each crew position).   Also added Quinta decals for the circuit breaker panels. 








Last step was to add some pastels to replicate a bit of dust.   Once installed, I'll bend the lead wires into their final position. 


That's it for today, thanks for looking. 



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Work continues.    I've added more of the cockpit upgrade parts.   One area the kit got wrong (aside from the lack of A/C ducts and other small details) is that the pilot's foot wells are open on the real helo and not sealed off with a bulkhead as provided by the kit.    Here's a pic of the real thing, just note that this is a D-model, which has a different, bulkier, helmet tracking sensor system (the two grey housings next to the A/C "gaspers").   The Echo just has one, much smaller sensor.   The avionics box in the open bay, the A/C system and the framework they are mounted on are all provided in the upgrade set (along with the M4 rifle rack and emergency radio housing shown in this picture). 



So here is where I'm at.    The kit just provides a plate to cover the opening in the bulkhead.   






I added the cable running out of the storage bin for the pilot's helmet mounted sight on the right-hand console.    IP and side consoles are from Quinta.


Hard to get good pictures of these parts in natural lighting when everything is pretty much 50 shades of black.



That's it for now, all comments / critiques are welcome. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Out2gtcha said:

Looks great!

I'm not up on my Apache model news.....is this the Tacom or Meg kit?

Takom AH-64E kit.   To the best of my knowledge, the Meng kits haven’t made it out yet.    

Whilst on the subject of this kit - some initial impressions (from me and other comments I’ve read on social media and online):   The kit is extremely well detailed and appears to be quite accurate. It seems to fit together nicely as well and Takom provides a full range of weapons options as well as extra parts for folding the rotor blades   That’s the good news.  

For the not so good news - The instructions are crap.  Steps are left out or are just impossible to understand.   I’ve been writing notes on the kit instruction manual to hopefully keep me from screwing things up.    The feedback on the decals ranges from “adequate” to “worthless stickers”.  They appear to be thick, prone to silvering and don’t respond very well (if at all) to setting solutions.   I couldn’t care less about the decals since I’ll be using aftermarket ones exclusively but you’ve been warned….  

Bottom line - with some extra $ and a bit of care, this should build up into a very nice Apache model.    Overall, I’m very pleased with this kit.  

Edited by John1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cockpit is coming together.  It's amazing how much work one can get done on a weekend when it's just me and my Chocolate Lab left in the house!   Crew seats are installed, I also added a few more cables from small diameter lead wire.    The cockpit looks pretty monotone in these pictures, you'll just have to trust me that it's not quite that bad in RL. 


Pre seat installation.   The good thing about pastels is that I can dial back the dust level quite easily. 



Given that GPS jamming is pretty common these days, I decided to provide my crew with an old-school map (in the PE mesh pocket by the pilots left leg).







That's it for now. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...