1/48 Heller Ecureuil “Bombardier d´eau”
- Product Name : Ecureuil "Bombardier d´eau"
- Product Number : 80485
- Manufacturer : Heller
This kit represents the Eurocopter AS350 Écureuil “Squirrel”.
The Eurocopter AS350 Écureuil (or Squirrel), now Airbus Helicopters H125, is a single-engine light utility helicopter originally designed and manufactured in France by Aérospatiale and Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters). In North America, the AS350 is marketed as the AStar. The AS355 Ecureuil 2 is a twin-engine variant, marketed in North America as the TwinStar. The Eurocopter EC130 is a derivative of the AS350 airframe and is considered by the manufacturer to be part of the Écureuil single-engine family.
Source : Wikipedia
Information about Heller can be found here
This is not a new kit but more like a blast from the past. Please take this review with that in mind as this kit shares molds as old as 1981. Therefore, the quality and quantity of details doesn’t reflect more recent kits out there.
You are still here after that warning? Good, at least I have an audience!
The kit comes in a flimsy box wrapped in plastic. On opening the box and to my surprise, all the sprues are loose inside the box, which has resulted in some scratches in many parts plus some of them were broken, not a good start.
It has 4 sprues:
- 2x main body, cockpit and engine
- 1x extra for the water tank which sits underneath the helicopter
- 1x clear parts
The main body sprues come in red, which I presumed Heller tried to target modelers that would like to skip the painting process and get a model straight out of the box. Unfortunately, the color doesn’t correspond with the real thing plus it makes the plastic look cheaper than already is. I do advice, if you are brave enough to get this kit, to paint it, otherwise it will simply don’t work.
As I mentioned earlier, some parts were damaged. This is due of lack of plastic bags holding the sprues together, minimizing scratches and broken parts. I do not own many 1990s kits but Hasegawa does kits does comes wrapped up in plastic inside the box. I think by now you are starting what you get yourself into with this kit.
Clear parts are clear but thick. It doesn’t help either that they got scratched all over the place which it will need some treatment (Tamiya compound will do the treat).
Decals are thick and but in register
Instructions are simply to follow and in 6 steps you are done!
Painting reference as you may expect are for one model only the “Bombardier” … You can have any color you want as long as it is red.
- Refreshing not to build something military.
- Old kit
- Lack of interior details
Now, as I said at the beginning of this review: take it as it is, do not try to compare it with newer kits outthere or it will not stand a chance.
I am building this kit as part of the first grould build on this site, so we will see first hand if it can be turn into something pleaseant to the eye or a binner.