1/144 AFV Club Sea King Apollo 11 Recovery Diorama

Gallery Article by Michael Jack on July 4 2021

United States of America Independence Day



Apollo 11 Recovery Diorama - United States Navy SH3-D b “OLD 66” and 64 of HS-4 Squadron
Model: This is the Sikorsky SH-3A/D Sea King from AFV Club (kit AR14405) It contains 2 full Helicopter kits. Paints: After main body construction, I tapped and sprayed them as if it was the 1/48 scale I usually do. Insignia White AS-20 and Light Grey AS-16 was used. In addition Humbrol paints Gloss black 21, Matt Black 33. French Blue 14, Red 19, White 22. Main rotor: These are well detailed for their size and can be moved to any position, after rotor head cap is glued on. I used a Silver Sharpie marker pen, to create the leading edge. Tail rotor: Again well detailed, but fixed in position.

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Resin parts: There is no resin parts within the Kit. Photo etch: There is no Photo Etch in this kit. Scratch built: I did make the Yagi antenna’s from Evergreen plastic and communication line from stretched sprue. The Command Module Columbia is not included in this kit and is Resin. I moulded mine from my Bandai 1/144 Saturn V set I have. The floatation balls, collar along with life rafts, are made from two part putty. With the figures manipulated from 1/144 Chinese figure set, to suit various poses required for the diorama. Decals: The decals are very good, but only 1 HS-4 set for 1 bird. The second set of decals for Sea King 64, had been made from left over decals in the kit and my own stash.

Weathering: Just a small amount of led pencil weathering was added to panel lines. Smudges to engine exhaust areas. Build: The instructions are very simple as is the actual build. A nice little kit with excellent details. Having the cargo door and crew access doors optional was great. Base: The base is a 6mm Perspex sheet, with a 3mm frosted Perspex glued on top. I then poured a small amount of 2 part resin, to highlight some water activity. A 9mm x 9mm wood frame was added once completed with a plaque and a few lapel pins.

Real aircraft: The real “Old 66” (Bu Nu152711) was lost in 1975, during a sonar dipping exercise, although there are 3 Replicas in Museums. One of which is on the USS Midway. The Seaking’s went from a 2 digit modex number, to a 3 digit during the latter part of 1969. “Old 66” also wore the numbers 740, 401, 040.

Long live the King

Michael Jack

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Photos and text © by Michael Jack