Sea King AEW Radar Cover

Published: July 9th, 2014     
Package
Package
Reviewed by: 
Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/48
Company: Aires Hobby Models
Price: $12.00
Product / Stock #: 48600

First:  Thanks to Aires for providing IPMS USA this really fantastic item to review!  We appreciate your support; thanks also to IPMS USA leadership for allowing me to review this item.

This upgrade consists of two parts; the swing boom which sets the radome away from the aircraft, and the actual radome itself.  A note about what this is; the Airborne Early Warning Sea Kings in the Royal Navy were a stop-gap measure to provide additional radar early warning to the RN fleet of impending low-level cruise missiles or fighters attacking the fleet during the Falklands/Malvinas war in 1982.   Their intent was to stand off a distance from where the ships were and provide the outer net of warning. 

In the process, a very ungainly radome was hung from the right side sliding cargo hatch.  On the ground, the radome is uninflated, and faces to the rear of the chopper, which is what the Quickboost radome intends to show.  Once powered up and in the air, the radome was lowered, allowing the antenna to spin and provide a clear, uninterrupted view of what was below the helicopter, extending to the horizon.  Radar range increases with height.

Back to the build; the Sea King AEW kit from Hasegawa is a re-boxing of the excellent 1/48 SH-3 Sea King helicopter, complete with six-bladed tail rotor and other external aircraft differences.  The kit radome is made up of an inflated "thimble" radome cover, a radar/radome base plate, and a two-part swing arm.  The Aires Radome is one piece, attached to an easily-removed pour stub, with a one-part swing arm.

This is an essentially upgrade if your Sea King AEW is at rest in a power-off mode, i.e.  what we see on the tarmac.  It's difficult to do on your own (I did it for the 1/72 review of another company's offering a while back; I liked what how it turned out but QUICKBOOST is a serious time-saver and looks far better).

As you can see by the photos, using the kit item is great for in-flight use, but the Quickboost radome is the way to go on the ground. 

In the end we have yet one more item which an AMS modeler cannot do without.  Thanks again to Aires for providing this item to IPMS USA!

  • Kit radome in operational positon
    Kit radome in operational positon
  • Kit radome in stowed position, inflated
    Kit radome in stowed position, inflated
  • Kit radome in stowed position
    Kit radome in stowed position
  • Quickboost radome in deflated, stowed position
    Quickboost radome in deflated, stowed position
  • Quickboost radome in stowed deflated position
    Quickboost radome in stowed deflated position