Eurocopter EC-135 
in 1/32 scale


1/32 scale REVELL Eurocopter EC-135 helicopter of 
Korps Landelijke Politie Diensten (KLPD / Dutch Police)

  drawing: courtesy Flight international

The Eurocopter's EC 135 helicopter is a twin-engined multipurpose helicopter and entered service around 1996.  Construction uses lightweight metal and composites and the tail had the Fenestron tail rotor. The standard version carries the pilot and six or seven passengers with sliding doors in the cabine but also depending on customer needs, various configurations are possible. This includes MedeVac and Police duties with various equipment.


The Dutch Government ordered end 2007 for the Dutch National Police (KLPD: korps landelijke politie diensten) six EC-135 helicopters. Initially the KLPD ordered the MDD-902 but this was heavily overweight and could not meet mission required, so this order was cancelled. Instead, the EC-135 was ordered. The EC-135's are equipped with two Pratt &Whitney Canada PW206-B2 engines, have a maximum take-off weight of 2,910 kg and seating capacity for 1 pilot +6 crew or 2 pilots +5 crew. Maximum speeds is about 256 km/h and a 600 km range. Special equipment are  night-vision goggle compatible cockpits,  FLIR (forward-looking infrared) camera, a video downlink system and a 20-inch operator screen with “picture in picture” system. The first chopper was delivered mid 2009. 

The helicopter regularly flies over my house:

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Revell Germany has issued the EC-135 helicopter in both 1/72 and 1/32 scale kits. Appearing in various kit boxes for various versions, parts may differ. For the EC-135 of the KLPD, the kit #04428 POLIZEI is the most appropriate one. Many of the special equipment parts can be found in this kit.

UPDATED: REVELL has issued a brand new 1/32 kit of the EC 135 ADAC (kit # 04659) end 2013. It has much better details and parts. If you can choose, buy this newer kit released!


Parts detailing varies in the kit sprues. Some parts are quite basic, whereas other parts are included in new sprues with much more detail. Several parts are rather rough, the moulds not being very good after so many years.
Some older parts are also replaced with some newer sprues. 
The decals are excellent, but for the KLPD home made decals are required (more in that later on...). 

Kit assembly was done quite straight forward. It was decided to limit the build effort on this kit, you can not spend hunderds of hours for each model. For the KLPD helo's, only some small changes are applied (see later on in the building report...).

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In order to see more on the interior, it was decided to remove the left doors on the fuselage shell using a very fine razor saw. The rear door would be slided open aft, the pilot door would turn open. 


I started obviously with the interior. The floor of the kit part is 2 mm too wide, so reduce this. 

Some scratchbuilding was done for the mission specialist station, adding a computer laptop and screen and some other details using plastic card and rod. The overall interiors was sprayed in a base coat of brown-light grey and details painted in various colours.

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Seat belts were also added and a fire extinguisher.
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The instrumentpanel was detailed with a piece of card, with the dials and instrument displays drilled out and decals used from the spare box.  I had to reduce the height of the pedestral base part #2 with 2 mm. Do not forget to add heavy led within the instrument pedestral/console. Otherwise you'll end up with a tail heavy model. 

Also make the collective pitch handles a bit longer with rod, the kit parts being to small in length. 

The rotor of the real EC-135 is very simple, being a rigid hub design. Only minor detailling was needed on the kit rotor parts. New pitch rods were made, not using part #59. 

IMPORTANT: I discovered a few years later that I assembled the rotorblades reversed with their tips in the wrong rotation direction. This is not very clear in the Revell instructions...

 
 

With every helicopter build, I always spray first the areas around the windows and also the interior sidewalls before next assembly. So grey sidewalls and black outside window panels were sprayed (this is better than using the black window decals). 
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It was also decided to insert the window panels at this point, fixing them with clear fix. This is easier with no interior fitted yet. The edges of the windows were made black with a black permanent marker. This will look much better later on and will hide any glue traces. 

NOTE: on the real KLPD EC-135 curved hollow windows are seen, these are unfortunately not in the kit. I decided to simply use the kit windows, making 6 new windows with 6 different moulds would be a very lot of work. 

The real windows also have rectangular sliding panels. These were suggested using cut out FRISK FILM. 

The gear box area was detailed with some rod and electrical fuse wire.
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A roof panel was also added. Aft of the gearbox, also a bulkhead was added from card to close the gap.

Now the fuselage shells were set together, with the interior. 

NOTE: do not glue the forward nose section together, only the aft mating areas. The reason is that the windshield on the kit is TOO WIDE. This can only be nicely corrected by inserting a plastic strip later on between the two halves at the nose later on. 

Mask the windscreen to protect it. Note that at the inner edges, an additional panel is white on the real EC-135, so mask accordingly. 

Test fit the windshield and insert the strip. A large part will be obscured with the nose radar #215. The windshield was now glued in place, after its edges also being made black with the marker. 

Next, the tailboom was assembled. Do not fit yet the fenestron rotor part #44, first fill the gaps and edges on the tunnel. On the fenestron aixle, I added a round cut plastic circle disk to have a neather appearance. I found that there are tiny recesses for grips and handles at the rear fenestron duct on the real EC-135, but this was left as is and the kit parts were used. 

The tailboom on the KLPD helo also has a boxed fairing below the tail. This was made from plastic card. On the fairing there is also a bulge. Carefully study the antenna layout, some parts are not needed. 

Next, all the gaps were filled with white putty on the overall kit. This is not a lot of work and only minor sanding was needed. Please note that there is a clear step where the tailboom meets the fuselage, so not extra work needed here. The Revell kit depicts it correctly. 


Colouring
The real KLPD EC-135 had white RAL 9003 and Blue RAL 5002 colours, with Dayglow and blue stripes. 

The major outside parts were give a coat of lightgrey, followed by white, using REVELL enamel semi-matt white #SM301. This is a very good white paint to apply with the airbrush.
For the KLPD blue areas, REVELL blue # 51 is a good match. (later on, a gloss varnish coat will be added). The various areas were masked off with low tack tape, like the one of TAMIYA. 
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While at it: as the KLPD helo has colourfull striping, I also sprayed white decal (eg. from Bare metal foil or use another brand) also REVELL Blue #51. Also, the dayglow stripes were sprayed on white decal, using REVELL #332 RAL3026. 

Also, the rotor blades were not forgotten as they are on the upper areas white with dayglow stripes, so mask and spray accordingly. The lower areas were sprayed black.


Any gap between floor and fuselage can be closed with white glue painted after drying. Note that the upper intake fairing is not fitted yet. It was also sprayed blue separately.


The upper intake fairing is seen fitted here, the gaps at the rear were filled with white glue and painted blue with a brush.

On this fairing, a cable cutter was set, made from card and rod. Also below the cockpitnose, another one was made. Various other details like antennas can be found in the kit as well. Look carefully and you will find a lot of usefull kit parts. 


The exhausts are a bit of a problem in the kit. I kept them open (not using parts #29) , added some internal piping and painted them black inside.

Now it was time to add the blue and dayglow striping, using the prepared decals. This took a lot of work, using cut out paper templates for both right and left sides. 
NOTE: I found out after two days work, that on the left side, I reversed the dayglow and blue striping. As I would keep the door open, I did not correct this error. 
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The required KLPD logo's and markings were downloaded from Internet and printed, in the correct size, a white decal from BARE METAL FOIL suitable for Inktjet printers at 2400 DPI. 
The registration below the fuselage with also printed on white decal. 
These decals were protected with 3 airbrushed coats of JOHNSON FUTURE/ PLEDGE. 


The white KLPD registration numbers I made myself and the decals were ordered from a ALPS printer decals supplier. The font is Frutiger, with Frobisher font looking very similar.
I have some spares left, if you need some drop me an email...
 

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 the ALPS printed registration PH-PXA 
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On this left photo, you see also the rectangular sliding panels on the windows, made from FRISK FILM.

The kit has several options for the skid. I used the lower skid parts. It is not indicated in the instructions, but still is in the sprues! The skid was painted black. 

Some gaps were closed on the lower fuselage area with some filler needed. A also added a flat piece of cart at the retractable landing light (decal  24).
The FLIR turret and search lights are also in the kit, the real KLPD EC-135 is also often seen flying without them. If you use them, you will need to adjust their attachment structure, leaving out parts like #244 and 245. I used card instead. 
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FLIR and left search light, with part #250 for the search light reduced in height. 

Final assembly was now done, adding the better windscreen wipers #216 also in the kit. Below, the search light can be seen as well. The various smaller parts were added and painted. Particularly on the lower fuselage, various details were added. Hard to describe, check pictures. The pitots #176 + 177 were refined as well. The black speakers are in the kit. 

  some pictures of the real KLPD EC-135, here without the FLIR and search light

The grips and handles were replaced using plastic rod. Antenna #228 was repositioned. (no hoist and parts like the large wire antennas #224 are needed on the KLPD helo).

The model was not weathered, being brand new and being kept in splendid condition bij the support crew. 
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Here the sliding rear door is seen. The kit has the various markings, the white registration and logos'can be seen as well. At the rear clamm shell doors, some dayglow - blue striping was also added. 

After assembly,decalling and finshing, the model was almost ready. The model got a couple of clear gloss coats of  JOHNSON FUTURE/ PLEDGE. 

Some views of the finished model....

Note the carefully bended rotor blades....
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Upper views


A nice addition in the 1/32 scale model collection.
 

References:
http://www.politie.nl/KLPD/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mR-TQJ8BtgM
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Created this page November 15, 2009