Kamov KA-15 helicopter in 1/72 scale: building the Amodel kit
In the Soviet Union the Kamov design buro made after the Second World War a small helicopter and the KA-15 made its first flight in April 1953. It had the typical Kamov design features such as the co-axial rotor system and thus no tail rotor. This is a safer concept as running into a deadly tail rotor is not an issue. KA-15 production started in 1955 at Ulan-Ude. A number of versions were developed over the years and it could also be flown from small ships for anti-submarine missions and utility transport. It had a single pilot and an observer. It could be fitted with floats and a four seat version was the slightly longer KA-18. Some 400 helicopters were manufactured over 10 years. The NATO code name was 'Hen".
Maximum speed was about 150 km/hr and max take-off weight about 1370 kg.
The type appeared in various 1/72 Amodel kits for different versions including the standard strut type with wheels.
The kit made here is the Amodel 1/72 KA-15M with floats, in kit #7277 purchased way back in 2003 for only USD 7,50. After 16 years in the stack, it was finally made.
The parts are OK but all is short run as usual with the old AModel kits with thick sprue gates and vulnerable plastic rods. There are about 85 parts in white plastic and a small clear sprue.
Decals are only for one Soviet scheme in white - high visibility orange.
This model has a very complex set of struts with the floats. It is much better to improvise here with brass metal rod and plastic rod that gives more strength and a better end result. So this kit is not for the faint harted novice modeller.
Use a fine TIGER saw to remove vulnerable parts from their sprues.
Sand all parts to get perfect results with sanding block, they are short run. The fuselage is small and that was first made, using Alabastine car filler white putty and some sanding.
The grill in front of the main rotor mast will be suggested with paint. Other grills/ cooling vents were cut open and will be painted later on.
The float needed filler and sanding. With a small hand drill, holes were made in order to receive the brass rods.
The fuselage, floats and main parts were given a base grey coat of Revell 75 acrylic grey. The cabin interior colour was unclear but I decided to use the typicall Soviet interior colour of AKAN 73005 Emerald green acrylic.
The large clear screen #73 needed shaving off some 0,7 mm to fit better.
The model would be given the paint scheme as per kit instructions of white and high visibility orange. This was done at this stage for the main parts before the struts and floats would be fitted.
A white coat was airbrushed with Revell Aqua 05 and 04 acrylic matt and gloss white. Masking was done and than the airbrushed orange was Revell Aqua 30. Masking tape is needed.
Also, airbrush a piece of decal, that may come handy in case "repair work" is needed.
The float frames were painted with a fine brush, a real steady hand is needed!
The complex struts and floats were to be fitted. I made the support structure from scrap with plastic rod and brass metal rod using the kit parts as pattern. Make sure all is symmetrical and aligned.
Also the winch hoist was fitted.
The grills were painted and the few decals applied after on the model a gloss varnish was brushed to avoid "silvering". The cheat line was made from Xtradecal stripe decals.
The model finally got a gloss varnish coat airbrushing Johnson Future/ Pledge Floor Care.
The co-axial rotor is also a complex assembly. Make a pattern at 120 degrees angles during glueing to get symmetrical rotors and do not mix up the lower and upper blades, so study the parts layout drawing and parts numbers. Thin metal strips were used, these can be found in household plastic garbage bag ties. The rotor head was painted metal and the blades light grey .
The model was completed with a few antennas, wires and the main rotors were fitted loosely. That completed this tiny nice special helicopter model.
on "patrol above the Arctic Sea"....
- Air International magazine, Vol. 39, page 257 and Vol. 56 page 286.
- Air International magazine about Kamov design buro: Volume 56, page 284
- WikiPedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamov_Ka-15
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Created this page August 29, 2019