Kamov KA-26 helicopter in 1/72 scale: building the Amodel kit
In the 1950s, the Soviet Government issued a directive to design a multi-purpose small helicopter for various roles. The Kamov company issued a proposal with its typical co-axial rotor system, eliminating the otherwise needed tail rotor. It had flexibility in the design with a detachable rear section aft of the pilot's compartment. A small passenger cabin could be installed but also agricultural crop duster equipment spraying the large areas of the Sovkhozes or Kolkhozes. First flight of the prototype was in August 1965 and production started not earlier than probably 1968. The usual engines are a pair of Vedeneyev M14 with 325 hp. Some 900 were manufactured and some were also used by the military and it got NATO code name "Hoodlum". The KA-26 was used by the military and civilian users in the Soviet Union and also aligned states in the Eastern Block, Mongolia and Sri Lanka. The German Democratic Republic (DDR) Volkspolizei "VoPo" used the type also for "Iron Curtain" border patrols.
This old Amodel 1/72 kit #7240 was purchased way back in 2003 but it finally was made.
It is a short run kit and one of the first Amodel kits. There are about 100 parts for this small helicopter kit. The basic decals are for no less than 6 schemes: Soviet Aeroflot, DDR Interflug, ambulance, DDR VoPo and Hungary.
(The kit was also released in another kit #7281 with agriculture equipment in a separate sprue).
The very small parts have thick sprue gates so use a razor saw to remove them from their sprues. Some rods are also better replaced by straight Evergreen plastic. All parts need clean up, this requires some experience and is time consuming.
During construction I found that a sprue with the rear cabin parts was missing, probably the sprue was forgotten to be included.
The scheme desired was for the DDR VoPo as per kit.
The assembly was done as per instructions. Please note that the rear vertical tail plates should be set at an angle, see the upper view in the instructions.
In some spots filler and sanding is needed. The transparant front transparant hood needs care to get a proper fit. I fitted this one at a very late stage and left the smaller bits for later.
I wanted to make the DDR VoPo helicopter model with the rear cabin and was able to make the missing rear cabin from some scrap. I used clear acetate plastic for that that could be bended. The rear portion is a clear kit part. The fuel tanks seen in STEP 7 are optionable and often not fitted.
With the basic airframe ready, apply a grey base coat to check for any errors, gaps and ridges. After that, airbrush the desired scheme colours as desired.
Here the acetate scrap made missing lower rear cabin section is seen. Masking tape is set over the "windows" before airbrushing the paint scheme.
For the VoPo Volkspolizei KA-26 the main colours are white and green. For the green I used Revell Aqua 39 acrylic green. The upper roof section is light grey for which Revell Aqua 371 was used.
Masking tape was used through out.
The co-axial dual rotor with its mast is a challenge. First, the slots were made a bit larger for the shafts. I used various bits of Evergreen rod for the pitch rods and a pattern to insure that blades are set at 120 degree angles. Also ensure that the lower and upper rotor blades have the (correct) opposite direction. The overal rotor was airbrushed light grey with a black leading edge that requires fine steady brush hand painting and the blades got yellow rotor tips.
The cockpit interior was detailed with some bits such as a red emergency box and seat straps made from tape.
The kit decals are very vulnerable, so take care here. One slide door was set open and each VoPo emblem was cut to get a better adherence to the surfaces.
The forward window needed masking as well and white glue to fit and close gaps. These sections were painted white when dried as well as the frames. All masking tape was removed, also showing now the various windows.
I found that the main gear legs #81 are about 3 mm too long. I also drilled out the main wheels aisles. During the assembly, work in stages and sand as needed. The smaller bits were often also replaced with Evergreen rod and also metal needles such as for the pitot on the nose. Also on the KA-26 rear view mirrors are seen as well as wind screen wipers. These were made from scrap. (see my own IPMS.NL walk around for detail photos of a KA-26 seen in the Buckeburg museum, Germany).
The model finally got a gloss varnish coat airbrushing Johnson Future/ Pledge and the main rotors were fitted loosely. That completed this tiny nice special helicopter model.
DDR VolksPolizei "VoPo" KAMOV KA-26
- IPMS.NL KA-26 walk around, made by me: https://www.ipms.nl/walkarounds/walkaround-helicopters/3051-walkaround-kamov-ka-26
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Created this page December 15, 2018