Sikorsky S-62 in 1/32 scale

[ Page 1 ]

Modelling report
Sikorsky S-62 in 1/32 scale kit review & modelling report: half scratch and half of a toy model

USCG S-62 photographed at Pima, Tucson in 1991

The American helicopter company of the famous helicopter pioneer Sikorsky developed in the nineteen fifties the S-62 for commercial use with passengers. It used experience obtained with the S-55 and also the S-62 got a single turbine engine and a very large cabin. The layout also enabled emergency landings in the water with a boat hull and sponsons. It could carry about 10 passengers. The first S-62 flew in 1958 and was also used later on indeed commercially although in low numbers. 
Later on, the S-62 design was used for military versions for amphibious operations and this evolved into the HU2S and HH-52 Pelikan also for use by the US Coast Guard. The experience obtained with the S-62 was later used for the famous S-61 Seaking family of helicopters.

A single S-62 and a later on a number of S-61 Seakings (seen below left) were used by KLM NOORDZEE HELICOPTERS end sixties until the eighties.
KLM Noordzee Helicopters of the Netherlands used a single S-62A "PH-NZB" (seen above) from 1967 for its new Offshore helicopter division until 1972 when their S-62 Seakings arrived. 

      S-62 drawing  [ click to enlarge ]

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

"Once upon a time" I walked into a toy store coming across a S-61 Seaking looking model of New Ray in the Skypilot series. On the box it said 1/32. Always wanting large scale 1/32 models of Dutch used helicopters in the collection (like the EC-135, Cougar and Lynx) I bought this New Ray toy to investigate further. 

The New Ray S-61 helicopter Skypilots toy had provisions for a rotating 5-blade rotor with a motor and battery. But its shape did not look bad at all! Now the question was: is in really 1/32 ? I had seen on Internet various comments about the Skypilot series, most toys having different scales dimensions in the same toy, usually in a range from 1/32 - 1/42. NOTE: The New Ray Skypilot toy was issued in several boxes, including this one:

To investigate further I had a very nice 1/72 Revell kit of the S-61 Seaking. I made a rough drawing and measured the dimensions. It turned out that the forward fuselage looked indeed 1/32 but the tail section and rear fuselage fairing and tail rotor looked way off, being more 1/38. Creating an accurate 1/32 Seaking would be very difficult, requiring an all scratch tail section and rear fuselage fairing. The toy model was laid aside.....

Half a year later at Telford my friend Peter bought a 1/72 scale S-62 resin model of WhirlyBird. It had KLM NOORDZEE HELICOPTERS decals in this neat little kit. It turned out KLM started its helicopter services in the sixties with a single S-62 before buying later on the larger S-61 Seakings. (of which I have also a 1/72 scale kit made a long time ago).
1/72 kit of WhirlyBird

I decided to check the dimensions of this smaller S-62 with the S-61 New Ray toy. First it turned out that the S-62 had a shorter fuselage and a shorter tail section! It also had a smaller 3-bladed rotor. So, was it an idea to make from the New Ray S-61 a 1/32 scale shorter S-62? 

OK, I checked data and the S-62 WhirlyBird resin kit. I also made "photo" check superimposing the parts and a Seaking and a S-62 drawing found on the Internet, seen below:

The New Ray port S-61 fuselage super imposed on the S-62 drawing is seen above with very thin lines and also in grey below:

The main fuselage for a S-62 is shorter and the tail rotor mast at another angle.

  • Important was first the cross section: the largest main fuselage width would be about 67 mm. The Newray toy looked OK thankfully!. 
  • Between the cockpit section and the engine front a fuselage plug of 10 mm had to be removed. This looked OK as the S-61 Seaking was indeed lengthened here as compared to the S-61. 
  • The main fuselage on this kit was too short of a S-61 Seaking but long enough for a S-62 (as seen above on the photo). Removing a section of 25 mm of the mid fuselage section and 10 mm at the front seemed required. 
  • The New Ray tail section for a S-61 Seaking was way to short but OK for a S-62. But S-62 required another shape for the tail rotor mast at another angle.
  • The S-62 had a single engine at port side, so removal of the right engine S-61 fairing was needed. Also the fairing needed some adjustment at the rear.
  • The side floating sponsons seemed usable but a whole new single main wheeled undercarriage at the rear of the sponson was needed.
  • The S-62 tail rotor has 2 simple blades of 83 mm total diameter.
  • A new S-62 horizontal stabilizer would have to be made. 
  • The S-62 had a 3-blade main rotor. The diameter varied depending on the engine. For the S-62A the blade length CenterLine-RotorTip would be about 190 mm in 1/32 scale. The New Ray rotor blades could be shortened, the blade chord looked accurate enough. 
  • A new main rotor hub and shorthened blades set at 60 degree angles was required. 
  • The main windscreen is very curved with just a few frames.
  • The main fuselage windows would have to be added with a passenger cabin interior.
So checking the main measurements, instead of making a 1/32 S-61 Seaking, a nice shorter 1/32 S-62 could be made. And I could have a 1/32 model of a S-62 as used by KLM NOORDZEE HELICOPTERS! This would required quite some conversion work on the New Ray toy, using the razor saw and loads of putty. But it seemed do able!

(please note that for those who have the S-62 KLM  Whirlybird kit: do not use its drawings for scale measurements. Use it only for decal placement!)

Starting the Build

Major razor saw work was done first. Here the orginal New Ray fuselage halves are seen:

Directly aft of the cockpit section a plug of 10 mm was removed. Aft of the main rotor fairing 25 mm mid-plug was removed. The rear of the tail rotor mast was cut off; it will be used to make new one.

Also, the starboard engine fairing was cut away.

A cut was also made below the lower cockpit windows to enable shaping and bending the forward bow. 

The other parts looked very well usable. The cockpit interior could use a little extra detail. Even the instrument panel has raised details! I did not bother to check all clockwork though.

The cabin windows were cut out and changed. In order to get a neat result, on the port side a whole rectangular section was removed. A single clear plastic was set in place and all edges puttied and sanded in shape. Masking the individual windows will later do the job. 
Re-enforcements strips were used from card to get stronger joints. The rear cabin got a floor and the sidewalls thin plastic strips to suggest sound insulation.

Some main assembly was done. 

The New Ray toy has metal screws and corresponding holes. Many were filled as well and puttied and sanded so they are not seen any more. A base grey coat was added first with the airbrush.
Some details were added in the cockpit and the instruments got black panels with grey switches and knobs. Later on, the seats will get some seatbelts made from painted tape. 

The main cockpit window has fewer frames on the S-62. First with sandpaper the thick frames were removed. After that, polishing with also polishing sticks was done. Frame insides were painted black. The holes in the upper windows will be "camouflaged" with the later transparant green varnish. 

Now the sponsons were tackled. They look OK for a S-62 but the attachment struts are different. Also the undercarriage leg with a big single main wheel is located at the rear of the sponson. Also the rear cut off tail rotor mast is seen and will be re-used.

On to next [ Page 2....

Back to 1/32 models

3KB back to home
(c) Copyright Meindert "designer"/ All rights reserved. Your comments are welcomed by  webmaster

Created this page
November 12, 2014