The Kaman SH-2 Seasprite is a ship-based helicopter. It has been typically used as a compact and fast-moving rotorcraft for utility and anti-submarine warfare missions.
Development of the Seasprite had been initiated during the late 1950s and in late 1957, Kaman was awarded a contract calling for the construction of four prototypes and an initial batch of 12 production helicopters
In 1962, the initial UH-2 model commenced its operational service with the U.S. Navy but the U.S. Navy quickly determined that the helicopter’s capabilities were greatly restricted by its single-engine.
Beginning in 1968, the Navy’s remaining UH-2As and Bs were extensively remanufactured including the replacement of their original single-engine arrangement with a more powerful twin-engine configuration, becoming the UH-2C.
ClearProp has 3 levels of kits, each requiring different skill levels of the builder. This kit is an ‘advanced’ kit which means there is some PE in the box.
The kit comes in a sturdy cardboard box with a more lightweight top that goes over the cardboard box top. All the parts are inside a resealable bag with various parts inside their own bags as well. The PE fret has a cardboard backing sheet. The packaging is very good. In the box we have:
- plastic parts – 92
- photoetched parts – 68
- 2 decal sheets
- full colour 20-page glossy paper instruction sheet
The level of detail is very nice and the main parts have fine recessed panel lines. The attachment points are small and they attach to the mating surfaces. There are alignment pins on the main parts of the fuselage and wings, unlike their earlier kits. There are colour call-outs throughout the build using the AMMO range of paints.
The kit is built in 22 steps over 12 pages.
- The build starts, like most aircraft, in the cockpit. We start by putting together the pilot’s seats. A simple plastic seat is enhanced with photo-etch seat belts and side panels. In the next step, we add the flying controls, instrument panel and center console to the cabin floor. The instrument panel and center console instruments are replicated using decor.
- On the next page, we start adding parts to the rear of the cabin floor. We start by adding the walls at the rear of the cockpit and the pilot’s seats are attached to them. In the next step, we had the passenger seats to the rear of the cabin along with a few small parts.
- The following page adds a few more small details to the rear of the cabin before we add the front and rear walls along with the cockpit overhead instrument panel. Again the instruments are replicated using Eccles.
- Over the page, we add the undercarriage bays to the underneath of the cabin floor and then drill 4 1 mm holes in the bottom of the fuselage.
- On the next page, we assemble the main part of the fuselage from four side pieces, top, bottom, port, and starboard sides. There are a couple of clear parts to go in during this stage. I’m not sure about the fuselage being made from 4 parts – seems like a lot of seams.
- The next page starts with assembling the engine cowling for the single-engine. There is blade detail to be seen on the engine intake and the exhaust is made from two halves so will need some careful work to eliminate the scenes. A resin engine exhaust is available separately. At the end of this page, we assemble to main undercarriage legs which each comprises five parts of plastic plus some small photo-etch details. Finally, we assemble the rescue hoist.
- The following page has us assemble the rest of the helicopter by bringing together the main fuselage, engine Cowling, two-part tail, the housing for the rotor driveshaft, and also the canopy and nose, and a couple of other small parts.
- Next, we work on the starboard side of the aircraft and add the undercarriage leg, stabiliser, cabin door, and a few other small parts.
- Next, we work on the port side of the aircraft and add similar parts to what we just added to the starboard side plus a few more photo-etch enhancements.
- On the next page, we work on the underneath of the helicopter adding tailwheel and assorted aerials under the helicopter and we start work on the rotor head by putting the first couple of parts together.
- The following page puts together the main rotor blades and the rotor head with quite a lot of small parts and small details to be added. They tell you the correct order in which to add the parts. Lastly, on this page, you put together the tail rotor.
- On the last page, you add the main and tail rotors to the aircraft along with what I believe to be floatation devices and some final small photo-etch parts.
The painting guide uses AMMO references and gives you 3 options, one grey, one orange, and one with a bit of both colours. Your 3 options are:
- UH-2A USS Oriskany 1968
- UH-2B USS Catskill 1968
- UH-2B NAS Atsugi 1965
This kit is available direct from us here for US$35.00 with free shipping. We’re also offering resin engine exhaust and/or painting masks.
Conclusion: This is a very nice kit with lots of fine details.