The US Army has been conducting Medical Evacuation (MedEvac) operations using helicopters since the Korean War when a couple of boards were strapped onto the skids of an H-13 Sioux, better known as the Bell 47. This helicopter was brought into everyone's living room with the hit show M*A*S*H. Once the concept of MedEvac was proven, purpose-built conversion kits were developed to transform standard helicopters into flying ambulances. Through the Vietnam War, the main MedEvac helicopter was the ubiquitous UH-1 Huey. Daring MedEvac pilots flew their birds in some of the most dangerous areas to get the wounded back to medical care quickly. Here, they earned their motto, “When I have your wounded…,” meaning they would not give up until they had all the wounded aboard. The UH-60 Blackhawk replaced the Huey in the role of battlefield MedEvac in the early ‘80s and continues to do the job well today.
The latest version to fill the role of stateside MedEvac is the UH-72A Lakota. The Lakota is an off the shelf, license built Eurocopter EC-145 built in the US and modified to fit the needs of the US Army for stateside employment; meaning it is not meant for combat operations. It is designed to be a stateside only helicopter used mainly by the Army National Guard for MedEvac and general utility purposes. So far, it is filling that role well.
Werner’s Wings has released a great conversion kit to convert one of Revell’s 1/32 EC-145 kits (Rega or ADAC boxing) into a US Army UH-72A Lakota MedEvac helicopter. This set was mastered by Joseph Szczygielski and he has done a fine job on it. The set makes it relatively easy to make the UH-72A MedEvac. There is no cutting or modifying the basic helicopter, just the addition of the MedEvac interior and a few other parts and you have a great-looking Lakota MedEvac.
The sturdy paper card box contains 24 parts cast in light gray resin. The parts are bagged to keep them from being damaged during shipping. Also included is a nicely done sheet of instructions with descriptions and clear pictures to assist in assembly. The instructions are clearly written and have good illustrations for parts placement location. The assembly steps follow a logical sequence and also include pictures of actual UH-72A Lakota MedEvac as references.
The individual parts are sharply cast and have a thin layer of flash between most of the parts. The flash is not an issue though, as it can easily be trimmed. The parts look awesome. The finest detail of dials and buttons on the medical monitors is exquisite. There are no real downfalls to the set. It has all the major pieces of the MedEvac interior to include the two, large clam-shell doors with nicely blanked off windows; two open stretchers with legs; three folded seats and a seat support; two finely detailed oxygen bottles; two wire strike cutters for the front of the skids; two different sized cargo bags; a small blade antenna; the rescue hoist hook; and four medical monitors with their mounts. All of these parts are generally flash-free and are very nicely cast.
The assembly is pretty simple with just attaching the interior parts to the walls and floors as shown in the instructions. The bags can be placed where you like to finish off the interior.
You can pair this set with the equally nice Fireball Modelworks Plastic Fantastic 1/32 scale UH-72A Lakota decals (FMD-25-32). This set includes two MedEvac versions, along with four others. You can check them out at the Fireball Models website
I highly recommend this kit. Overall the kit looks very nice. The interior parts are nicely detailed, finely cast, and relatively free of flash. Assembly is straight-forward and with no noted problem areas. The MedEvac interior is a great addition to make a UH-72A Lakota MedEvac out of the EC-145 kit. I see no major flaws in the kit, its dimensions, or details. Another winner for Werner’s Wing! Bravo!!