Italeri has re-released it's 1/72 version of the MH-53E Sea Dragon. This helicopter, which is the largest and heaviest currently in operation with the US armed forces, fulfills the US Navy requirement for a long range minesweeper or airborne mine countermeasure missions while still being used for heavy lifting. So how does the model match up?
An initial scan of the parts upon opening the box will show a very crisply molded kit with plenty of detail including lots of rivets. There are 109 parts molded in light grey on three sprues and 11 clear parts molded on one sprue.
The cockpit shows a lot of raised detail, however the main cabin lacks detail. No matter as there are two ways of looking at this problem. Firstly, you will be able to see very little of the internals even with the rear access ramp down or, as in my case, it's an opportunity to scrath build an interior. One notable thing with this kit that Italeri deserves praise for is that each sprue is seprately bagged, ensuring the safety of the parts until you need to use them.
Putting it together is easy enough when you follow the 5 page instruction book. I'm glad to say the parts fit well without the need for too much filler. There are 6 acrylic paints included as is a brush, glue and decals for two versions, one US Navy the other Japanese JMSDF. This kit is suitable for experienced or even moderate builders.
Once completed it measures an impressive 39cm x 31cm and if, as I did you opt for the US Navy version in the dark grey, it certainly cuts an imposing figure. I have noticed there are a lot of aftermarket kits available for the airframe so it is possible to use this kit as the basis for another version from this family, but if you go with the straight out of the box version you won't be disappointed.
Italeri 1:72 MH-53E Sea Dragon # 1065