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Ralph_S

MOC: OH-58D Kiowa Warrior

12 posts in this topic

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The Bell OH-58D Kiowa Warrior is an armed reconnaissance helicopter used by the US Army.

I started building a Kiowa Warrior more than a year ago, on the scale I use for most of my helicopters and aircraft, 1/36. I didn't have much luck with it. The forward fuselage was only five studs wide, the canopy frame looked too thick, as did the landing gear. I scrapped it.

Building my SH-14D Lynx a while ago to a scale of 1/22 as well as some of the US Army vehicles made me revisit the idea to build a Kiowa, but now built to this larger scale as well. The Kiowa is a military development of the famous Bell Jetranger, which is still evident from the shape of the fuselage. The Kiowa Warrior was developed to complement the AH-64A Apache. The mast-mounted sight enabled the helicopter to detect targets at a long distance, with the helicopter itself remaining hidden from view behind trees, for instance, and could guide Apaches or their Hellfire missiles to the targets it found. Operations with armed versions of the Kiowa developed for use in the 'tanker war' against the Iranian Navy in the Persian Gulf in 1988 were so successful that the army decided to upgrade all Kiowa Warriors, allowing them to carry their own weapons on two stub pylons. My model is fitted with two Hellfires and a missile pod

One of the most difficult issues I faced when building this helicopter was getting the shape of the cockpit windows and the chin bubbles right. I have often used transparent non-LEGO plastic for this sort of thing, but I wanted a purist solution. Unfortunately LEGO don't make windscreens that fit, so instead I decided to sculpt the shape using transparent slopes, plates, tiles and jumper plates. Expensive and difficult, but well worth it IMO.

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Another tricky bit was the mast-mounted sight. At first I looked at using a 'Bram sphere'. Looking at various spheres with 2x2x2 stud centres I realised that I might be able to use interlocking slopes instead of plates. The sphere is held together by a 2x4 plate on the front, the 2x2 round plate at the bottom and a few T-pieces that hold together the Daleks/ Travis bricks inside.

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I'm happy that after more than a year I finally have my Kiowa. I hope you'll like it too.

Cheers,

Ralph

Edited by Rufus
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AWESOME 'Ralph_S' flamin' AWESOME ! :laugh:

The detail is just over the top fantastic from the rocket pods to the Bram Sphere ! :devil:

Dude you are a MOC master ! :grin:

I can't wait to see your next creation !

I'm a conformist! 'Ralph_S' I'm a conformist! ! :sweet:

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AWESOME 'Ralph_S' flamin' AWESOME ! :laugh:

The detail is just over the top fantastic from the rocket pods to the Bram Sphere ! :devil:

Dude you are a MOC master ! :grin:

I can't wait to see your next creation !

I'm a conformist! 'Ralph_S' I'm a conformist! ! :sweet:

Thank you. The sphere was actually the first bit I built. I knew that if I couldn't get it right, I'd scrap the whole project or perhaps switch to building a civilian Jetranger. My next creation is very likely to be a minifig scale WW-II F4U Corsair fighter.

BTW, military creations don't appear to be very popular around here.

Cheers,

Ralph

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Great work! :wub: As usual you've completely nailed it. You've even included the cable cutters! :laugh:

Have you ever tried posting a MOC without saying what it is supposed to be? I bet people would have no trouble knowing what it was.

BTW, military creations don't appear to be very popular around here.

Perhaps. I think it's more the scale; many AFOLs don't care much for MOCs that don't fit figs.

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Great work! :wub: As usual you've completely nailed it. You've even included the cable cutters! :laugh:

Have you ever tried posting a MOC without saying what it is supposed to be? I bet people would have no trouble knowing what it was.

Thanks. I actually thought about doing it this time around, but figured that if the title of the topic were to read 'big military helicopter' people would be more likely to think it was rubbish than if I was specific about what it was.

BTW, military creations don't appear to be very popular around here.

Perhaps. I think it's more the scale; many AFOLs don't care much for MOCs that don't fit figs.

Obviously my sampling is limited, but many of my MOCs are much bigger than minifig scale (my cars) and are popular, while the minifig scale military MOCs I build often sink like a stone. Mind you, I'm not complaining. It's always nice to get responses, even if there aren't many. I just wonder whether it's a general thing or whether I'm doing something wrong.

Cheers,

Ralph

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I think it's a Eurobricks thing, depending on where you post it it can get more or less comments IMHO.

Anyways this is a beautiful piece of work Ralph the cockpit in particular looks good, it's nice you opted to put more some more effort into it rather than just using plastic sheets. Lots of excellent detail all around the helicopter as well :thumbup: .

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Wow, great Kiowa Ralph. Really identifiable even without the mast mounted sight, the shape is just spot on. I love all the little details too, right down to the wire cutters.

Laurie

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I think it's a Eurobricks thing, depending on where you post it it can get more or less comments IMHO.

You are probably right. To me Eurobricks somehow is much more 'town friendly'.

Anyways this is a beautiful piece of work Ralph the cockpit in particular looks good, it's nice you opted to put more some more effort into it rather than just using plastic sheets. Lots of excellent detail all around the helicopter as well :thumbup: .

Thank you. The plastic was and always has been a compromise. If and when I feel I can use a purist option that will look at least as good as the plastic, I'll go for the purist option. The bulbous shape of the canopy and the chin bubbles would have made using plastic rather difficult as well. All in all this seemed like the nicest solution. I am glad you agree.

Wow, great Kiowa Ralph. Really identifiable even without the mast mounted sight, the shape is just spot on. I love all the little details too, right down to the wire cutters.

Laurie

The various bits and bobs that make this thing looks so alien -including the wire cutters- was part of what made this build fun. It;s nice to know such little details are spotted. Thank you. I appreciate it.

Cheers,

Ralph

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Excellent work, Ralph!

I prefer more your non-military MOCs, but this one is very interesting, I like to see something like this, for a change.

EB is definitely more for the minifig size vehicles and buildings.

I know how much work you have put in this creation! Keep building like this, man!

I like when someone has so much patience for details and overall shape of the model!

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once again, another great MOC ralph. great job on capturing the kiowa's curves. i am a big fan of your military MOCs, so keep churning them out. :thumbup:

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The various bits and bobs that make this thing looks so alien -including the wire cutters- was part of what made this build fun. It;s nice to know such little details are spotted. Thank you. I appreciate it.

The details are absolutely awesome, Ralph. Every nav light, beacon and aerial is on there. I like the red countermeasures turret, the shape of the mounting is excellent. For greebles, this is a great helicopter, despite the relatively blank fuselage. You've got all the curves and intakes that differentiate this from a standard OH-58 or a civilian B-206 spot on. I really do like this helicopter :laugh:

Laurie

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Excellent work, Ralph!

I prefer more your non-military MOCs, but this one is very interesting, I like to see something like this, for a change.

EB is definitely more for the minifig size vehicles and buildings.

I know how much work you have put in this creation! Keep building like this, man!

I like when someone has so much patience for details and overall shape of the model!

Thank you. Every on-line community has a somewhat different focus and I definitely get the feeling that this site indeed is a bit more town and pirate-oriented. Not a problem though, since I've turned to building that sort of thing more and more in the last few years. I still think of myself first and foremost as a military builder though. I'm glad you like it.

once again, another great MOC ralph. great job on capturing the kiowa's curves. i am a big fan of your military MOCs, so keep churning them out. :thumbup:

Thanks. I'm sure to build more military MOCs in the next months and when I do, I'm sure to share them with Eurobricks. :thumbup:

The details are absolutely awesome, Ralph. Every nav light, beacon and aerial is on there. I like the red countermeasures turret, the shape of the mounting is excellent. For greebles, this is a great helicopter, despite the relatively blank fuselage. You've got all the curves and intakes that differentiate this from a standard OH-58 or a civilian B-206 spot on. I really do like this helicopter :laugh:

Laurie

Awesome. Thanks. The Kiowa always struck me as the evil mutant brother of the JetRanger. Obviously all the greebly bits help to give it that look, as does the mast mounted sight, but the much larger engine housing and way the engine exhaust is hidden also have a big impact in making it look so much meaner somehow. I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but whenever I build any scale model, I always spend quite a bit of time gathering pictures of the real thing. It's a big part of the fun. I'm glad that the effort shows. :classic:

Cheers,

Ralph

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