This is the MRC (now Academy) 1/35 scale OH-58D Kiowa Helicopter.
I chose this subject due to the fact that my future brother-in-law
currently flies the “D” model in South Korea for the U.S. Army. The
kit was a load of fun to build but I must warn you that it may be a
tough one for the weak at heart (I work in a biomedical company). My
number one issue with the kit was fitting the dreaded canopy. It had
a very difficult fit but with plenty of Tequila and a #11 blade,
you’ll be in good hands. I began this project in August 2002 and
finished January 2003. This kit has a load of detail!
Construction, Painting, and Markings
built this kit straight from the box. It had been many
years of no modeling so I was rusty at first. By the way, it was my
first time using an airbrush in scale modeling (thanks to Frank
Romano and Ricardo Rueda for their advice).
The kit began with the interior (cockpit, avionics, etc). I used
Model Master Aircraft Interior (basically lightened flat black) for
the entire interior. I added the pilot (yes, seated on the co-pilot
side) because I wanted to challenge myself to figure painting
(again, many thanks to Ricardo Rueda for the oil painting and
After the interior was completed, I then moved on to the engine. I
first painted the engine chrome silver then added the Burnt Umber,
Sienna, and copper wash to give it that worn look. From here, the
fuselage came together after putting all the interior, engine, and
guts inside. I airbrushed the entire chopper with Model Master Army
Helo Drab enamel. Tip for the wise – lighten your paint! The paint
came out not too shabby but displaying it indoors will result in a
dark looking object.
After the paint came the infamous Future over coat. Applying the
decals was a breeze, especially using the Micro Set/Sol systems
which gave it that painted on look. Weathering, dry-brushing, and
panel enhancement came after the decals where I ended up shooting a
coat of Testor’s Dull Cote.
Overall, this kit was fun but a challenge to build. If anyone is
interested in obtaining more details in the construction of this
helicopter, please don’t hesitate to contact me at