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Westland Sea King Mk.41

by Hajo L. (1:72 Revell)

As a boy who grew up in northern germany the sound and sight of helicopters was quite familiar. Living at the edge of the iron curtain (luckily the western side) the Alouette IIs, Bell 212s and Pumas of the German Border Police (Bundesgrenzschutz) flew by at least at a daily routine, patrolling the inner-german border. Another helo I saw now and then was the Seaking of the German Navy, who mostly appeared on flight shows of the local airfield:

When I moved to Kiel, where these Seakings are based since the mid 1970ies, the sight of one of these helicopters was very common, and the last year I spent in Kiel I even lived near their homebase so that their traffic pattern routinely led over my house.

Of course I have three models of the workhorse of German naval aviation, and liked the modern three-tone camouflage a lot. The earlier scheme, called “Norm 76”, when they wore dark grey with high-viz day-glo orange, always seemed odd to me – who would paint a military aircraft like a bulls eye?!?!
However, since my collection of german Seakings was lacking the “old scheme”, I decided to do one of my still unbuilt kits in this scheme.

There are not too many changes necessary to show the german Seaking in it´s earlier version. Of course I left the radome at the bow and all ESM-sensors away, as well as some other antennae. I also changed the blade's roots of the main rotor to show the old aluminium blades. I painted the model with Revell Acrylics, using 77 for the grey and 25 for the day-glo, of course the orange got a base of white before I painted it.

Decals are from HaHen and are of excellent quality, although they miss a couple of more or less prominent stencils, like the “Danger – Jet Intake” or a correct German naval aviation badge (the white roundel with the black anchor is too small). However, these decals gave the model the final touch.

And me, who always wondered about the strange scheme – I fell in love with it. This Seaking has got character! I can´t exactly tell why, but it´s the whole appearance.

Seakings with this scheme saved countless numbers of sailors who were in danger at sea, ferried food and emergency stuff during the snow catastrophe of 1978/79 and stood their watch in the struggle of the two political systems, protecting NATOs position in the Baltic Sea.

Today the Seakings may wear a grey uniform, but this proud Seaking we see here shows that they are protecting freedom and providing safety since 1975.

HAJO LIPPKE

Hajo L.

Published on 19. January 2012

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