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 every ones 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 bird 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 latest incarnation of the air ambulance is the UH-60 Blackhawk. The Blackhawk replaced the Huey in the early ‘80s. The Blackhawk MedEvac has a central litter carrousel that can rotate 360 degrees to make patient care and loading/unloading easier. It can carry 4 litter patients, 4 ambulatory patients in seats along the back wall, plus a crew of 2 pilots and 2 crew chiefs/medics. It also has integrated oxygen bottles and IV holders on the carrousel. The UH-60 MedEvac saves lives everyday in Iraq, Afghanistan, and stateside.
Following up on their great 1/35 UH-60 MedEvac interior set, Werner’s Wings has released a great conversion kit to convert any 1/48 UH-60 kit into a UH-60 MedEvac helicopter. This has been a long sought after conversion. A couple modelers have done the conversion from scratch in larger scales and found it is a big job. This set was mastered by Joseph Szczygielski and he has done a fine job on it. The set makes it relatively easy to make a 1/48 UH-60 MedEvac. There is no cutting or modifying of the basic helicopter, just the addition of the litter carrousel and a few other parts and you have a great-looking Blackhawk MedEvac.
The sturdy paper card and Ziploc baggie contain 11 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-60 MedEvac Hawks as references. For further reference, check out my UH-60 MedEvac walkaround
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 rivets on the carrousel and the fine folds of the litters are exquisite. There are no real downfalls to the set. It has all the major pieces of the litter carrousel, litter trays, litters, and O2 bottle. It also has an extra part that is commonly seen on these helicopters; a nicely cast, very thin back board.
The assembly is pretty simple with just attaching the litter trays to the carrousel in either the down or folded position. There is also the transmission drip pan with the mounting bracket for the carrousel on it. This piece is pretty nice. It does have one imperfection though. The raised round disks should actually be recesses and have latches on them. This is how the drip pan is attached. It is a pretty easy fix though by drilling out the raised disks and adding the latch detail inside them. Other than that, the only other modifications are the option of drilling out the O2 cylinder hole on the carrousel or not and there should be holes on the ends of the litter racks centered on the triangular support arms, again, an easy fix.
This set pairs perfectly with Werner’s Wings 1/48 UH-60 Blackhawk - Workhorse of the Army decal sheet (WW 48-03). This set includes 7 MedEvac schemes, along with 14 other options and a full set of stencils for 1 aircraft.
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 any Blackhawk kit. I see no major flaws in the kit, its dimensions, or details. Another winner for Werner’s Wing! Bravo!!