1/35 UH-60A Grenada (OP Urgent Fury) Build

I have started on another project I have wanted to do for a while. I am building an early UH-60A Black Hawk from Operation Urgent Fury, the US invasion of Grenada in Oct 1983. This was the first combat action the Black Hawk helicopter had seen, its baptism by fire. These early UH-60As had no wire strike kits, open exhaust, no ESSS wing attachments, no chaff buckets, M60D doorguns, etc.

Here is one in Grenada.
sik_s-70

So far, I have started a test to see if the open exhausts from one of Kitty Hawk’s Naval H-60s would fit onto an Academy fuselage. I want to use the Academy fuselage since it is a cleaner one and earlier than the Kitty Hawk H-60 fuselage. Kitty Hawk’s has a later transmission access panel on the starboard side and reinforcing strips on the tailboom and other areas. Academy’s fuselage is pretty clean with no extra (later) features.

I have the Kitty Hawk Naval HH-60H kit, which has the open exhausts as extra parts since it uses HIRSS exhausts like an Army H-60. I also had bought an extra KH MH-60L C sprue which contains all the other parts for the engine cowlings.

Here it is so far to show that the KH open exhausts and engine cowlings fit on the Academy fuselage. I did have to do some cutting and remove most of the Academy engine cowl parts. It will require a bit of filling and sanding to blend it all together, but a good start.

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Be a change to see a fairly naked Blackhawk without all the usual extra bits of weaponry hanging off it.

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Interesting piece there Gino- you don’t often seen models from Grenada so this is very interesting. Best of luck with the build.

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Thanks gents. I have wanted to do one of these for a while. I plan to add a crew and GIBs (Guys In Back) as well.

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What unit was using these in Grenada?

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82d ABN Combat Aviation Bde, 82d Aviation Bn. Only 2 companies (A & B) had UH-60As.

160th Aviation Battalion (predecessor to 160th SOAR) also had some early MH-60A “Velcro Hawks”.

The MH-60A was the first version of the Black Hawk series of helicopters designed to perform special operations. Built on the UH-60A transport helicopter and nicknamed the “Velcro Hawk”, it was created in the 1980s for the needs of special forces of the US Army and was called such since the mission-specific equipment was often attached temporarily with velcro to allow them to be added or removed as needed.

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Sweet subject choice! Will be doing one of the 82nd or 160th Blackhawks as your subject?

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82d Aviation Bn. I am not sure which Company yet, but I have references to engine cover markings for both.

I already did an MH-60A from Op Gothic Serpent a few years ago.

“IRENE!!” - OP Gothic Serpent (Black Hawk Down) MH-60A “Super 65”

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Work continues on the early UH-60A. I am using the Kitty Hawk MH-60L interior on it. A nice thing about the Kitty Hawk H-60 kits, like many other manufacturers, they add new sprues into the box of previous versions to get newer version. Often, this leaves you with extra, unused parts. The KH MH-60S is a navalized version of the Army UH-60. KH gives you all the MH-60L parts and then a few more sprues for the MH-60S-specific parts. You end up with a big box and lots of parts left over. The extra parts include most of the UH-60 interior, including the floor plate, ceiling, and seats. This fixes the weakest part of the Academy kit, the poorly detailed interior parts.

Here it is so far. I made the yaw pedals from left over PE as I couldn’t find all the Academy ones. I also used the Academy collectives and cyclic sticks. I added some button and knob details to the collectives.

I also used the instrument panel and center console from the Werner’s Wings UH-60A/L backdate set. The crew chief’s consoles/stowage bins on the back of the pilots’ seats from an old Cobra Company UH-60 Update set.

Close up of the excellent Werner’s Wings analog UH-60A/L instrument panel. It looks really great.

I am using a pair of gunner’s side panels/A and B pillar interior parts left over from a Warner’s Wings UH-60 MedEvac conversion. I added some left over PE side panel details and vent boxes onto them. I also closed in the KH ceiling with thin styrene to represent the the cloth coverings on the ceiling and rear panel.


The KH interior also fits into the Academy fuselage almost perfectly. It actually fits better than into the KH fuselage, which is very tight and almost impossible to close up without gaps. You have to sand down the sides of the floor and ceiling to get them to fit cleanly into the KH fuselage.


Work continues. Painting and detailing the interior items is next.

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Nice start !

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Thanks Jeff.

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Over the weekend I was able to get the interior painted.

I added drain lines to the transmission drip pan on the ceiling. I also detailed the fabric panels with fasteners and added the H-bar and center bar for the crew chief and troop seats.

On the floor I added the anti-slip strips in black and first aid kits to the backs of the pilots’ seats. I also added individual instrument decals from a 1/32 jet IP decal sheet to dress up the IP.


I also fixed the yaw pedals. I realized they were backwards and corrected them by flipping them around so that the center bar is in front of the PE backplate.

I also added the Academy door interior decals to KH doors.

Here are the gunners side panels / A & B pillar interiors. I added fire extinguishers to them. I also added fabric panels to the rear side walls using sheet styrene.

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Next up I will assemble the crew chief and troop seats and add them to the interior, along with the pilots, crew chiefs, and a few troopers in the back.

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Interior is coming along great and the instrument panel looks great with that detailing.

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Thanks John. I like how it is coming along.

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First time I ever crashed in one was on the island of Spice.

That sucks. What unit? Any pics or info on UH-60As from the time period? More references are always welcomed.

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It appears both UH-60As w/seats and w/out seats were seen in Grenada. I have seen pics of both ways, like below.

The question is how to do the troops in the back. I am leaning toward no seats and guys hanging out the doors. Opinions??

As posted above w/seats.

1/35 UH-60A Grenada (OP Urgent Fury) Build - Rotary Wing - KitMaker Network

And w/out seats.

File:UH-60A In Flight Over Grenada Wikimedia Commons, 50% OFF

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What sort of fig options do you have for troops in the rear? Personally I think it would like pretty cool with the troops hanging out of the doors.

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Hi Karl. I too like the troops hanging out the doors and am going with that option. I will be bashing some figures together form various sets and using some 3D printed M16A1s with 30 rd magazines. Not a lot of kit options for early '80s figures out there. However, most of the Dragon ODS-era figures can be used with the added M16A1s w/30 rd mags.

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Sounds good :+1:!

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