BLOG: Kitty Hawk 1/35 SH-60B Seahawk

I changed the seat belt color to comply with the images Gino posted.

While doing this I must have put some pressure on the right rudder pedal on the co-pilot’s side and broke the tiny plastic pin holding it to the base. I drilled the pedal and base with the 0.010" drill for some High-E Guitar String. Here’s what that ridiculously small drill looks like. They’re so brittle and fragile that it’s quite easy to break them taking them out of their little holder box, or if you exert any side pressure at all.

I re-installed the pedal with the wire, but it’s a little long. I’m leaving it as it is.

It was time to finish the interior starting with the cockpit end bulkhead and some other appurtenances along with the overhead control panel. It seems like the trottle controls are overhead.

I then went an painted all the controls. There’s a decal for this, but there’s so much raised detail that I felt hand painting was okay.

There were two more seats that needed construction. As I noted before, I’m not happy with the engineering of these seats. They’re attempting to make scale-sized members, but that gives no gluing surface and some of the cross-sections can’t sustain themselves.

A perfect example is the ceiling supports that literally hold this seat into the aircraft cabin. The plastic narrows down to probably less than 0.020" and I broke two before I got one built and even then it broke when I glued it into the ceiling.

To hold it steady I sat a steel angle block on it.

As it is I now see that it shifted on the wall mount when I used med CA to hold it in place. Notice the pressurized gas cylinder that I piped into the Sonabuoy launcher.

But as you’lll see, the extrerioir wall completely hides this seat so no harm no foul.

That’s not glued in yet. I did do some trim painting on the other side, which also is impossible to view. You can just see it looking in the window on the opposite side of the cabin. Haven’t seen images of this wall and really don’t know what the coloration, but it isn’t visible.


Beautiful work so far. I have the same kit so I will follow along and learn few things :grin:

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If you need that corrected part HD33 let me know and we can work something out.


Today began the building of the ResKit T700 turbomachinery. As much as I was looking forward to this, the build is going to be very challenging for me. They want you to put in all this piping, but you have drill all the holes yourself. That’s that dastardly 0.010" carbide drill. I broke three and still have a lot more holes to drill. They’re $1.75 each so those are some expensive holes, but there’s really no other way to create .3mm holes in resin without drilling them, or so it seems to me. I was happy that I was able to remove the sprue block without difficulty starting with the Dremel Flexi-shaft and a pointy diamond coated burr. It beat trying to finagle using some saw or another to do it.

I started using some 0.010" brass wire, and you’ll see how it worked. I then started using piano wire (High-E guitar string). It’s really tough material and if you bend it wrongly, you’re screwed, but it holds it shape very well. You cannot cut this with normal sprue cutters. The steel is harder than the jaws and will leave nice half-moon grooves in the cutters. You must use hard wire cutters.

I drilled a test hole and tried out the brass wire. If fit nicely.

I started laying in piping based on the instructions. The instructiions show four pipes going to a small block on the left side. There was no way to drill that at all, let alone put four small holes or one large one. Insteaad, I milled a slot down the middle using the burr. Even with that, getting three lines terminated there was sub-optimal. I ended up building the block up with some Bondic. I reshape that when all the lines are there.

When I could drill holes for the piping I did. There was a very fine pair of PE pieces function of which I have no idea, that went into a tiny groove around the circumferance. It’s a very thin PE and I continually kept bending these little protrusion over. I found one that already broke off. If all broke off I don’t think anyone will miss it.

And here’s where I left it tonight. As you can see I started using the piano wire on some of the piping. I think the curves are too high, and it’s not exactly the way it supposed to look. There’s a lot more piping that needs to go on. These engines are advanced models all to themselves. The arrow points to the Bondic expanded block.

Tomorrow work will continue.


Nice detail in that chunk of resin! :mag:

Seems like the slightest hint of grab will snap them. Just the other day, I broke two carbide bits while drilling into styrene and my problem was compounded as they stayed inside the part!

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The engine is looking good. Keep at it.

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Glad you like it, but there were things I didn’t like (and still some more). First of all, here’s a shot of the instructions showing some of the challenges.

With the gauge wire I’m using there was no way to stuff three or four pipes into the tiny resin aspects that they’re telling you to do. After my futile attempts to grind them and smash the wiring into them with Bondic resin, I decided to eliminate them and redo them, albeit larger.

The cylinder on the left was a molded part, and the bracket on the right was actually an added part. There were no holes or slots in either and putting them in was nearly impossible.

To facilitate threading the piping through the new blocks I used some Albion micro-brass tubing. Here’s the tubing slide onto the brass wire. BTW: the source of the brass wire was a woven nest around the bottle of some Italian or Spanish wine. Wine bottles are a great source of modeling supplies including the foils that wrap their tops. And they have the added benefit of providing pleasure. It’s a win-win!

This image also shows the three holes drilled to accept the tubing. I made a silly mistake. I thought I was drilling them with the correct 0.020" carbide drill, but had a 0.032" drill, so the holes were oversize. Later I realized my mistake and used the correct size. In the foreground is a reject block where the holes joined together.

Here’s the information on the Albion Tubing. Chuck Wallace uses this in his super-detailing work and I really like it. I cut it with a new single-edged razor with the tubing thread over a piece of High-E guitar string. This captivates the little buggers which are prone to go into the ether with the slightest provocation. Use a hard wire to hold the cut pieces. If you use brass, the wire will cut along with the tubing and create a problem you don’t need. You don’t have to press too hard. Look at the reflection of the tubing in the razor as you roll it back and forth. Keep the reflection pointing straight back as if it were the same piece to ensure your cutting squarely and not cutting a spiral.

I believe for this application I’m using the .6mm tubing.

For the rear teminus, I drilled a piece of 3/64 Evergreen styrene. Four pipes go into this. I don’t know how ResKit expects the builder to terminate the wire without holes to go into. I am sensitive that these blocks are about 2X oversize, but I really couldn’t deal with them any smaller.

I really didn’t like how the piano wire was laying. The loops were too large AND I couldn’t bend them much tighter. That stuff is really tough.

The fact that they’re already nice and shiny didn’t matter since the entire engine’s going to be painted including the piping.

So I pulled them all out and substitiuted them with the brass of the same gauge.

And the reverse view. You see another small block that substituted for a tiny bump through which that pipe was supposed to pass. Really?!

More crazy PE had to go on. I lost a few of these. What made it worse, when removed from the fret, they were to wide at the base so I have to clip their corners with a #11 blade, and that was particularly not fun!

Some of this detail is nonesense at this scale. I would like it better if it were 1/32 or even better at 1/24. It is astonishing to me that a turbine can produce 1,900 hp and weigh less than 500 pounds. They’re really quite small.

Another set of pipes goes around the perimeter from points in the circumference and then through that bracket. I removed the kit part and substituted another drilled block supported on a piece of Phos-bronze wire. The kit calls out .2mm wire for this run and I’m using the equivalent of .3mm. I think I have some magnet wire that has a smaller diameter and could replace this too. The piping is not too hard to rip out and fix.

Getting that brass to lay nicely is like herding cats!

That’s brings us up to date. See y’all on Monday!


Yup, fun with copper wire. Gotta love it.

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Oh yeah! I just love it. But, hey, I could have stuck with the kit motor.
Happy Monday!

My wife and I have a deal that I don’t work in the shop on weekends, so for me, Monday is actually a pretty happy day.

I literally spent hours doing a very few things. This is bordering on watchmaking or creating Fabergé eggs. I found that that my magnet wire is a few thou smaller in diameter than the brass wire so I replaced Friday’s harness. It’s a bit better. It’s still a little larger gauge (2.4mm vs. 2mm) than specified in the instructions.

Next up. There was a ridiculously fragile resin ring that is the fuel manifold (I presume). It broke two times and I gave up on it. Some things are best not cast in resin. There’s also a bunch of piping that is going to be replaced one-by-one as I get to them. If you can get them off the casting block you’re still left with the challenge of re-shaping them so they’re round.

I made a new ring out of 0.022" phos-bronze. It wasn’t fully rounded yet in this image.

I placed the engine in my PanaVise to stabilize it while I glued the new ring in place touching each of the fuel injector sites.

The accessory drive was comprised of three castings. They’re fragile and exemplified by my breaking one in half. There are some alignment pins on some of the parts. Unfortunately they don’t fit their corresponding holes. I ended up sanding them off.

Gonna be a lot of fun painting all these details.

There was another very small/fragile cast pipe array that held a pump in place. The pump DOES NOT actually glue to the gear box, but instead, is completely held in space by two pipes; this elaborate longer one, and a very tiny insignicant small one. My first attempt was to use the resin long pipe. Notice I used some Phos-bronze wire to replace the almost-non-existent resin locating pin. The other pipe was a tiny resin elbow that I also replaced with metal.

The longer pipe broke so I replace it too. I left the 90° part which had the fitting.

There were some electrical boxes that went on next. Working on styrene kits is much more predictable since many of these pieces went into approximate locations. Here’s the diamond burr I use to remove resin parts from their sprue blocks. It gives great control, much better than using a blade or razor saw.

But wait! There’s more! There was this wiring harness as laid out in the instructions.

In a previous step they had you glue together the two resin branches. Yeah! Like that was gonna happen? They’re actually telling you that brass wire should connect some how to the various points of this resin assembly.

Here’s how those parta looked on the sprue block.

I didn’t even attempt to use them. Instead I first tried to use some 28 gauge wire sheathing with the correct number of pipes as shown, but this wasted 1/2 hour of my time and produced basically nada. I then decided to go a little over-scale and use shrink tubing. This is on the aircraft side of the engine and probably won’t be visible with the open cover on the model. It was much easier to use the shrink tubing. I didn’t get all the terminations done by quitting time. I suppose I could use some small brass tubing to do this. I will think about it… This is a bit clunky! The beauty of scratch-building is I can do it over and over until I get it right.


Short session today. I am now declaring that the piping of this baby is done. Some of the piping isn’t… it’s wiring. In fact, that thing I struggled with the last piece yesterday is actually a wiring harness that’s just wrapped with yellow tape in the prototype. I actually thought about ways to recreate this effect then dropped the entire idea when I reminded myself that this is on the back side of the engine and won’t be seen by anyone excpet, me, the creator.

Creating that wrapped harness in 1:35 would be an interesting challenge, but I’m not going there because of my above rationalization. There’s lots of different colors in this little model.

Here’s my final rendition before I finish the last little bits (engine mounts).

I tried the model out in the plastic kit part that captures the engine on both ends. On the exhaust end it’s okay, but on the intake end I have to remove the nice flange that surrounds the intake bell as pointed out by the arrow.


Today, albeit in a short session, I actually did complete the T700 build with the addition of engine mounts, the bleed air duct (I’m assuming that’s what it is), and some more resin piping. This piping was more robust so I was able to work with it. One I fastened with a piece of guitar string.

My new drills arrived. I ordered 0.012" instead of 0.010" and a slightly shorter length. This makes the drill just a little more robust and a slightly larger hole to make it easier to slip the skinny wire in. The 0.010" was just too tight a fit and the wire would often bend over when trying to insert.

I removed the flange around the exhaust duct with the Dremel.

I then tried it out and was rewarded with a nice tight fit.

I was only able to get one resin engine mount assembly to work and used one of the kit mounts to substitute. I put all the other remaining items on the engine and CA’d it to the bulkhead. I hope I won’t regret that step when I get to painting it. I like that it’s now captivated and is much more secure to hold onto it. Also, I’ll be able to paint over all the excess CA that seems to be floating around.

Tomorrow, I’ll build the kit left-hand engine and get ready to paint them. While I’m aware of all the not-so-hot things in this engine build, when you look at it from normal observing distance, it looks pretty cool.


That looks really nice. Great job.

You are a far braver man than I, Gunga Din. That’s a really spectacular looking bit of kit, and I would be shocked if anyone who hasn’t actually wrenched on one could spot many of your ‘not-so-hot things’ without a lot of references in front of them.

Another option for the drill would be one made from high speed steel ( HSS ) . They’re surprisingly flexible before breaking , the downside is they are straight shanks so you need a pin vise or drill chuck that will close down to the particular diameter.

That’s a correct proposition, but I haven’t found any below #80. The one’s I’m using are #86 and #85 respectively. When they’re this small, all of them seem to break, especially with my not-so-steady, 76 year-old hands. I will have to go through this exercise all over again, since there’s a raft of piping on the AM RevKit main rotor. The Navy version with the folding blades really complicates things a lot.

I guess my point is avoid carbide all together & get a #61 to 80 drill index

you certainly don’t need something as hard as carbide for drilling holes in resin. I’ll try to track down where I got my .010 bits from.

I have that exact set, it was cheap and has been a trusty companion for a few years. I also have a pack of straight shank #90 bits I found on some machining site. They are poor quality and break easily but I have a ton and they get the job done with wood and plastic. Seems like if you’re willing to buy a whole bunch of the same size you can get anything between #80 and #90+ in HSS straight shank, but then you also have to find a pin vise that can hold them. For what its worth, I often just secure #90s in the pin vise with a drop of CA.


Here’s one option, .25mm metric equivalent to .010 " Precision Twist Drill 0.25 mm 2A Jobber Drill 016225, Right Hand Cut, Bright Finish, 19 mm Overall Length, 4 x D Standard Spiral Flute, High-Speed Steel |

I have that index and two other of the plastic dome variety. I always break the ones I use most. I like the idea of buying them in bulk and the .25 mm is a good idea also. Meanwhile, going up just a tad to 0.012" from 0.010" made them just a bit stronger and I bought 20 of them.

I had to replace another resin pipe that broke and will need to replace one more. They’re really fragile! This one was a challenge since it winds its way around the oil filler cap and then through an opening in the cool end bulkhead.

Started getting the engine bay together. Found some images showing their internal color. As best as I can tell it’s basically the same gray as the exterior with a lot of dirt. I mounted the kit engine on its front and back supports. I also fit the ResKit engine and found that one of the resin pipes and one of my mods interfered with the inner wall. You can just make it out in this image.

I relieved the wall in these spots and got a good fit.

I didn’t glue the ResKit side in now. Instead I primed it and will do the engine painting before encloising it. I will be spraying the entire kit side with the interior color. It will be closed up so the engines only there to hold the bulkheads in place.

While waiting for the primer to dry I started the next super-challenge in this build: the ResKit Main Rotor kit. Here’s what it looked like in the box. If you look closely you can see the rotor hubs parts attached to their sprue block. They’re the cylindrical pieces.

These pieces were VERY DIFFICULT to remove from the sprue. The attached face has the 1/4 cylinder of the central shaft hole. Not only is it a finished round surface, it’s also canted from the perpendicular since the entire rotor head arms have an upward pitch. Then to make matters worse, the four quadrants go together with pin and hole arrangement, but the pin was right in the cutting path you follow to remove the sprue block. I used the needle burr and removed most of the material and then a round burr to re-shape the openning. And I removed half of the pins in the process.

I decided that all the resin pins had to go and replaced them with 1/32" phos-bronze.

I got the four parts together as I figured they should go using gel and thin CA. I then went through the hole with a series of drills spun by hand to open it up and round it. It’s still a tad tight on the shaft so one more drill size to get the slip fit I want. Press fits can break the joints. Any slight misalignment will be hidden by the blades in the folded position.

I’d love to make a diorama with service being done to this bird and would like to find some 1/35 green shirt characters to fill it out. Any suggestions?

Also found an image showing an engine that’s been in service. Good color study.


Looking better by the day.

Reedoak out of France does 1/35 3D printed figures that include USN Pilots, Deck Crewmen, and Mechanics. They look awesome, I have a few for future projects.!/1-35/c/13281305/offset=20

Here are a few painted up in a dio, not by me. This is a former work by Rotorman over at ARC.

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