Earlier this year DMG was asked to construct a model of the KIOWA Light Observation Helicopter. The model was ordered in addition to an ARH-1 TIGER model that had been ordered, so the KIOWA was also constructed in 1:48 scale. Both were presents for a KIOWA pilot who is now training for the TIGER Helicopter.
The KIOWA is a modified ITALERI Kit purchased from Great Models Webstore in the USA (great for finding hard to get kits - www.greatmodels.com ). The kit was built basically from the box with the addition of boarding steps, cable cutters on the top and bottom of the fuselage and some new communications aerials around the aircraft. To make the model a little more robust the rotor head of the main rotor was rebuilt in brass so that the rotor could be removed and replaced when moving the model around.
The model was painted in the standard tan, olive green and black colour scheme and decals for the aircraft were printed on a laser printer. A second model was constructed along with the first for a friend of our client who also flew the KIOWA and liked the idea of a model for his office.
In the last couple of years several more KIOWAs in 1:48 scale have been completed for other clients. The KIOWA has been replaced in 161 and 162 SQNs in Darwin with the ARH-1 TIGER now that they have all been delivered. Most of the KIOWAs are now flying at Oakey training future Army pilots with a group of them also based with 173 SQN at Holsworthy in Sydney. Another model has been delivered to the RAAF for display at RAAF AMBERLEY near Ipswich in Queensland. Further models are underway for some of the pilots who are flying the last of the KIOWAs in service.