Meng Models has released a AH-64D Apache Longbow Heavy Attack Helicopter in 1/35th scale and its worth taking a look at it.


This offering from Meng arrives in a  heavy card tray, with a separate lid. Inside the model parts are packaged individually for the most part. One aspect that did surprise me is that there are a number of loose items in the bags, which do not appear to have broken free. Moulding quality is as you would expect from Meng is very good. Access for part removal is also very good, however, I believe it would be next to impossible to remove all of the fine mouldings without one or two breakages. The instruction booklet is substantial, but I am pleased to say Meng has not over complicated assembly by trying to put too much onto each stage. 

Comparing mouldings to on-line images it would appear to indicate that detail wise Meng has done a very good job of replicating the features of the Apache. I would love to say that the detail provided covers the contents of the cockpit 100%, but I do not know the cockpit of the Apache very well and can only go by the on-line photographs which often leads to errors of judgement due to incorrectly listed photographs.. 

The fuselage of the helicopter is reproduced in 2 halves, covering almost completely from front to rear. There are a number of holes that need to be drilled, mostly in the tail boom. I am pleased to say that Meng has provided the drill sizes for the holes. The holes that you need to drill are indicated on the interior face of the boom, but you do need to look carefully to find them in some cases. The transmission for the main rotor is both pleasing and surprising, in that the parts required are not excessive in number but once brought together give a very pleasing appearance to what can be seen. 

Meng has provided a number of panels showing aspects of the avionics under the skin, and you have the option of having these exposed or not. Meng has also provided detailed painting options for these aspects, but I cannot guarantee the accuracy of what is provided. The surface detail on the exterior of the model is as you would expect, very well defined, and the areas that I checked revealed no obvious problems.

The turbine engines are another area of the model that has been well replicated, however, comparing to on-line images I was not able to identify all of the features on the model that are seen on the real thing. With that said, you have to bare in mind that changes over the life time of the Apache means that the changes made do not necessarily mean that the omitted details make the model in-accurate. 

It is worth mentioning that engines are supplied for both nacelles, and while the hatch access can be assembled in the open position the modeller may choose instead to leave the panel loose and so showing the engine at their pleasure. The canopy has good clarity, and Meng has also supplied masks for the  canopy. You are again supplied with the option of having the access hatches open or closed. A nice touch on the model is that the personal weapons are provided for stowage inside the cockpit. However, I always believed, that the personal weapons were in storage lockers on the exterior of the helicopter - but I guess I am wrong. 

The nose of the helicopter is where the multi directional avionics package is, enabling the helicopter to be utilised in all weather and to locate, identify and engage targets. Detail is crisp, and I cannot fault what is provided. Details such as screen wipers are detailed, the undercarriage is a simple design at least as regards what can be seen. However, what can be seen, looks accurate. It is without doubt the M230 chain gun that most people notice first, and this particular weapon is useful for taking on soft targets and light armour. All aspects of the weapon appear to have been faithfully reproduced, with the ammunition feed an aspect that I am particularly pleased to see. Moving towards the tail, the much more complicated tail wheel assembly is covered in good detail, and I will say at this point it is the tail wheel I have broken on every single Apache I have built!! 

The weaponry for taking on more substantial targets, which I believe are tanks in the case of the Longbow are provided in the following forms:

M261 Rocket Pods

AGM-114 Hellfire Anti-tank Missiles

AIM-92 Stinger air-to-air missile launcher

And this mix will give your model an impressive mix. The AN/APG-78 has good external detail, and does actually give the helicopter an interesting appearance. The last part covered here is the rotor head assembly, and this is an area that has always put me off helicopters due to the rotor head blades taking up so much space. This kit has provided the modeller with the option of having the blades shown ready for flight, or more pleasingly for me, can be shown folded such as for transport. The blade stowage rack looks to be complete and the blades and head are assembled in the stowed position. I actually think this looks a more pleasing model display, as it is something out of the norm that catches the eye.

Meng models has provided 2 substantial fold out sheets covering the decal placement and finishing of the model. One sheet covers just the common marking placement, you are then provided with a very large fold out sheet covering the 3 finishing options for this release. These are:

U.S.Army 97-5032 of A Company, 2nd ATKHB, 101st Airborne Division, Mosel, Iraq, 2003

U.S.Army 99-5135 of C company, 1-227 ATKHB, 1st Cavalry Division, Iraq, March 2003

Japanese Tricolour Camouflage


This offering from Meng Model will build into a substantial, and as far as I can attest accurate model AH-64D Apache in 1/35th scale. Meng has in my opinion given a lot of thought to adding those little touches that modellers love to show off, such as the avionics and engines. The Chin gun is very nicely replicated and is one of those details that modellers will look for. Finally, the fact that the rotor head can be shown with the blades folded is an absolute winner for me and anyone else with limited display space. 



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