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KAMOV Ka-50 "Hokum"

built by Christian Jakl (1:48)

The Kamov Ka-50 is a single seat Russian combat helicopter with a coaxial rotor. The main rotors rotate in opposite directions and make it possible to do without the turn equalization with the rear rotor. That makes it possible to fly aerobatics with this helicopter. The Ka-50 was the first helicopter with an ejection seat. When activated the main rotors are blown off.

Since 1995 the Russian Armed forces have had this machine operational and have equipped it with various weapons systems. The primary mission is as an anti-tank weapon. There also is a two-seater version the Kamov Ka-52 Alligator. The kit has been resting on my shelf collecting dust- given to me by mistake- since I had only built models of the World War II period at that time. The thought had never occurred to me at the time to build a modern helicopter. What finally convinced me to tackle the project were the numerous helicopter models I saw at hobby shows.

The kit - a rude awakening!

Parts for the kit were rather sparse. Just two sprues in black and one in clear. Since I had no idea what such a helicopter looked like in the original and what one had to be aware of, I began to search the Internet for useable pictures. I was not easy for I could not find many. While I was at it I also looked for accessories. I could only find Eduard (# 48 180) – no other manufacturer seems to produce any thing for the Ka-50. I got the impression that the kit was as kits go just a curiosity. Well fine, I thought, this makes the whole affair just a little easier. The comparison between pictures of the original and the kit told a different story however. The individual parts were well reproduced but lacked detail. The missing parts were insufficiently replaceable even with the Eduard set. It was more difficult than I expected.

The assembly

The decal sheet made two variants possible. They were both demonstration machines for the manufacturer Kamov, and therefore no operational copters were possible. On of them (black shark) was the reason for the black injection molding. Hence it was not easy during sanding because the sanded surfaces tended to blend in such away that it obscured the field of vision. As usual the Revell decal sheet was super complete and very well printed. Bravo! In order to build my version "the Werewolf", I had to spray on a few coats of light primer in order to make pre-shading possible. All small parts were treated the same way.

All raised rivets and engravings were sanded off, then re-drilled and re-engraved. Large gaps appeared between the fuselage, the engine coverings and the wing stumps and had to be filled. Additional coverings and handles were scratch built. The gun camera in front, the air ducts for the engines and the clear parts of the cockpit were completely redone. The cockpit glass was particularly difficult. Since it did not match the original and was 2 mm too short, I had no choice but to sand down all the clear parts, re-polish them and build new cross struts from Evergreen to make everything fit.
Armament and rotors

There was quite a bit of work involved here. The 30 mm 2A42 cannon was well reproduced but all details such as hydraulic hoses, and electrical wiring was missing. I cannot blame the manufacturer because these parts are hard to represent realistically in plastic. The two S-8 80mm rocket pods were re-worked and the barrel was replaced with brass tubing. The rotors required more work than anticipated. The mechanical parts of the rotors have cables, wires and screws etc. Last but not least the rotors had to be slightly bent to represent the gravitational pull exercised while the engines are not running.

KAMOV Ka-50 "Hokum" (1:48)

  Mode built by Christian Jakl, photos taken by Wolfram Bradac  
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The kit is not bad and dates back to a time were modeling was not practiced by detail fanatics, A few parts do not fit well and will lead to frustration amongst novices. For the experienced modeler or profi it is highly recommended since a great deal new can be learned. The exact same kit is available from Revell and Italieri. With a lot of pictures and a lot of sweat, a very good model can be built. For me it was an entry into the world of rotors and I will definitely do another one.

All those of you who have a lot of experience with these "vertical starters" and find one or two mistakes remember this is my first one and it is not so important as many may think ...
  meet the modeler      

Christian Jakl

  I was born in Vienna in 1971 and now I live in the middle of the mountains in the Tyrol district. I am in marketing and my specialty is graphic design and layout. Ships, planes and automobiles is how it started and now I have taken up aircraft models only. I concentrate on the German and Soviet air force. My favorite mode of display are dioramas in 1/48 scale. Here I can let my imagination run wild and can produce many of parts. Experimentation and the use of new techniques are foremost on my mind. I also combine stock kits with other add onís and try out new tools. There is always a lot to learn.

It is not all that important to me if a detail is no exactly in the right spot; the final product has to look right. If somebody stands in front of my model and is enthused then I did my job right. The only problem I have is the time factor and in this I probably not alone. I wish everybody a lot of fun with this page and hope that critiques and comments are forthcoming.
  Christian Jakl  
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This page:  GALLERY: KAMOV Ka-50 "Hokum" (1:48) - built by Christian Jakl
was last modified on: Jan 08, 2008
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Translation into English by Werner Stocker (Ft. Myers, FL USA).
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