Platz 1/144 UH-60J & U-125A “Rescue Wings”

Rescue Wings is an anime television series which aired on TV Tokyo in 2006. The main character is a helicopter pilot in a search and rescue wing of the Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF). The anime is a part of the Rescue Wings media franchise produced by Bandai which also includes a live-action film released in 2008, where the main character is a female pilot as well as two manga series with different stories focusing on search and rescue squads and personnel.

The real-life JASDF Komatsu Air Base hosts a search and Rescue Wing in addition to two fighter wings with F-15J’s and T-4’s as portrayed in the anime.

In 1988, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force choose the UH-60L to replace its KV-107 and Sikorsky S-62 helicopters. The first aircraft was built by Sikorsky, with the company designation S-70A-12, and two more were assembled by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Mitsubishi is producing the remaining UH-60Js under license. The Japan Marine Self-Defense Force also chose Search and rescue, and utility helicopters to replace the S-61A in 1989.

Japan is the only country to use the U-125A maritime search and rescue variant of the Hawker 800, which is itself a derivative of the British Aerospace 125. Specially engineered and equipped for maritime search-and-rescue duties, they include features such as large observation windows on either side of the fuselage, a Toshiba 360-degree radar system, Melco thermal imaging equipment (TIE) system, a flare and marker-buoy dispenser, life raft and an emergency equipment dropping system. Other features include a comprehensive suite of communications equipment and enhanced protection against the saltwater environment in which the aircraft operates.

It looks like these are the only toolings of these 2 aircraft in this scale. The kits are manufactured by F-Toys

In the Box

The kit comes in an end opening box. The sprues are in 2 bags and the decal sheet comes in its own bag too and has a protective sheet on it. The instructions are all in black and white on 2 glossy paper double sided sheets. There is also a small PE fret for the UH-60J. The build instructions are on 2 pages, one for each of the kits. The PE parts are covered on the same page used for painting and decal placement.  There are colour call-outs throughout the instructions for Mr. Color and Model Master paints.

The sprues have very subtle recessed panel lines and small attachment gates and are the usual good quality we expect from Platz. The level of detail is very good with no obvious issues. There are 152 parts in the kit, but 52 are not used. There are 2 small clear sprues.

In total the kit contains

  • UH-60J: 26 parts plus 14 PE
  • U-125A: 44 parts. (3 clear and 13 not used)

The decal sheet has 2 options for each aircraft.

Building Stages

The build is in 4 steps for the U-125A and 3 for the UH0-60J. As you would expect they will be pretty quickly built. However, there is some nice detail on the kits with recessed panel lines. The UH-60J is done in a frosted clear plastic but the clear parts are actually clear and not frosted. This negates the need for a separate clear parts sprue.

Decal Options

The decal sheet is very crowded – there’s a lot of decals on this sheet! The decals are for real aircraft as far as I can tell. There are options for 2 aircraft:

  • UH-60J 38-4578
  • UH-60J 18-4552
  • U-125A 552
  • U-125A 578

The kit is currently available for about $20.00 from Hobby Search.

Conclusion
These are nice kits for this scale with good exterior detail. They are both the only option for these aircaft in this scale and putting 2 different kits in the same box is a good move.

Thanks to Platz for the review sample.

Paul Tosney – Editor
ModelBuilder International
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Paul Tosney

Paul has been with Model Builder International since almost the beginning. He started building models as a boy, and took a hiatus, but started building again a few years ago. He builds pretty much anything, but mostly WW2, with a smattering of modern and the occasional SciFi model.

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