Platz 1/72 UH-60J “Rescue Wings”

The animation “Yomigaeru Sora – Rescue Wings” follows a young man working as a rescue helicopter pilot and engaging in many difficult missions, and is based around the Air Rescue Wing Komatsu Detachment of the JASDF. The animation became popular for its realistic depiction and directing with the full cooperation of the Air Self Defense Force during the first broadcast in 2006. In conjunction with the release of its Blu-ray, the rescue helicopter UH-60J, which is the main aircraft of the animation, has been made into a 1/72 scale kit.

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. JDS Haruna (DDH-141), on which Hongou lands on to refuel in Episode 3, is a real ship of the JMSDF.

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.

The UH-60J is powered by T700 engines license-built by Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries in Japan. It features external fuel tanks, an external rescue winch, a Japan-built radar, a FLIR turret in the nose and bubble side windows for observers. The Japan Air Self-Defense Force machines were fitted with T700-IHI-701A engines, while Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force machines were fitted with marinized T700-IHI-401C engines. Fuel tanks can be attached to pylons on stub wings. The UH-60Js began deliveries in 1991 and entered service in 1992. A total of 40 UH-60Js were in service in 2010. The JASDF ordered 40 newer UH-60Js in December 2010 to begin replacing older UH-60Js.

It looks like there have been 7 new toolings of the Black Hawk in 1/72. Fujimi and Hasegawa were the first and their first Black Hawks were produced in 1985. It is from Hasegawa’s kit that this boxing originates. Only Hasegawa and Fujimi have released UH-60J versions.

In the Box

The kit comes in a sturdy top opening box. The sprues are all in one bag apart from the clear sprues which are in their own bag. 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 glossy paper in an 8-page booklet. There is also a small PE fret and a single white metal part. The build instructions are on 3 pages, the PE parts are covered in 2 pages and the paint and decal placement is covered on another page. 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

  • 16 clear parts (4 not used)
  • 121 plastic parts (47 not used)
  • 15 PE parts (1 not used)

The decal sheet has 2 options from the Komatsu Air Base.

Building Stages

What you might want to do before you start building is look at the PE placement instructions and drill all the required holes of the right size in the right places for the PE.

The build is in 11 steps:

  1. This puts together the main rotor head.
  2. Step 2 is the cockpit and cabin interior. The instrument panels are reproduced using decals and there are 2 figures for the pilot and co-pilot.
  3. Step 3 traps the interior between the 2 cockpit halves.
  4. This steps attached the elevator and tail rotor although you will probably want to dd the tail rotor later to make painting easier.
  5. Step 5 adds engine intakes and exhausts.
  6. Step 6 adds the 2 main undercarriage legs and wheels.
  7. This step adds all the clear parts to the port side of the aircraft. There is a lot of them so you might want to add more detail inside the cabin.
  8. This step adds clear parts to the starboard side.
  9. Step 9 adds assorted aerials and small parts under the aircraft.
  10. Step 10 assembles the fuel tanks and stub wings they are mounted on and adds the starboard one to the aircraft.
  11. The last step adds the last fuel tank, main rotor head, and some small parts to finish the build.

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:

  • 38-4578
  • 18-455238-4578

The decals are produced by Cartograf and are to their usual very high standard.

The kit is currently available for about $32.oo from HLJ.

This is a nice kit of the UH-60J. It’s colorful and not a complicated build at all. The white plastic will make the painting a lot easier with the white/yellow paint scheme. There is also a PE fret available that deals mostly with the cockpit.

Thanks to Platz for the review sample.

Paul Tosney – Editor
ModelBuilder International

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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