About the Bell® UH-1(C) Huey® – HA(L)-3 Seawolves Air Support Gunship:
While the Army and Marine Corps were outfitted with the latest in rotor technology, the United States Navy was left lacking. As Naval Special Operations peaked in Vietnam, the Navy required better rotor support to aid in the highly tactical and sometimes clandestine missions. Eventually, as the Army was upgraded to “C” models of the Huey, the Navy was given a detachment of “B” models to test run their new rotor wing. Under the control of Command Task Force 116, initial operations were flown in protection of PBR and PCF missions in the Mekong Delta. Known as the “Seawolves”, the unit was successful in its missions, but the workload began to surpass their capacity. The unit was quickly expanded with the Navy accepting volunteers across all its helicopter squadrons. The men of HC-1’s four Vietnam based detachments became the Seawolves of Helicopter Attack (Light) Squadron Three or HA(L)-3. The unit was commissioned on 1 April 1967 at Vung Tau, Vietnam under the command of Lieutenant Commander Joseph B. Howard. As the war progressed the “B” models were phased out for the more ship friendly “E” models. With new rotor craft, the legend of the Seawolves grew. Their primary missions still involved riverine operations and support in the Mekong Delta, but they also provided support for SEALs and other special operation commandos. The pilots and crews of the Seawolves dared to fly into combat conditions that other squadrons refused. The Seawolves quickly became the guardian angels of the United States’ most advanced warfighters.
The UH-1E itself, was an upgraded UH-1B that met certain requirements for use by the United States Marine Corps. These included an all-aluminum construction to resist corrosion, Marine compatible avionics, a rotor brake to stop the rotor while on board ships, and a roof mounted rescue hoist. Initially, the craft was powered by a Lycoming T53-L-11 turboshaft engine that produced 1,100 shp (shaft horsepower). Later models were upgraded to the T53-L-13 which pushed 1,400 shp.
The UH-1E was commonly used in a gunship role, therefore it was given a robust load out of armaments to carry on that role. A relatively common load out included 7.62X51mm M60 machine guns—both door-mounted and tandem-mounted on the craft’s wings—or GAU-17/A air-cooled 50 caliber machine guns for added punch as well as 2.75” rocket pods. If the crew was feeling a little more dangerous, then miniguns on XM-93 mounts were added. The gunship variant saw use in support, quick reaction, and attack roles. They offered protection to troop transports, convoys, search and destroy missions with other AH-1 Cobras, as well as Patrol Boat Riverine (PBR) and Patrol Craft Fast (PCF) in the Mekong Delta. As was common in the Vietnam era, many UH-1E helicopters were adorned with artwork to better fit the personality of its crew.
Additional information about this Brickmania® custom building kit:
This iconic creation features all printed details, and new exclusive custom elements. Armed with dual miniguns and rocket pods, the design is durable and comes with a brick-built display stand and custom printed nameplate. Other functions include spinning rotors as well as opening pilot doors and sliding side doors – crew your build with up to 4x Vietnam War US Navy Helicopter Crew custom minifigs!
Designed by Daniel Siskind
Custom printed elements
Full-color printed building instructions
1/35th scale to match other Brickmania kits
Advanced Skill Level (6-8 years building experience recommended)