The Tiger/Tigre helicopter project was initially launched by France and Germany to replace German Bo-105s and French Gazelles in their anti-tank and fire support roles, and other missions. The forms of the production aircraft took a long time to be finalized. However, today, the Tigre (a.k.a. EC 655) is a mature aircraft. Manufactured by Eurocopter, the “European Apache” was sold to Australia and Spain in addition to the original partners (France and Germany). It was deployed in Afghanistan to support NATO’s missions.
In 1/48th, the Tigre was produced by Heller (pictures below), Revell, and Italeri. The Italeri and Heller kits are of the same mold. I will post pictures for these kits in future blog entries.
Kit assembly is easy. The only thing to be careful with is the assembly of the main rotor. The rotor plates are fragile and need to be handled with care. Decals are provided for a single version. Details are so-so. But the biggest challenge with these kits (this criticism is applicable to the Tigres from Heller, Italeri, and Revell) is that these models are representative of demo aircraft or prototypes. As I hinted in the introduction of this blog, the Tiger has evolved over time. Depicting a real, in-service, aircraft requires customization of the kits. Unfortunately, no commercially available aftermarket solutions are available for these kits. However, in the upcoming blog entry about Italeri’s PAH-2 (Italeri 842), I will talk about one such aftermarket option from Defence Models & Graphics from Australia. Stay tuned!!!
- Heller 80414
- Scale: 1/48
- Availability: Rare
- Status: Out of production
- Estimated Street Price: $20.00