As popular as the McDonnell Douglas AH-64 Apache is among modern rotorwing enthusiasts, and Roco’s MiniTanks are amongst HO scale modelers, it is no surprise that an Apache has finally been released into the enormous selection of items in the dominate model railroad scale of 1/87, or HO scale. The model is impressive.
Europe’s Austrian model railroad giant Roco released this AH-64D Longbow model as part of their huge MiniTanks series. Their other HO scale aircraft models are mainly helicopters such as the Euro Copter 135, Apache AH-64A/B/C, BO 105, CH-53, UH-1 and AH-1, but also include fixed-wings like the Douglas C-47, F-4E Phantom II (USAF markings), F-4F Phantom II (Luftwaffe), Focke Wulf Fw 190D-9, Junkers JU-52/3m, Junkers JU-87 G-2 'Stuka', and Lockheed P38-J Lightning. Many of these kits have been reissued with versions or with different markings. Roco was forced into reorganization recently and much of the MiniTanks series is now issued by Herpa. For this reason the vendor is simply listed as MiniTanks. Herpa’s website states, ”On October 1, 2007, Herpa has taken on the worldwide distribution of the military series Minitanks. In cooperation with the Modelleisenbahn GmbH (Roco), the line will be continuously advanced and extended.”
The model is assembled from 109 olive styrene parts and a single clear piece for the canopy. The molding is sharp with crisp recessed panel lines. The parts are free of flash, molding and injector marks. Cockpit detail consists of a floor, an instrument panel and consol. This lack of detail is obvious under the large canopy.
The kit is otherwise well detailed. And loaded for bear: eight AGM-114 Hellfires, four AIM-92 Stingers, and two pods of Hydra 70 FFAR rockets, as well as the chin mounted M230 30mm cannon.
Test fitting is tight.
Instructions & Decals
The instruction sheet is simple and neat. Decals for two aircraft are provided, plus “Black 25386" and “65008", but almost any serial number can be produced with twelve sets numbers. All in glorious black!
Roco has issued hundreds of 1/87 MiniTanks for HO railroads, wargaming and collecting over some forty years, and it is great to finally have a high quality modern attack helicopter available. Apaches serve in the militaries of Egypt, Greece, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United States and United Kingdom. This kit will make an impressive addition to any HO aviation collection.
Highs: Crisp, sharp molding. Good detail. Hundreds of serial numbers available.Lows: Vacuous cockpit with limited detail.Verdict: This kit will make an impressive addition to any HO aviation collection.
About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR) FROM: TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES
I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art.
My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling!
My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...