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Alouette II SE.313

Light Utility Helicopter

Insignia of the French Navy Air Arm Aeronavale
Aeronavale
(French Navy Air Arm)
Flotille 58s
Flotille 58s
NAS Fréjus-Saint-Raphaël, 1959


Mach 2 Models

This model added to kgwings.com on January 13, 2002
Alouette II SE.313
The Alouette II (developed from the prototype SE.3120) was the first all-French helicopter to be designed and built after WW II.
It has been one of the most successful civil and military light helicopters ever produced.
Alouette II SE.313
Flown for the first time in March 1955, the helicopter received its French certification just over a year later and was immediately put into production. My Allouette is sharing tarmac with my H-21 also in Aeronavale scheme.
Alouette II SE.313
The structure of the Alouette II is reminiscent of early Bell models in that it has a Plexiglas cockpit and open-framework fuselage. Although suited for many commercial roles, it has been used   for military operations such as observation, liaison, search and rescue, training and casualty evacuation, and in primarily offensive roles (armed with wire-guided missiles and torpedoes).
Alouette II SE.313
Over 50 countries have used the Alouette II in military service, with the German Army being the biggest employer. Many still remain in front-line service across the globe today.
In December of 1997, the last Alouette II of the French Navy (serial number 1163) was scrapped.
Alouette II SE.313
This Mach 2 kit is rough, but since it's one of the only choices available in this scale, it's probably worth the extra work required for assembly.
Alouette II SE.313
Here is my Alouette finished on the workbench.
Alouette II SE.313
Here's an early shot of each of the subassemblies. Getting all the framework lined up took a lot of patience, careful sanding and trimming, and a lot of dry fitting.
Alouette II SE.313
After some painting, I connected the subassemblies and it started to it look like a helicopter. I couldn't resist dragging out my H-21 Banana to compare.
Alouette II SE.313
I detailed the engine with scrap plastic and used guitar wire for various hoses. Note: nearly every reference photo of this engine has a different paint scheme and even different hose/wire routing... so don't be afraid to use some creative license.
Alouette II SE.313

I brushed Future floorwax over the entire kit and then applied the decals. I wasn't impressed with the French Navy roundel decals in the kit so I borrowed from my spares box. I decided that the main rotor in the kit was just too rough to salvage, so I borrowed the whole assembly from a Heller Alouette III SA.316 kit. (Very nice kit by the way).

Alouette II SE.313
With the new Heller rotor painted and detailed, the interior was just about the only thing left to tackle. I used scrap styrene and masking tape to create harnesses, fire extinguishers, foot pedals, etc. in the cockpit.
Alouette II SE.313
All in all, the kit turned out nice and the extra effort was worth it.



Mach 2 Alouett II SE.313
Mach 2 Models
Kit:  Mach 2
1/72 scale
Scale: 1/72
Review: The kit is molded in very light gray, approx. 70 parts including extra option parts. The parts are lettered as opposed to numbered just for something different I suppose. Instructions are simplified exploded-view type leaving a few questionable location spots, but overall adequate.

Parts are not molded very crisp so careful trimming and sanding are required on most parts, especially on all the framework pieces. Fit is rough, so alignment has to be tweaked, requiring trimming and sanding. I had a heck of a time making the engine mounts work correctly and actually ended up making my own from scraps.

The engine and interior parts are simplified, but look pretty good with a little customizing.

The clear bubble canopy was probably the worst part of the kit. The "glass" is really thick (thicker than Airfix!). It's also two pieces split right down the vertical center. I had to sand each part flat to mesh them up correctly. One side was pretty good and transparent, the other was pretty foggy. With lots of toothpaste polishing and the old Future floorwax trick, it looks pretty good, but still not perfect. Making a vacuform would be the way to go, but since the canopy parts are already too big (I had to trim quite a bit) I skipped it and made use of what they gave me.

The main rotor assembly was pretty rough and the control arms were too large causing the control linkages to not line up. I gave up completely trying too make it work and stole the whole main rotor assemble from a Heller Alouette III SA.316 kit. This worked out great and I recommend it highly.
All in all this kit is not for beginners. It's for someone who really wants a 1/72nd scale Alouette II. With that in mind and quite a bit of extra eff ort, it builds into a really nice kit.
Decals: Stock with the exception of some spare roundels. Optional markings are provided for Armée de TERRE.
Paint: I started with Testors Model Master 1772 (FS 15050) "Blue Angel Blue" and lightened a bit.
After Market Parts: None.
Customizing: I made seat harnesses out of masking tape. Constructed foot pedals and fire extinguishers from scratch styrene tubing. Engine ducts and wiring are made from .024 gauge guitar wire and stretched sprue respectively. Entire main rotor assembly replaced with Heller parts. Control linkages also made with stretched sprue.
Cost: I bought this kit from a vendor at Squadron Scalefest for $16.50. Not all that bad, but no real bargain either (it's not worth much more than that).
Reference:
"The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Helicopters", 1984
"Helicopters And Other Rotorcraft Since 1907" 1968
Special thanks go to:
Chris Jones of Heli-Kit News and Tony Morgan of for research and support.

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