This is my attempt at the arguably, one of the most sophisticated attack helicopters in service today.
About this creation
Designed as a replacement for the Bell AH-1 Cobra, the AH-64 is currently one of the most sophisticated attack helicopters in service. Apart from being operated by the United States Army, the Apache also serves with Israel, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Netherlands, Great Britain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Apache was one of the stars of Operation Desert Storm. On the opening night of the conflict, a flight of Apache’s, led by a Special Operation MH-53 Pave Low, flew deep into Iraqi airspace. Their mission was to identify and destroy key radar installations, which would be located using the sophisticated radar systems aboard the Pave Low. The destroyed radars would create a corridor through which follow up strikes from other aircraft would go to attack Iraq, thus commencing the offensive.
The latest variant, the AH-64D “Longbow” Apache has a new fire control radar mounted atop its rotors. This radar allows the gunship to acquire, designate and attack targets in all weathers, day or night. It also provides the means of guidance for the new AGM-144L radar guided Hellfire missile. In its Longbow variation, the Apache is arguably one of the deadliest gunships in service today. Recently, the gunship has served in Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom 2001) and Iraq (Operation Iraqi Freedom 2003).
Well, what can I say. It isn’t the prettiest aircraft in my collection, but its definitely one of my best in terms of overall result. Naturally I went for the D variant as I’m a sucker for modern and highly capable aircraft.
In this build, I definitely faced challenges that Lego alone would not solve, so I had to think outside the box. I had build Apaches before so I knew how to approach this initially. From the outside, the A and D variants look almost the same. The biggest difference of course, is the radar on top of the rotors on the D model. I replicated this by purchasing a set of RC plane wheels. I took one, filled the wheel spoke with modeling putty until it had a smooth top. The wheel hole was perfectly suited for a Lego rod, which I used to mount to the rotor head.
Another significant difference, which many may not see, is the cheek farings. These are used to store the ammo for the chain gun as well as components for the various electronics on the chopper. Because the Longbow is more sophisticated, it requires more components. To solve this, the cheek faring on both sides of the aircraft have been increased in size, especially on the helicopters left side. On the left side, the fairing actually rises up to meet with the left side weapons wing. Here what I did, was use flat pieces to build the fairing itself. I then used a hinge piece to raise it to the level of the wing. I then used modeling putty to fill in the gaps and sanded it down till it had a smooth finish. I also used putty on the cockpit region by filling the curved piece to give a smooth and thus better look.
Colour scheme is overall Olive drab. To make it a little more visually appealing, I applied a sand coloured weathering agent on to various spots on the gunship.This gives it the illusion of being used in a desert combat environment. The shark mouths and name “Angel Of Fire” was hand painted.
Overall I’m very happy with this build. It’s far more appealing to look at because of all the details, which I’m very happy came out the way they did.