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KIT REVIEW


Revell of Germany # 03964
MV-22B Osprey
1:72 Scale



The MV-22B Osprey flies today with the United States Marine Corps and has been playing increasingly important roles in U.S. military actions around the world since initial operational capability was achieved in 2007.  Your reviewer lives in proximity to Marine Corps Base Quantico and Ospreys assigned to HMX-1 frequent the skies over my home.  In flight, the MV-22B is a monster of the air and its low-frequency thumping roar is very distinctive.  I’m thoroughly impressed as a ground-based observer!  Revell of Germany released an MV-22B kit in late 2015, and my interest was piqued when their 1:72 Osprey arrived on my review bench from Germany.

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The Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey was in many ways born out of the tragic lessons of Operation EAGLE CLAW.  The failed 1980 rescue attempt of the American hostages held in Tehran highlighted the need for an unconventional aircraft that could blend vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) capability with the long-range and speed of a turboprop aircraft.  In 1981, the Vertical Takeoff/Landing Experimental (JVX) program was launched and the first V-22 prototype flew 1989.  As the V-22 was the first production tiltrotor aircraft that changes its shape in flight, it encountered many complex engineering challenges that extended its slow and expensive development into the late 1990s.  The early days of the V-22 also saw a pair of deadly crashes in which the No. 4 and No. 5 prototypes were lost with a significant loss of life.  The USAF received its first CV-22 in 2006, and the USMC reached initial operating capability for the MV-22 in 2007.

The Osprey’s engineering is impressive.  Each wingtip houses a turboprop engine and transmission nacelle.  On takeoff and landing, the nacelles are positioned in the vertical with the airplane hanging off the proprotors just like a helicopter.  The triply-redundant flight control computers fly the Osprey with cyclic forces applied to a conventional swashplate at the rotor hub.  In the air, the nacelles translate forward 90° in about 12 seconds while flaperons, rudders, and elevators take over as the Osprey enters airplane mode.  It’s in airplane mode that the V-22 finds its high speed, long-range, and fuel efficiency.  Should one engine fail, the other proprotor can still turn the dead engine. Should both engines fail, the pilots face a greater challenge as the Osprey’s autorotation characteristics are poor partly owing to the low inertia of the light composite rotors.

The operational history of the USMC’s MV-22B began with its introduction into service in 2007.  Its first and very successful combat deployment to Iraq came later that year.  Ospreys arrived in Afghanistan in late 2009.  Two years later, MV-22s surpassed 100,000 flight hours and the Osprey was hailed for its safety record.  Notably, MV-22s rescued a downed F-15E pilot in Libya during Operation Odyssey Dawn and flew the body of Osama bin Laden to the USS CARL VINSON.  In 2013, MV-22s joined the Marine One presidential transport squadron.  In 2014, Marine Ospreys supported the fight against the Ebola epidemic in Liberia.  Today, operational tempo remains high, as MV-22s play key roles in the ongoing fight against ISIL.  The future for the Osprey is bright, with continued deliveries to the Marines, Air Force, Japan, the development of a CMV-22B carrier onboard delivery variant to replace the aging Grumman C-2 Greyhound, and possible Osprey buys from Israel, India, the UAE, and South Korea.

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Revell of Germany’s late 2015 release of the MV-22B Osprey in 1:72 scale comes in an end-opening box with a nicely done box top painting of a MV-22B.  The kit itself is not a new-tooled offering, but a reissue of the original 1989 Italeri kit that was reboxed in 1997 in the Testors line and most recently by Italeri in 2012.  The kit contains 115 grey-colored injection molded plastic parts on two sprues along with 11 clear parts on their own dedicated sprue.  Panel lines are mostly raised, and all rivet details are raised.  Control surfaces are not separate parts.  Decals are provided for an MV-22B (BuNo. 168300) assigned to VMM-264 Black Nights at MCAS New River, North Carolina in 2013.

Strengths:  This kit’s construction and design will make for a pretty straightforward build.  A basic interior is provided and the troop seats are molded in a stowed configuration. The decals are really-eye catching and Revell of Germany made a good choice on selecting this scheme to go into the kit.  \

Weaknesses:  There’s a pretty big problem with this kit: simply putting decals into the box does not make the plastic inside transform into a MV-22B.  As this is based on the 1989 Italeri molds, it represents the prototype V-22A configuration, and there’s a lot of differences between that and the MV-22B.  While the general airframe configuration is more or less similar if you were to look at the model from a few feet away, a closer look reveals the deeper problems.  Many of the panel lines are inaccurate or oversimplified for a production MV-22B, especially on the engine nacelles.  The pilot seats are incorrectly shaped and perhaps a bit over-scale.  The nose sensor blisters are notably too high, and the nose itself appears to be too large, too wide, and too long.  The very large hump present on the aft spine of the kit is not present on the MV-22B airframe. Also, the dozens of prominent but small vortex generators on top of the wings are absent.  The MV-22B has two port and one starboard window, while this kit has three port and two starboard windows, respectively.  The single main landing gear door configuration is also quite inaccurate for a MV-22B.  The proprotors lack the notable bulge towards their bases.

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Revell of Germany's reissue of the old Italeri kit really should not have been sold as an MV-22B, but as one of the prototype aircraft since that's what the kit really does represent. If a builder just wants to do an Osprey for fun, I'd say the kit is fine, and younger builders will certainly enjoy it. If a more advanced scale modeler is really serious about doing an accurate MV-22B, this kit unfortunately is not for you. While they might be twice the cost, any one of the 1:72 scale Hasegawa Ospreys represent a far superior kit. Sincere thanks to Revell of Germany for the review sample. You can find them on the web at http://www.revell.com/germany.

Haagen Klaus
Scale Modeling News & Reviews Editor
Detail & Scale

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Just Released!

JET FIGHTERS
OF THE U. S. NAVY AND MARINE CORPS
PART 1: THE FIRST TEN YEARS
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Detail & Scale Special Edition Books

U. S. Navy and Marine Carrier-Based Aircraft of World War II
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Attack on Pearl Harbor, Japan Awakens a Sleeping Giant

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Colors & Markings Series



Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy
F-14 Tomcats,
Part 1: Atlantic
Coast Squadrons
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Colors & Markings of the F-102
Delta Dagger

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Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy
F-14 Tomcats,
Part 2: Pacific
Coast Squadrons

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