1:72 Scale Diecast metal and plastic parts – Bell AH-1Z Viper (Zulu Cobra) Length: 9" (from tip tail to tip of rotor at the front) Rotor span: 8”
This Viper model is a twin seat model and does not include a pilot/crew figures. The cockpit can not open. Attached to the wings are a variety of rockets and missiles. A stand where the model can be attached for display is included. The display stand has the model's info such as country, flag and scale.
This particular model is back heavy, so when placed on its skies the helicopter will tip backwards (the nose will point upwards). Moreover, the gun can pivot side to side.
The blades for the main rotor need to be attached. Although they are supposed to be snap/friction fit, it seems that it will be better is a tiny (very tiny) drop of super glue is applied just to keep things secure. The assembly for the rotor and the blades are very fragile, so one needs to be very careful when attaching the blades since it is very easy to bend or break things out of shape.
These helicopter models are really not toys, they are not made to be played with. They will not last long if played with. Moreover, these models are made to look realistic and faithful to the real thing, so little parts like landing gears, skies, weapons, pods and antennas are made from small parts and are very fragile.
The maker of the model, Amercom, really did a good job with the model, the diecast metal construction feels quite heavy. The metal seems too be more rigid and thicker than comparable 1/72 scale models. The panel lines and details are very clear and crisp.What really caught my attention, however, is the way the markings and coloring are done.
These models come in what could be described as a disposable blister pack (sandwiched between two transparent plastic shells and then glued/attached to a piece of cardboard with the branding info. There is really nothing spectacular about the packaging, but at the end, the packaging is supposed to be disposable and with the sole function protecting the model, which it does very well.
The Bell AH-1Z Viper is a twin-engine attack helicopter based on the AH-1W SuperCobra, that was developed for the United States Marine Corps. The AH-1Z features a four-blade, bearingless, composite main rotor system, uprated transmission, and a new target sighting system. The AH-1Z is part of the H-1 upgrade program. It is also called "Zulu Cobra" in reference to its variant letter.
Aspects of the AH-1Z date back to the Bell 249 in 1979, which was basically an AH-1S equipped with the four-blade main rotor system from the Bell 412. This helicopter demonstrated Bell's Cobra II design at the Farnborough Airshow in 1980. The Cobra II was to be equipped with Hellfire missiles, a new targeting system and improved engines. Later came the Cobra 2000 proposal which included General Electric T700 engines and a four-blade rotor. This design drew interest from the US Marine Corps, but funding was not available. In 1993, Bell proposed an AH-1W-based version for the UK's new attack helicopter program. The derivative design, named CobraVenom, featured a modern digital cockpit and could carry TOWs, Hellfire or Brimstone missiles. The CobraVenom design was altered in 1995 by changing to a four-blade rotor system. The design lost to the AH-64D later that year however.