pilots (Jan-Michael Vincent and Ernest Borgnine) are far too
old to fly Airwolf today. So, who would fly Airwolf? In
the TV series the creator of the Airwolf project was Michael
Coldsmith Briggs III (Alex Cord), the FIRM's deputy director
(AKA Archangel). All of his operatives and employees were
attractive females with multiple PhD's- all dressed in
white, just like Archangel (who even had his own all-white
helicopter). Many of them were helicopter pilots (who flew
him around), so it makes sense that to replace the original
pilots, he would select a pair of his white-garbed female
assistants to fly Airwolf on missions.
Okay, yeah, its
a stretch... But it's an excuse to use female pilots in
this heli, like I did on the Coast Guard Dauphin. Everyone
seemed to love that.
I used the
helmets from Cermark again, these have so much detail it is
amazing. Even the liners have ear pads on the inside of the
liner (as if anyone would see), the microphone boom is fully
articulating, even the chin strap has padding in the right
places! All this detail makes painting the helmet a very
Here is a
close-up of the helmet (I wish I had taken a picture of this
The first step
is to disassemble the helmets. I removed the liners,
microphone, all the accessory mounts and straps and the
visor covers. Each part was sanded with 600 grit to remove
the injection and tooling imperfections.
For an accent, I airbrushed the
visor covers with a mix of Tamiya metallic black and silver.
Placing small parts on painter's tape allows me to airbrush
them without blowing them all over the place!
The helmet body (and some "body
armor" parts) were painted authentic Airwolf grey - Dupont
5031K. The Airwolf logo and pilot's names (Bambi and Buffy
again...) were dry-transferred onto the helmets, then
airbrushed with 2-part automotive clear.
Once painted, they were
partially re-assembled. The microphones, chin straps, etc
will go on after everything else is assembled as they are
very fragile. I also did the detail painting (screws,
rivets, etc) at this stage.
Here is one of the pilots with
the partially assembled helmet. It was tough to find a
white flight suit, and even tougher to get it on the model.
The suit is made of some type of stretchy vinyl, and sticks
to the model's parts like glue. Getting the arms in was
like trying to cram a snake into a toothpaste tube.
Finally, Airwolf Grey painted body armor parts from another
model finished off the flight uniform.
Vario seat belts are very
detailed, but take forever to assemble! I painted the
plastic parts with a blend of Tamiya Silver and a touch of
blue.. Looks very much like steel...
Here they are, strapped into
the seats. They are glued as well- I hope they will be
flying in about 4-5 months, and we don't want them to come
loose in flight!
Below is a close-up of "Bambi"
The Ray-Ban's come from a pilot sold by Starwood. Whenever
I need a pair of these, I have to find a use for the
left-over pilot! Fortunately, I am building a Hyperion
Stuka right now, and his upper torso fits that cockpit!
And finally, a close-up of
"Buffy" I wish I had taken these photos from the other
side, so we could see the microphone detail... I will have
to remember that when Airwolf is done and we take the