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AH-64E Apache Guardian Attack Helicopter

Catalog Number: 03/01/2602 Manufacturer: TAKOM
Published: Tuesday, January 31, 2023 Retail Price: 89.95 MSRP
Scale: 1:35 Reviewed By: Brian Campitella

AH-64E APACHE GUARDIAN Attack Helicopter


The AH-64E Apache Guardian is the latest version of the Army's front line heavily armed attack helicopter.  The main gun system of the Apache is the 30mm M230 chain gun with 1,200 rounds of ammunition. The gun is situated under the fuselage between the main landing gear.  It has a maximum rate of fire of 625 rounds per minute with a muzzle velocity of 805m/s (2640ft/s).  The typical round used contains 21.5g of a shaped explosive charge which on impact collapses into a jet of molten metal that can penetrate 25mm (1 inch) of rolled homogeneous armor. The underwing stores consist of two Hydra 70 rocket pods each housing 19 unguided anti-armor rockets with warheads containing 2.0 pounds of High Explosive Anti Tank (HEAT) each, and eight AGM-114 Hellfire 2 laser guided missiles with 8 pound HEAT warheads.  

The Guardian can also be equipped with the Longbow fire control radar.  This system is capable of tracking up to 128 targets and engaging up to 16 targets simultaneously.  With the Longbow system installed the underwing stores will include eight AGM-114L Hellfire missiles with 9 pound HEAT warheads. These are fire and forget missiles and require no additional guidance once the Longbow identifies the target.

What's in the box:

The kit arrived in a large sturdy top opening cardboard box that was completely filled with sprues.  Upon close examination it was noticed that this was NOT a kit of an armored vehicle, it was a kit of an armored vehicle killer.  A modern armored helicopter gun platform, an Apache Guardian equipped with the Longbow fire control system.

There a total of 16 sprues including one clear sprue with 48 parts, two fuselage parts, four large additional fuselage parts , four photo etch sheets, 8 tiny metal cylinders, two decal sheets, a 3D resin printed part and a piece of pliable wire. The total parts count is 578 plastic, 171 photo etch (PE) parts, one vinyl, 8 metal cylinders and one 3D printed part.  The 3D part consists of 36 very tiny individual rivets.  There are also a great number of decals, most are stenciling for the airframe.

There was no flash or sink marks visible on the parts.  There were some knock outs but most will not be visible. There are a lot of tiny parts that will require careful removal from the sprues and dexterous fingers or tweezers to install.  The clear parts are blemish free and the large canopies seem to be distortion free and will allow a comprehensive view of the detailed cockpit interior.  Takom website claims there "About 40,000 rivets on the model corresponding to the real Apache".  I am taking TAKOM's word on this, I lost count at 27.

The model may be built with or without the Longbow fire control system. The under wing armament includes both AGM-114 and AGM-114L Hellfire missiles as well as Hydra 70 rocket pods.  Two detailed engines constructed from 39 parts each are included and can be displayed with the engine access doors open or closed.  Both forward avionics bays can be displayed with or without the access covers installed.  The canopy doors can be assembled open or closed.  Also included is a blade folding attachment that allows the Guardian to be displayed with its blades folded and stowed lengthwise above the fuselage. 

The 35 page (33 construction steps, two pages of decal placement and one for painting) instruction book is not up to TAKOM's usual quality.  Some of the steps are very busy with arrows pointing to vague installation points.  Step 5 has options for building the canopy open or closed, but it isn't clear how the different assemblies go together. This may clear up as the actual build progresses. Steps 22 and 23 have options for building the landing wheels and again the confusion may clear up as they are built.  PE sheet TPB contains seat belt harnesses that are not shown in instructions.  TAKOM does not include any color color callouts for detail parts.

Takom provides a small decal sheet for two different dark olive drab machines and a large decal sheet for airframe stenciling.

The Sprues:

The basic fuselage showing some of the 40,000 rivets on the airframe.

Additional fuselage pieces showing the detailed avionics bays.

Sprue A (x2) contains the Hellfire 2 missiles and their associated launch rails and the Hydra 70 rocket pods.

Sprue D contains parts for the engine exhaust assemblies and other detail parts.

Sprues E and F both contain parts for the tail rotor assembly and airframe detail parts.

Sprue M contains parts for the cockpit. 

Sprue N contains parts for the stub wings, underwing hard points and the tailplane.

Sprue P contains the landing gear and detail parts.

Sprue Q contains the cockpit glass and other clear parts.

A group shot of the remaining Sprues.  Sprue G (x2) contains detail parts.  Sprue J (x2) contains the rotor blades.  Sprue L (x2) contains parts for the engines. Sprue R contains parts for the rotor blade folding assembly.

The four photo etch sheets.  Note the seat harnesses on sheet A.  These are not shown in the instructions.

The advertised 3D printed part is actually a frame encasing 36 separate fastener heads.  Each fastener sits on a rod.  Once the frame is removed, removing the fasteners from the rod will require great care to avoid launching the them into The Twilight Zone. The images below show the relative size of the 3D printed frame.


The fasteners are installed on access covers on both sides of the airframe.  The round panels shown in the instructions are about a quarter inch in diameter.

Finally the two decal sheets and a close up of some of the stenciling.

The instructions are presented in 33 steps in a standard TAKOM instruction booklet. Some of the steps are quite busy and will require forethought prior to assembly. The diagrams are large and easy to read, but some detail part placements appears vague with just an arrow pointing to the overall diagram. 

Normally an image of a step showing decal placement wouldn't be included in a review.  But this is just one of two impressive decal placement pages and it just had to be included.  The other page shows decals placed on the top and bottom of the fuselage.  When was the last kit you built with this many decals?


TAKOM has produced a great detailed model of the US Army Apache Guardian helicopter.  At first look there do not appear to be any issues with kit.  There is no noticeable flash or sink marks in the plastic.  Knockouts appear to be in places that won't be noticed after assembly.  Long thin parts such as the rotor blades do not show any signs of warpage. Sprue attachment points are small, but there are a lot of small parts that will still require care when removing them from the sprue.

This kit would not be recommended for beginners due to the high parts count and extensive use of photo etch parts. However intermediate modelers should not have any problems and super detailers can really go to work on this kit.

Highly Recommended for Intermediate to Advanced builders pending the Full Build Review.

Thanks goes out to TAKOM for this review kit.

Reviewed by Brian Campitella


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