There are probably going to be few games of Vietnam Crossfire in which the US player at some stage or another does not require a helicopter insertion. Whether it be an ammo resupply, a medevac or a full scale air assault, a suitable Huey model is a necessity.
The Revell 1/100th scale UH-1H kit is ideal for any of these roles. I have already reviewed the use of this kit as a gunship, and the techniques regarding construction and painting have already been covered in that particular review. Exactly the same techniques were followed for the production of the 'Slick', with the obvious exception being that the supplied weapons system was not added.
For use as a troop transporter I kept the M-60 door gunners and also used the seated figures that come with the Peter Pig helicopter crew pack (2 pilots, 2 door gunners and 4 seated figures with combat gear and M-16's). These were to be seated two on each side of the helicopter, sitting in the door-way of the cargo bay with their feet hanging outside of the helicopter in traditional pose.
Getting the door gunner and two seated figures into the very small space offered by the open cargo bay doorway involved a little bit of filing and cutting of the figures in order to get them to fit. In particular, the seated figures all have a right elbow that sticks out some way and this was filed flat. Also, the door gun mounting (a bar across the bottom of the figure) has to be shortened. The simple expedient here is to clip off both sides of this bar that extend beyond the ammo box. Having carried out these small alterations and checked the 'fit' of the models, I then glued them in place.
In Incoming!, helicopters have several actions that are permissible; flying, landing, unloading/loading and taking off. When flying, the helicopter moves just the same as an infantry stand, that is it may pivot, move and fire in the same manner. It is worth remembering that a pivot in place is deemed as movement and can draw reactive fire (Crossfire Rule 6.2.1). Otherwise the helicopter moves as normal from point A to point B on the table and uses direct fire just as a normal infantry stand. There is no mention in the Incoming! rules about Reactive Fire from helicopters but I assume that this is permissible as long as LOS criteria are met.
Assuming that LOS is reciprocal, then the helicopter can fire at anything that is within it's arc of fire. In my own games I apply different LOS rules to the helicopter depending on whether it is flying, landing/taking off or on the ground. In the case where the helicopter is airborne and flying, I allow it to fire at any target that is visible, within it's arc of fire and no more than two LOS blocking terrain features away. If the helicopter is in the transition from flight to being on the ground, that is it is landing or taking off, then it may only fire at targets that are visible, within it's arc of fire and either in the open, in the same terrain feature or in an adjacent terrain feature. When in transition or on the ground, I do not allow the firing of any weapons except for door-mounted M-60's.
The use of the Huey in any of the roles mentioned above (re-supply, medevac, troop transport) differs considerably from it's use as a gunship. Gunship's very rarely land on the table other than in exceptional circumstances.
If used in the air support role (Incoming! rule 7.1.3), they will make attack 'runs' - receiving any applicable anti-aircraft fire prior to making their attack and departing the table - all as part of a single action. When used as an attached unit, they tend to remain airborne, flying from one point to another and delivering direct or reactive fire as circumstances dictate (using Incoming! rule 11.1.3).
Non-gunship helicopters that are either attached or arrive as a result of other requests (such as medevac or ammo resupply) will invariably land on table and hence make use of the landing/taking off actions as well as spending some time on the ground according to their mission. Landing or taking off counts as the only action permissible in that initiative phase although any troops or supplies that are being carried can be unloaded.
All figures are from my own personal collection, painted and photographed by Mike R © 2000