Hobby Boss 1/72 Mi-4 'Hound'

KIT #: 87226
PRICE: $25.00 MSRP ($21.40 at GreatModels  )
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: New mold kit


The Mi-4 was designed in response to the American H-19 Chickasaw and the deployment of U.S. helicopters during the Korean War. While the Mi-4 superficially resembles the H-19 Chickasaw, it is a larger helicopter and is able to lift more weight. The first model entered service in 1952, and replaced the Mi-1. The helicopter was first displayed to the outside world in 1952 at the Soviet Aviation Day in Tushino. One Mi-4 was built with a jettisonable rotor.

The Mi-4 went out of service with the development of the Mi-8. It is not used by the Russian Air Force today, though it remains in service in some countries as a utility helicopter or a military transport. The Mi-4 played a very important role in Bangladesh liberation war of 1971. The Mi-4 was the workhorse of the Indian Army at the time. A highly successful heli-borne operation using Mi-4s helped the Indian Army's 57 Mountain Division clear the Meghna River. The helilift of a battalion of Indian troops to the outskirts of Sylhet was the first heli-borne operation of the Indian army.


This is not the first time we've seen the Hound in plastic as KP has a rather nice one still in this scale. However, it is very much old mold technology and now, thanks to the folks at Hobby Boss, we now have a modern version. There are three grey plastic and one clear sprue for us. The usual Hobby Boss molding of engraved panel lines, and flash free parts are there for us. I found only a couple of sink areas on the fuselage, but a ton of ejector pin marks.

The kit comes with a nicely done cockpit area, complete with both collective and cyclic controls. As it is easy to see into the interior, it is nice that the bulkheads are included and well done. There is also a large cabin area and the rear doors are separate. This is where the ejection pin marks are quite bad and I doubt if any modelers will be doing this one with the doors open as these marks festoon the inside of the doors (all of them), the cabin walls and the overhead piece. Building the kit with the aft doors closed also means no need to add the detail bracing that is provided for this section. To be honest, the kit shows these items closed in the instructions, but the can be done open if one wishes to go through all the work.

The rest of the kit is very nicely done, including sturdy landing gear and a well rendered rotor hub. I had a reader comment on an earlier HB helo review that Hobby Boss had the blades rotating the wrong way. Well, it seems from photos that they got it right on this one, however, they did not put any droop in the blades so the modeler will have to heat up some water for that. There is also no indication of how much weight will be needed and I'm pretty sure some will be a good idea. Thanks to a separate nose cap, you can install what is needed once the kit is on its landing gear. Both the markings options helos are armed with a gun of some calibre in a lower nose mount. For those who want to build the version without the gun, you'll have to fill a hole where this goes with plasticard.

Instructions are a single folded sheet with all the construction steps on one side. They are well drawn and easy to follow. Once again, no interior color information is supplied so you are on your own in that regard. A separate full color decal and camouflage guide is provided. The two options are identically painted in Green over Light Blue. One is a Soviet aircraft and the other Chinese. The decals are well printed and include tail rotor warning stripes.


Seems like Hobby Boss has been on a real helo boom as of late. Their kits always look very nice and seem to build well. I'm sure this one will be no exception.



March 2010

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