Zvezda 1/72 Mi-24V/VP Hind E
|DECALS:||3 Soviet options|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||270 parts along with two crew figures|
I believe that most readers are aware of the Mi-24 Hind, since it is probably the most build helicopter gunship around. It is certainly used by more air forces than any other. With that in mind, here is a bit of info on the variant being previewed.
Mi-24V (Hind-E) — Later development led to the Mi-24V which entered production in 1976 and was first seen by the west in the early 1980s. It armed with the more advanced 9M114 Shturm (AT-6 Spiral). Eight of those missile are mounted on four outer wing pylons. It was the most widely produced version with more than 1,500 made. In Polish service this aircraft is designated Mi-24W. One Mi-24V was referred to as Mi-24T for unknown reasons.
Mi-24VP (Hind-E Mod) — Development of Mi-24V made in 1985 which replaced the machine-gun with twin 23-mm cannons in a movable turret. Entered service in 1989, but only 25 were made before production ended the same year. One Mi-24VP flew with the Delta-H tail rotor of the Mi-28.
When I read that this kit had 270 parts, I had to raise my eyebrows on that. Where were all the parts to be placed? Well, it seems that Zvezda wanted to do the most accurate and detailed 1/72 Hind on the market, and judging from what I've seen of this kit, they have done so.
Basically, there are five injected sprues; three 'full size' and one smaller sprue of grey plastic and one of clear. I particularly liked that the clear bits were separately bagged to keep them from being scratched. The kit itself fits into a sturdy tray that goes in the usual end opening box. The detail level of the parts is as good as you'll find anywhere with crisply engraved panel lines and nicely detailed parts. No flash or sink areas to mar things. Only a few ejector pin marks on the interior thatmay need to be dealt with.
The kit can be built as either the machine gun armed V or the twin cannon armed VP variant. There are also some differences in the exhaust with one of the V aircraft being equipped with the heat suppressor boxes over the exhaust and a couple of other minor differences to distinguish between variants and those used in combat.
Where all the pieces come into play is due to the detail. The kit has a full interior and cockpit with doors and hatches that can be posed open if one wishes. There are two completely detailed engines, a full gear box and a superbly done rotor heat. The blades even have some droop molded in place so that fumble-fingered people like myself won't be slaving over a hot stove! In addition, there are two multi-piece crew members for the pilot and the gunner.
Things under wings include four standard rocket pods, the 'Sturm V' anti-tank rockets and what appear to be two long range fuel tanks. A pair of cannon pods is also included in the stores. Different flare/chaff dispensers are also in the kit. It is pretty obvious from the way the parts are broken down that there will be different variants in the future.
The instruction booklet has crisply drawn construction sequences with detail sections where needed. There are also indications on the variant and whether you want to build it with everything opened up or closed. Model Master paints are provided for colors with all being a similar camouflage scheme. Three different markings options are provided, all Soviet/Russian. The box art plane is a V from 1988 in Afghanistan, hence the additional exhaust shrouds. There is one standard V from 1982 and one of the two dozen VP aircraft from 2001 with the Russian Baltic Fleet. Decals are very nicely done and include instrument panels for the cockpit, as well as data markings for the helo and armament.
If you want the ultimate Hind in 1/72 scale, then this really is your only choice. I can see this one selling well to those who like a lot of additional detail and all that certainly makes it well worth the entry fee.
Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours at your local shop.
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