Hobby Boss 1/72 Mi-2T "Hoplite"

KIT #: 87241
PRICE: $22.99 SRP
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: New tool kit



The Mi-2 was produced exclusively in Poland, in the WSK "PZL-Świdnik" factory in Świdnik. Production ended in 1985 after about 7,200 were made.

The first production helicopter in the Soviet Union was the Mil Mi-1, modelled along the lines of the S-51 and Bristol Sycamore and flown by Mikhail Mil's bureau in September 1948. During the 1950s it became evident, and confirmed by American and French development, that helicopters could be greatly improved with turbine engines. S. P. Isotov developed the GTD-350 engine and Mil used two of these in the far superior Mi-2. After initial development at the Mil bureau (Soviet designation V-2) this was transferred to Poland in 1964, after the first Swidnik-built example had flown. WSK-Świdnik has since delivered many hundreds, possibly one-third of them to military customers, and developed plastic rotor blades and the wide-body Mi-2M seating 10 passengers instead of eight. Most typical role kits include four stretchers, as air ambulance, or aerospraying or cropdusting device. The Mi-2T is a dedicated cargo/transport version and the subject of this kit.

In Poland, there were also developed several specialized military variants, first of all support or reconnaissance ones, with 23 mm autocannon, machine guns and/or two 57 mm rocket pods, four 9K11 Malyutka anti-tank missiles or Strela-2 AA missiles.


Hobby Boss has been expanding their helicopter selection and includes this very nice Mi-2T to their growing catalogue. Typical of Hobby Boss kits, this one has superb engraved panel lines and a full cockpit and cabin interior. It continues what I guess many of us know as the 'Chinese method' of engraved rivet detailing where appropriate. I know that there are modelers who do not like this, but I have no qualms about it one way or the other.

This kit is the cargo version of the Mi-2 so there are no weapons to be used in the building. An armed version is out there or will be as there are weapons pylons on the sprues that won't be used. The kit has a nicely done cockpit that uses a decal for the main instrument panel. Both the cyclic and collective are included. In the back are seats for six that are an option if one wishes to install them. There is a door to the cabin that can be posed open if one wishes. I found the full clear nose to be a great way to take care of those pesky seams one often finds in the clear bits of helicopter kits. The rotor head is adequately detailed and while the blades have no droop molded into them, it should not be all that difficult to incorporate it if one wants to apply a bit of judicious heat to them. The only external options are fuel tanks and one needs to decide early in the build if one wants them installed so that the appropriate holes can be opened for them.

Kit markings are for two planes. One is the box art aircraft with the Polish AF in brown and green while the other is a Soviet/Russian aircraft in light green uppers with light blue underside. Both have black rotors. Hobby Boss decals are quite good and so no issues should be encountered using them. I'd liked to have seen some of the more interesting air forces that use or used this aircraft, but hopefully the aftermarket folks will provide that for us.





June 2011 

Thanks to Squadron Products for the preview kit. Get this one at your local retailer.

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