KP 1/72 Mi-8/17
KIT #: 28
PRICE: $15.00 when new
DECALS: Four options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 1989 Release


The Mil Mi-8 (Russian: Ми-8, NATO reporting name: Hip) is a medium twin-turbine helicopter, originally designed by the Soviet Union in the 1960s and introduced into the Soviet Air Force in 1968. It is now produced by Russia. In addition to its most common role as a transport helicopter, the Mi-8 is also used as an airborne command post, armed gunship, and reconnaissance platform.

Along with the related, more powerful Mil Mi-17, the Mi-8 is among the world's most-produced helicopters, used by over 50 countries. As of 2015, when combined the two helicopters are the third most common operational military aircraft in the world.


This kit by KP is quite popular with the reboxers, having appeared over the years in Revell, SMER, Italeri, Mr.Kit and a number of other boxes. Generally, they have different markings options, but that is about it. The kit will build either an Mi-8 or an early Mi-17. The main difference being which side of the fuselage the tail rotor is located. On the 8 it is on the right and with the 17 it is on the left. Note also that the 17 has uprated engines so can handle more weapons on the side pylons.

Despite being developed when pretty much everyone else had gone to engraved panel lines, this one is of the raised variety. The kit has a fairly complete interior with a full cockpit (minus the collective, which seems endemic with older helo kits) and a cabin with jump seats along the side.

There are separate window sets for the cabin depending on if you are doing an Mi-8 or Mi-17. At this time you are to install the cockpit/cabin assembly and put weight under the cockpit. It seems like they ask for 3 grams, but I'd add more. You are also to build up the Mi-8 weapons pylons (assuming you want to use them). Next the upper engine assembly is constructed and attached along with the horizontal stabs. Note that the exhaust also differ between types.

The main rotor head is nicely done with straight blades. Then the Mi-17 weapons pylon assemblies are done. Moving back to the fuselage, the tail rotor, engine intakes and main landing gear are glued in place. This is followed by the tail rotor, nose gear and the cockpit clear pieces.

Instructions are a bit vague on some parts, such as the attachment of the weapons pylons, and no detail drawings are provided to help. Interior color information is also vague with no guide. Four markings options are provided and all are shown on the back of the box. Two are Mi-8 and Two are Mi-17, Three are Czech aircraft. One is a civilian plane where all the large areas will need to be painted. The others are military planes in either green/brown or two shades of green. The fourth is a Soviet aircraft for which there is no scheme provided. Fortunately, there are a lot of images on the internet to help. Decals are nicely printed, but have yellowed fairly badly and are best tossed in favor of aftermarket.

Since the release of this kit there have been others by Hobby Boss and Zvezda. To my knowledge, none of these are the later 'pointy nose' versions. Really, any of these will make into a nice model and any helo modeler should have one on their shelves. I've built other KP helos and they are fairly nice when done so shouldn't be discounted as a choice.

October 2022

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