MisterCraft 1/48 Mi-2T
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
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.
The twin shaft-turbine engines used in the Mi-2 develop 40% more power than the Mi-1's piston engines, for barely half the engine weight, with the result that the payload was more than doubled. The Mi-2 fuselage was extensively altered from its predecessor, with the engines mounted overhead. However, the external dimensions remained similar.
The Mil-built prototype first flew in the Soviet Union on 22 September 1961, after the initial development the project was transferred to Poland in 1964. The first Świdnik-built example flew on 4 November 1965 (making this the only Soviet-designed helicopter to be built solely outside the Soviet Union). PZL-Świdnik produced a total of 5,497 helicopters, about a third for military users. The factory also developed fiberglass rotor blades, and developed the wide-body Mi-2M seating 10 passengers instead of eight. Most typical role-change kits include four stretchers for air ambulance usage, or aerospraying or cropdusting applications.
According to Scalemates, this kit was originally released in the 1990s by SMER. It was later reboxed by KP and in 2020, MisterCraft reboxed a whole series, of which this is one.
Looking into the box one is immediately taken back to the 1950s/60s. There is no surface detailing aside from engraved door openings. The minimal canopy framing is molded in place. There is no cabin detailing. The cockpit consists of a split bench seat and an instrument panel which takes a decal. The face of the instrument panel is blank and has very large sink areas. Sink areas are featured on several of the kit's parts as are quite a few ejector pin marks.
To say that this is a simple kit would be about right. There are a total of 28 parts, though the box states there are 101. I guess if you considered each individual decal a part you might come closer. The clear parts consist of the unmarked nose section as well as two flat clear sections to put behind the cabin windows. That means that none of the clear bits will be flush with the outside of the fuselage.
The rotor head is not at all detailed and has large mounting pin holes for the three main blades. A click-lock main rotor shaft secures it to the fuselage. The tail rotor is attached in a similar matter. The mounting for the main gear is quite large and these make for a sturdy main gear. The only options are a pair of side mounted fuel tanks.
Instructions are two large exploded views that are more than adequate for this kit. No interior color is provided, but searching the web shows a variety of shades, mostly in greys. Probably the best part of the kit are the two small decal sheets. They are nicely printed and offer six options, all in various camouflage schemes. You get a Polish, two Hungarian, Russian, Ukrainian, and a US helo. The back of the instruction sheet provides a bevy of full color camouflage schemes as well as a chart with generic color information. For each option, specific FS595 or RAL colors are provided.
I was honestly quite surprised at the simplicity of this kit. I was expecting something considerably more detailed. It makes me wonder if the 1/72 kit is equally as basic. Regardless, it is a 1/48 Mi-2 and should cause no issues in construction. It would perhaps be a good kit for a beginner and will provide a canvas for those who like to scratch-build.
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