PolishMi-24

The subject
The Mil Mi-24 is one of the most famous attack helicopters of all time, and probably the most known Soviet Helicopter amongst armed aviation enthusiasts. The first prototype flew as early as September 1969 and, after a few appearance adjustments, the first production variants reached operational status in 1972. It distinguishes itself from other attack helicopter designs with its ability to transport goods or troops during its duty, while retaining its attack capabilities. Even with all these additional features and added weight, the aircraft is still capable of reaching high speeds, as well as retaining a long operational range, high versatility and large weapon load. However, due to all this, the aircraft lacks a certain degree of agility.

As the aircraft is still soldiering strong with modern air forces more than 40 years after its introduction, seeing action in over two dozen conflicts, being exported to an even higher number of countries, and having many variants like the Mil-25 or Mil-35, the Hind can undoubtably be considered as a successful aircraft.

This article is partially based on information found at wikipedia, 1st july 2015.Mi-24P_NTW_3_92

hindboxing Hind-boxingsideHind-unboxingThe kit

  • Subject: Mil Mi-24
  • Manufacturer: Revell
  • Scale: 1/48
  • Contents: 142 parts and 11 clear parts
  • Serial: 04942
  • Price: 24EUR – 29USD
  • Personal rating: ✭✭✭✭✭ ✭✭

Hind-contentspackaged

Hind-contents

 

The contents
Within the kit we can find four styrene sprues and one clear sprue, compromising a total of 153 parts. The parts are placed around the frame, rather than the frame around the parts as with newer kits, providing protection during its voyage from the factory to the buyer. Another thing with these moods is that the attachment points are really huge, as with many older Revell moldings, and the frames are not named or numbered in any way. These can prove very troublesome when removing the parts from the frames, as I’ve have experienced with previous builds.

Hind-moldsAnother thing that anyone who has build a Revell kit who’s roots are from before 1990 knows, is that Revell tends to add a copyright stamp somewhere on the airframe. Luckily for us, Revell already realised in 1986 they should do this on the inside of the the fuselage, where this isn’t in the way during or after building process.

 

 

 

Hind-zhongshanLast but not least, on the other fuselage half is a stamp with (probably) a serial number and ‘Zhongshan’, which is a city south of the Pearl River Delta in China. The city has a rich history and even saw the final battle of the Chinese Civil War in 1949, where the People’s Liberation Army defeated the Nationalist forces. Anyway, it has been known that Revell molded their kits in Poland until recently, where now only the prototypes are molded and the actual kits in China. No worries though, as the quality of the styrene seems to be as good as any other Revell kit so far, and there are no grease residues at all.

Hind-fuselagesprue

Hind-fuselagespruedetail

The fuselage halves
The fuselage of the aircraft is split up in two halves, which are the left and right side of the airframe. These are molded onto a frame of their own with two attachment points on the bottom of the fuselage. The parts feature many details like radiators and the inside wheel bays.

Due to the age of the molds, with their creation dating back to 1986, there are both raised and recessed panel lines to be found on the parts. This will most likely put off some people to get this kit, but to be honest there aren’t that many lines on the aircraft (especially for its size), so rescribing these shouldn’t be to much work.

Hind-sprue1

Hind-sprue1detailinstrument

Hind-sprue1tailrotor Hind-sprue1rotors

The first sprue
The first sprue features most the tiny bits and do-thats. The only really distinguishable parts are the main rotor blades, the tail rotor, an instrument panel, the landing wheels and one cargo bay door, which can be displayed opened or closed. The parts display quite good detail for their age, and feature both raised and recessed details.

The instrument panel also features small raised detail, but it could have been better and also a lot more accurate. It is not that it is unusable (far from that), but anyone wanting a accurate cockpit will need to invest a bit more here.

Hind-sprue2

Hind-sprue2detailcockpit

Hind-sprue2detailpilots

The second sprue
The second sprue features the the centre part of the main rotor, the air intakes, the cockpit and seats, the massive exhausts, landing gears, the horizontal stabilizers and two pilot figurines. The parts here are very detailed, as can be seen on the detail shot of the pilot figurines.

But, as with the previous sprue, the cockpit part leaves much to be desired. The seats are way too large, and would be more in place on a 1/35 scale kit. Yet, not only are they to large, they do not look like the actual seats of the Mil-24D or any other variant of the Hind as far as I could find at all.

Hind-sprue3

Hind-sprue3detailB

Hind-sprue3detailA

The third sprue
The third and final styrene sprue holds the weapons, ‘wings’, hard points and some parts of the cargo bay area. Those last ones are well detailed and will make for a great base base to work on for recreating the cargo area if you which to display your model with a open cargo bay door. Also the wings are well detailed, featuring small rivets, raised areas and recessed panel lines, which all add to the liveliness of the model.

The only part that will need a bit of work is the gatling gun which is to be fitted below the nose of the aircraft. Also a rather odd choice is that the middle and back half of the S-8 rocket launchers are attached to the hard points, instead of making a separate part of the hard point and a separate part of the rocket launcher itself. The latter shouldn’t be to much of a drama, as it shouldn’t prove to hard to remove them. Even so, most Hinds are equipped with these pods anyway.

Hind-clearpartspacked

Hind-clearparts

The clear parts
The clear sprue is quite detailed for a clear sprue, and most likely one of the most detailed clear sprues I’ve seen in my stash so far. There is the choice wether or not you want to display the cockpit open or closed, as the door and entry port is molded separately from the main canopy frame itself. Although this isn’t anything truly revolutional, it stands out due to the odd shape of the canopy itself.

Another thing that stands out are the cargo bay windows, as the entire inside wall of the cargo bay area is molded on the same piece. This will surely add to the easiness of installing the windows without to much of a chance of screwing up (Like using to much glue or having to use it in a difficult way to keep a clean build).

Hind-decal

Hind-decalsThe decals
The decal sheet with the kit is divided into six parts, three of these are specific to the marking options provided with the kit. The other three are more technical decals like stencils, warning signs and the cockpit instruments. The decals seems to be of good quality. Silvering does not seem to be present, as the decals sheet itself seems to reflect more than the actual decals.

A very odd thing that I have never seen on a Revell kit before, is that the decals are not designed by Revell itself, as the name of the designer company of the decals, Syhart Decal, is also present on the decal sheet. Or maybe this is just the first time that Revell  added the name of the actual designers on the decal sheet.

Hind-Instrcutions1

Hind-instructionscover Hind-instructions2

The instructions
The instructions are printed on a booklet that is about the size of an A4 format of paper. The instructions itself have been divided into 54 individual steps, of which a few are optional. The illustrations are clearly copied from the previous boxings of these molds and thus a bit crude at certain points. Despite their age, they are still quite detailed, and should not pose a real problem to the average builder.

For those who are in need of the entire booklet or just want to see it, you can download it here from the Revell website.

Hind-markingsEastGermany Hind-markingsLuftwaffeHind-markingspoland
The markings
Inside the kit, we can find three marking options. Sadly, these are pretty much identical to one another, with the only difference being the insignias and identification numbers. The paint schemes are painted in egg blue on the bottom with overall grey on the top with green patches.

The first option, as depicted on the box art, is a East-German (NVA) Hind-E, which was based at KHG-3 Cottbus Air base during 1985, bearing the identification code 414.
The second is a Luftwaffe airframe with the identifaction codes of 98+31, based at the Manching WTD-61 Air Base during 1995. Both of these aircraft are no longer in service, since the East German Airforce dissolved in 1990 after the fall of the Soviet Union and the Luftwaffe Hinds were retired during the early nineties, of which some were sold of to Hungary and Poland, as well as two aircraft to the US for evaluation purposes.

Mi24CP_editThe polish airframe as found in the kit. PHOTOGRAPH shared with A CC BY-SA 3.0 LICENSE

The last aircraft, as pictured above, is the Polish air force airframe number 457. It is still in use with the Polish Air Force, but repainted in an all-green paint scheme. It would have been neat if Revell had provided the black lettered ‘457’-code as found on the all green aircraft, so we could have had the possibility to build the more recent version too, as I’ve seen pictures of the aircraft which would be weathering fan’s wet dream.

The conclusion
This Mil-24D kit is really neat, with a price that is quite low for such a huge aircraft. Pretty much everything is provided to build the most iconic version of this historically significant attack helicopter produced by the Soviet Union. The standard of detail is also pretty high, considering the molds were created in 1986.

However, because of its age, it suffers from choices that were made by Revell/Monogram over a quarter century ago. The consequences of these choices? The cockpit not accurate at all, like the size of the pilot and gunner seats, or the depictions of the instrument panel, or the rocket launchers that are molded onto the hard points. These things are not unsurpassable nor make the kit a waste, but they aren’t exactly positive. Getting a replacement for the cockpit can be bought, and most of the time the Mil-24’s were equipped with these rocket pods.

There are also very good parts though, the decals seem from good quality and the markings seem accurate, the cargo bay walls are molded on the clear parts with the windows (which adds a lot more ease to installing them. You get a good kit given the price range this boxing is in, and you can choose wether or not you want to display the inside of the aircraft with the choice of open or closed cockpit and cargo bay doors.

In the end, this is the only 1/48 Mil-24 Hind out there. The only kits that probably is more detailed than this one are the 1/35 boxings from Trumpeter, which also costs about three times more and needs a heck of a lot more space and time to build. If you want an ‘accurate’ Hind, get that one, if you want a Hind for a good price or in 1/48 scale, then I honestly recommend the Revell kit. As far as needed amount of skill goes, I’m pretty sure any builder of any level will find joy in this kit. The kit thicks a few bad points which prevent it from being a perfect kit, but it checks enough of them to make itself present and provide a great base to build a great quarter scale version of the aircraft, and therefore I’d recommended it to beginner and veteran builders alike.