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  1. Mi-17 Hip Early (88010) 1:48 AMK – Avantgarde Models The Mi-8 was originally intended as a replacement to the ageing Mi-4, and started life as a single turbine medium lift helicopter of the Soviet Union. After the addition of an extra engine for greater lift and an element of redundancy, the Mi-8 entered service with Soviet and Soviet aligned forces in the mid-70s, the export variants known as the Mi-17 and having some differences from the indigenous airframes, in the shape of larger, more powerful engines and optional hot-and-high engines for environments where the originals might struggle. The new engines gave it a greater lift capacity, and they are easily separated from the Mi-8 variants by their tail rotor, which is on the port side of the Mi-17. They have become a very popular helicopter amongst former soviet states and their export customers, with over 6,500 airframes created if you incorporate the local Mi-8s and their many variants. ‘Hip’ is the type’s NATO reporting name, and it has been pressed into many roles throughout its long service life, which at time of writing is still ongoing with many countries. One such role is as a gunship, as the Mi-171V, which was fitted with rocket pods to provide close support to friendly forces, although this was a role better suited to the Mi-24 and later attack specific choppers. China have long been a customer of the Hip, and have built their own under license from Mil, although they have recently decided to use their own indigenous equipment going forward. They are still an excellent load-carrying chopper, and their rear clamshell doors are surprisingly capacious with plenty of space to load and unload equipment, vehicles or up to 24 fully armed and equipped personnel. The Kit This is a new tool from AMK from 2022, who have returned to produce more new kits for us modellers after a quiet period that seemed to follow their F-14A release, at least here in the UK. It has been reboxed a couple of times already, sometimes under the Annetra logo, although I’m not entirely sure who or what that means. The kit arrives in a standard top-opening box with their burgundy theme, and inside are nineteen sprues in grey styrene, a clear sprue, a sheet of Photo-Etch (PE), decal sheet and instruction booklet that is printed in colour on glossy paper in an A4 portrait format. Detail is everything we have seen from AMK in the past, including copious use of slide-moulding, raised and recessed features, and finely engraved panel lines next to raised rivets in places. Unusually, the painting and decaling diagrams are printed at the front of the booklet in colour, along with a chart of all the colours to be used in the build, with Gunze Sangyo C codes given, which are usually simply the same number as their acrylic H equivalent, plus a Federal Standard FS or RAL colour code wherever possible to assist with conversion if necessary. Construction begins with the bulkhead between the cockpit and main cabin, which is built from two highly detailed layers and several extra parts, including a jump-seat and cabin door with porthole in the curved top. The finished assembly is inserted into slots that match the pegs on its underside in the combined floor, which is nicely detailed itself. Another simple (and uncomfortable-looking) jump seat is attached to the cockpit side of the door, then adding control consoles in the centre, with cyclic and collective sticks replicated for both crew, as are the pedals. The crew seat shells are made from halves that have the legs moulded-in, the seam hidden at the front by the L-shaped cushion parts that are pencil quilted vertically. The two pilots have an instrument panel each, which are supported either side of the centre console, and they each have a dial decal to apply over the raised details moulded into the panels, which have a blanking plate added to the back. The passenger/load area has an internal skin with plenty of detail moulded into it that is augmented by adding the canvas seats on tubular frames down both sides, which like a great many helicopter interiors, can be folded away on the real thing. With both sides completed and painted, the side walls are glued to the floor and closed over by adding the ceiling panel, which has a curved interior with yet more detail. Once the glue has fully cured on the interior “sausage”, the fuselage can be closed over the assembly after inserting all the portholes that line the sides of the aircraft, and a couple of consoles in the ceiling area of the cockpit on both sides, referring to the drawings in the front of the booklet for decal information. The modeller is advised to “duddy” the seamline of the upper tail boom, which with a little help from my iPhone means putty, or literally “replenish soil”. It’s a fair guess from a non-Mandarin speaker. There is a basic rendition of the two turboshaft engines inside the cowlings, which are made from two halves and each have a three-part engine face and bypass trapped between the parts. The engine cowling is moulded as a single slide-moulded part with several cut-outs for exhausts and intakes, fitting a central support for the central intake on a lug, then building the rotor base from just two well-detailed parts, before inserting the two engine sections in place on the supports moulded into the cowling, and closing the front with a bulkhead to admit the air into the turboshafts. The entrances are then covered by a pair of dust deflecting domed filters that are each made from three layers and have a fourth part that inserts into the openings in the front of the cowling. The cowl is detailed with grab-handles, handles, a blister over the transverse mounted APU on the starboard rear side, and an intake in the front above the main intakes. The completed assembly is then mated to the flat-spot on top of the fuselage, taking care to align the two parts carefully. The clamshell doors at the rear of the fuselage can be posed open or closed as you like it, starting by detailing the interior with additional parts over the ribbed surface, then either gluing them together and mounting them over the rear, or leaving them separate from each other and attached to the rear of the fuselage on their hinge-points. The front of the fuselage is closed by detailing the canopy with small sensors on the exterior and an overhead console with decal on the inside, lining it up gluing it carefully to the fuselage. The underside of the fuselage is closed by a curved insert, and the panniers on the sides of the fuselage are installed on their mounting locations, the port pannier made from a single part, while the starboard unit is built from four parts in order to provide further variants later, hopefully. The underside is covered with small details, and a sensor box that bears a resemblance to an old-fashioned tin bath is inserted into a recess under the tail boom, adding a pair of stabilising fins to the sides, and a vent insert right under the tail. The side door is outfitted with another porthole, and a winch is made from three parts and fixed to the fuselage next to the door at head height for easy access. More sensors, aerials and antennae festoon the upper fuselage, with an emergency exit over the pilot’s seats in case they get the urge for a quick flat-top haircut. In typical Soviet fashion, the landing gear is fixed, and relatively simple. The nose gear has a three-part strut and twin wheels with separate outer hubs, and sprouts from the floor under the cockpit bulkhead, while the main gear is mounted on a single strut attached to the upper fuselage side, and is mated to an A-frame outrigger that supports the four-part wheel, one on each side. The three-bladed tail-rotor is fitted to the tail after building the six-part mount, slotting into the top of the tail on a long peg for strength, and do remember that it is meant to be on the port side of the airframe. The main rotor has five blades that have been moulded with the necessary gravity-induced droop incorporated, and the hub is presented as the lower half, onto which the blades with the upper portion of the hub moulded-in are glued, then the axle with three-part actuator assembly, spacer and counter-weight crown are inserted, after which it can be inserted into the socket on top of the aircraft. A pair of tiny round rear-view mirrors on long frames are applied to the nose for the crew’s use, adding windscreen wipers, blown side windows, probes and a side access ladder that should be shortened before installation according to the scrap diagram. The model isn’t yet finished, as the tail boom needs some work, first removing some raised details that aren’t applicable to this variant, then applying many of the PE sheet’s parts to replace and augment the detail all around the tail and boom, which may have been damaged by sanding the seams earlier. Take care here, follow the instructions carefully, and perhaps consider doing this task early in the build after you have glued the fuselage together to save breaking off any small parts. Creation of the weapons and their pylons is interleaved between the other steps of the build, but we have left them until the end to preserve continuity. There are two racks of three pylons, one each side that are supported in the horizontal by a pair of inverted V-frames that latch into strengthened points on the side of the fuselage. Additional cross-braces are laid across the pylons to act as anti-sway braces, and each of the three pylons can carry a UB-32 rocket pod that are each supplied on their own sprue, making heavy use of slide-moulding, and providing two styles of rear housing, one with a conical rear shroud, the other with a curved cut-out under the rear. It is the cut-out option that we use for this boxing, sliding a tubular sleeve inside that has the rear of the pod engraved at the end, then closing the front with the conical cap that has all the rocket tubes moulded deeply into the surface. There are no rockets visible inside the tubes, so we’ll just assume they’re unloaded. Sanding the seams between the mould sections of the slide-moulded parts will take a little time, but it’s preferable to trying to align two halves and suffering from reduced detail levels that a traditional injection moulded rocket pod would offer. Markings There are three decal options on the sheet from three operators, with vastly different camouflage schemes for each option. You are advised to select your decal option before starting building, and three single profiles are printed at the front of the booklet with the paint codes beneath them. The options then have a further page devoted to each one, with another page showing the colours for the main and tail rotors, stencils for pylons, rocket pods and the decals for the instrument panels and consoles, as previously mentioned. From the box you can build one of the following: The decals were designed by L-Decals Studio and printed anonymously on light blue decal paper. Printing is crisp, colour density good, and sharpness allows you to read the stencils, providing you can read whichever language the Cyrillic stencils are. Conclusion A very well-detailed model that shows attention to detail inside and out, and with pre-sagged blades that are a huge relief to this modeller that is currently facing this task on another model. It’s great to see AMK back and producing kits that are just as good as their previous issues. Highly recommended. Available from all good model shops, whether they’re bricks & mortar, or virtual. Review sample courtesy of
  2. Mi-17 Detail Upgrades (for AMK) 1:48 Eduard AMK released their take on the Soviet Mi-17 heavy military helicopter last year (2022), with subsequent boxings broadening the range. Eduard's new range of sets are here to improve on the kit detail in the usual modular manner. Get what you want for the areas you want to be more of a focal point. As usual with Eduard's Photo-Etch (PE) and Mask sets, they arrive in a flat resealable package, with a white backing card protecting the contents and the instructions that are sandwiched between. Cockpit Interior (491352) Two frets are included, one nickel-plated and pre-painted, the other bare brass for structural elements. A complete set of new layered instrument panels, sidewalls, equipment boxes and side consoles with added levers for the cockpit are in full colour, with two pairs of foot pedals for the crew controls; brackets, webs and stowage boxes for the cockpit interior; appliqué panels on the exterior; scissor-links for the oleos, and a set of two-part windscreen wipers. SPACE 3D Printed Cockpit Decals (3DL48119) The Eduard SPACE sets use new 3D printing techniques that lay down successive layers of different colour resin, creating highly realistic almost full complete panels that are supplied on a decal sheet. They can depict metallic shades, plus glossy, satin, and matt colours too, which really ups the detail on everything they print. In addition, a small sheet of nickel-plated and pre-painted PE is included for the aspects of the set that lend themselves better to this medium, such as seatbelts and rudder pedals. The decal sheet contains a full range of instrument panels and equipment box fronts, complete with glossy dials and excellent 3D relief of the parts. The electrical panel is also replaced by a new front, with all the main decals having the traditional Soviet blue/green background around the instrument bezels. There are also drop light boxes with traffic lights in the cockpit that is replicated in the doorway of the aircraft to let the passengers know when to release a load or passengers from the door. The two main instrument panels have an additional layer added in the centre, further improving the depth of the panels, and of course all these decals should be applied over the background once the original kit details have been removed by scraping or sanding flat. The PE sheet contains two full sets of crew four-point seatbelts for the pilots, plus a couple of boxes on which some of the decals are applied to replicate missing boxes from inside the kit cockpit. Seatbelts STEEL (FE1353) These belts are Photo-Etch (PE) steel, and because of their strength they can be etched from thinner material, which improves realism and flexibility in one sitting. Coupled with the new painting method that adds perceived extra depth to the buckles and other furniture by shading, they are more realistic looking and will drape better than regular brass PE. Similar to those in the SPACE set above, the package contains two full sets of crew four-point seatbelts for the pilots, available for those not opting to go the 3D printed route. Cargo Floor (481110) This larger bare brass set contains an important upgrade to the floor of the passenger compartment, starting with a long skin for the floor with details and treadplate etched into the surface, adding numerous treadplated access panels over this, along with two long runners, the kit representations of which will need to be removed from the kit floor along with a trapezoid shape at the front. With the kit bulkhead between the cockpit and passenger compartment, the trapezoid shape on the new floor is augmented by laying a folded part with supports into position where the kit part would have been. Cargo Seatbelts STEEL (491353) These belts are Photo-Etch (PE) steel, and because of their strength they can be etched from thinner material, which improves realism and flexibility in one sitting. Coupled with the new painting method that adds perceived extra depth to the buckles and other furniture by shading, they are more realistic looking and will drape better than regular brass PE. The set comprises six sets of pale grey belts per side of the aircraft for application to the seats under the circular windows in the fuselage of the Mi-17, made from thirty-seven individual parts, and including belts for the jump seats found in the compartment. Masks (EX942) Supplied on a sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with a full set of masks for the canopy, side windows and other clear parts, with a few compound curved panes handled by using frame hugging masks, while the compound curved gaps are in-filled with either liquid mask or offcuts from the background tape at your choice. Masks Tface (EX943) Supplied on a larger sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with everything above, but also give you another set of canopy masks tailored to fit the interior of the glazing so that you can paint the interior and give your model that extra bit of realism. Having used these sets on my own models now, I can confirm that they are extremely accurate, and it's best to place the outer masks first to act as a guide for alignment of the inner masks. Conclusion A great range of sets to pore over and choose from to improve the detail on your new AMK Mi-17 kit in the places that you are interested in to make the focal points of your model more impressive. Review sample courtesy of
  3. Mil Mi-2 Hoplite at the Cold War Air Museum, Lancaster, Texas. Pics thanks to Nigel Heath.
  4. I have a Mil Mi-26 Halo which will be wearing Aeroflot colours in the stash and I have started to think about getting something fixed wing to use as a size comparison. Any ideas? Preferably something civvy as the Halo will be in civvy colours.
  5. Mil-8 HIP, VIP Transport ex Polish Air Force. Pics thanks to Rich Ellis.
  6. Mi-24F Hind-A. The Mil-24F is a Modified Hind-A with seven reinforcing ribs on the port fuselage aft of the wing, the IFF antenna relocated from the canopy to the oil cooler, and the APU exhaust was also extended and angled downwards. Pics taken at The Ukraine State Aviation Museum Zhulyany, Kiev. Pics thanks to Dave Haskell.
  7. My first build of 2018 is going to be the Amodel 1/72 Mil Mi-10 Harke. Here's the box top and contents: Pretty much standard Amodel fare: Fuselage in multiple parts that will be interesting to align, nice surface detail that I'll do well not to obliterate, no locating pins, and lots of flash. Should be fun! I have all the aftermarket I can find for it - a set of KV masks and some PE intended for an Mi-6. There's still one bit of aftermarket to decide on though - something to sling underneath - building an unloaded Mi-10 would be just plain wrong. There don't seem to be an awful lot of photos of operational Mi-10s out there - lots of photos of prototypes carrying things (particularly one of the prototypes carrying a bus at a Paris air show) but not much more than that. There are a few pointers out there on what some options could be though: A MiG-15: As Thud4444 noted in the chat thread, there's this photo of a Mi-10 which looks like it's just offloaded a MiG-15UTI: A truck or armoured personnel carrier: Seems obvious that the Mi-10 would have carried these sorts of things around and Yefim Gordon's book "Mil's Heavylift Helicopters" refers to crews in East Germany practicing with these kinds of loads. Then there's the Mi-10RVK with the Zil-135V missile launcher (which would have to be scratch-built): Or the Mi-10PP with this big ECM device underneath: Then there's the Mi-10GR which carried a Grebeshok ELINT device underneath, but I can't find any remotely useful photos of it. There's also mention online of a Mi-10 airlifting a woolly mammoth encased in ice - but of course I can't find any photos (there's a video on youtube of a Mi-26 carrying one though). Right now, the MiG-15 is the frontrunner - I like the look of the missile launcher, but don't think I'll have time to scratch build it. So I think I'm going to order an Eduard MiG-15UTI. Can't wait to get cracking tomorrow!
  8. Mil Mi-4 Hound. Ex Indian Air Force. Pics thanks to Dilip Sethi, via Thomas McCafferty.
  9. Mil-24, at The Ukraine State Aviation Museum Zhulyany, Kiev. Pics thanks to Dave Haskell.
  10. Mi-17sh, export version of the Mi-8AMTsh. Pics thanks to Kevan.
  11. Mi-8MTV-1 / Mi-17V Radar-equipped civil version of the Mi-8MTV. Airframe is ER-MHR operated by Skylink Aviation. Pics taken in Afghanistan, thanks to Alex.
  12. Mil-1 Hare, pics thanks to Rich Ellis, at the Helicopter Museum, Weston-Super-Mare. Mil Mi-1 "Hare", 2007, C/N. 5112007. The Museum example is a Polish built SM-1 variant, completed by PZL-Swidnik, Poland in February 1959 and delivered to the Polish Air Force. Used primarily for pilot training from 1962 until the late 1980s, the aircraft was then grounded and used for ground instruction. The final log book entry is dated 29th November 1990. Purchased by the Museum in 1992 it was delivered by road in 1993. It is restored in Soviet markings as an example of the first Russian production helicopter.Info from the Helicopter Museum
  13. Mil Mi-26 Halo. Pics taken at The Ukraine State Aviation Museum Zhulyany, Kiev. Pics thanks to Dave Haskell.
  14. Mi-14PL Haze-A, Pics taken at The Ukraine State Aviation Museum Zhulyany, Kiev. Pics thanks to Dave Haskell.
  15. Detail pics of the Hind D at The Helicopter Museum in Weston-Super-Mare. Pics mine. Pics thanks to Rich Ellis. Mil Mi-24D "Hind", 96+26/421, C/N. 230270110073. Built in 1981 as a ground attack/assault helicopter and powered by two Klimov TV-3-117 turboshaft engines. The Hind in the Museum collection is a Mi-24D variant, some 350 of which were built at factories in Arsenyev and Rostov-on-Don. Armament includes a 12.7 mm four barrel 9-A 624 machine gun, four Falanga anti-tank missiles and 80 rockets in four under wing pods. First flown on 2nd April 1981 it was delivered to the East German Army based at Basephol, North of Berlin. In early 1992 it was decided to disband the Hind squadrons and its last flight was on 24th February 1992. The German Government allocated it to the Helicopter Museum and a team went to Basephol in early 1995 to dismantle and transport it to the United Kingdom. It was delivered to the Museum on 20th February 1995 with assistance from Bristow Helicopters.Info from The Helicopter Museum
  16. Mil Mi-6 (NATO reporting name Hook), Pics taken at The Ukraine State Aviation Museum Zhulyany, Kiev. Pics thanks to Dave Haskell.
  17. My son bought me this kit for my birthday, he reckons I need something different in my cabinet. I have never built a Tamiya kit nor a Russian Helicopter. Something I can't figure out is why Tamiya re-box Italeri kits. Is Tamiya a crap kit manufacturer??? The only part of this kit made in Japan is the box. No English in the instructions and I am sure the colour call outs are wrong, I will work it out....... Box art. Sprues Decals Thanks for looking. Stephen
  18. MisterCraft is to release a 1/48th (?) Mil Mi-4A "Hound" kit - ref. F04 Sources: http://www.modellbau-universe.de/produkt;mil-mi-4-hound-mistercraft;mc~f04;10;1;1;1.htm https://www.modelbouwkrikke.nl/plastic-bouwdozen/contents/nl/p44277_mistercraft-f-04-mil-mi-4-hound.html http://www.hobbycenter.pt/shop/index.php?id_product=804&controller=product&id_lang=1 Price tag suggests a 1/72nd kit and the box art reminds the old MisterCraft/Směr/KP 1/72nd kit. But ref. number is new and the kit is clearly announced as 1/48th scale. Kit ref.060046 Source: http://www.benl.ebay.be/itm/Mil-Mi-4A-Hound-Soviet-Transport-Helicopter-1-72-MISTERCRAFT-Hobby-Kits-060046-/391553938177?clk_rvr_id=1096532567915&rmvSB=true Here ref. F04 in 1/72nd: http://www.hobbysta.pl/mil-hound-p-56416.html To be followed. V.P.
  19. Freedom Model Kits or Freedom Q is to release a egg plane (?) - or scale? - Mil Mi-24V "Hind-E" kit - ref.17301 Source: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10153622324614147&set=gm.1750508361831713&type=3&theater Box art V.P.
  20. Ref.72037 Source: http://www.primeportal.net/models/thomas_voigt10/ark/index.php?Page=1 V.P.
  21. Scaleworx is to release a 1/72nd Mil Mi-35 "Superhind Mk.IV" resin conversion set based on the HobbyBoss Mil Mi-24 "Hind-E" Source: https://scontent-bru2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfa1/v/t1.0-9/8168_423379251194755_6769390759038163413_n.jpg?oh=66c80c5b5fb1e7d452b41fb8873b6f9e&oe=56FB82D3 V.P.
  22. In no real order other than by aircraft type kinda... my 2015 with a little bit of 2016 thrown in, but will note by the 2016 photos! It's been a good year I must admit, and I've only been abroad once to Switzerland 'spotting' for the day.... All Russian/Soviet/Ukrainian/Eastern European types as these are my all time favourite.... Hope they are of interest! and two from tonight (07/01/16) taken at East Midlands...
  23. Firstly, MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL!!! OK, now that that is done, I can tell a little backstory. Two years ago my brother, who is now four, got a fire brigade toy set for his birthday. It included a jeep, a truck, some other stuff and, most importantly, a helicopter which I recognized a a Mi-8. Some time later I looked over it in detail and thought how unusually detailed and accurate it was for a '3+' toy. So when the main rotor broke off and my brother left it on a shelf, I seized my opportunity and took the helicopter+rotor. My idea - improve as much of the helicopter as I can, scratchbuild an interior, repaint, possible cut out the clamshell doors and pose the open. I have discovered a review/build article of the Hobby Boss 1:72 Mi-8: http://www.flankers-site.co.uk/modl_mi-8.html This not only contains wonderful information and pictures of the interior, but has also helped me identify my Mi-8 as a Mi-8T. The parts breakdown of this thing is very similar to ordinary plastic models - fuselage in two halves, transparent glazing part, a separate cockpit and several other parts like gear, rotors etc. Here are a few photos of what it looked like before I started: As you can see, the the detail is quite good, though slightly exaggerated. Having removed one screw and battled with the rest of it for ten minutes I braved the horrible snowstorm and went over to the garage, or rather the guest area above it, where I keep my modeling stuff. With the help of a screwdriver, a knife and some fairy dust I manage to take apart everything except for the tail rotor and the side window glazing parts which are stubbornly attached to the fuselage halves, the tail rotor with a tiny nail (!!!) and the window parts with some sort of super-strong glue which seems to have melted the transparencies to the fuselage parts. That will be fun to deal with. Here is what everything looks for after the disassembly process: The cockpit part is rather simple by scale model standards, but incredible for a toy. The seats and bulkhead (+door!) are there, and even the Mi-8's strange instrument panels are accurately shown!!! With a bit of paint that part will look amazing! Sorry for the horrible photos, the iPhone camera is made more for epic panoramas than tiny helicopter parts. And another thing: The snowstorm I mentioned is getting scary, of course nothing as bad as what happened in upstate New York recently, but still. There was no snow at all for the whole of December here in Moscow, and now it has snowed 50 centimeters in the last two hours. The following photo was taken 40 minutes ago. There was no snow on the ground this morning when I woke up. If I do not post before this time tomorrow, the roof has probably collapsed under the weight of all that snow and I am having a very merry christmas trapped under the rubble and freezing to death.
  24. Mil Mi-24 HindD NX120NX. NX120NX is an Ex Bulgarian Air Force Hind D, now operated on the civilian register in the USA by The Cold War Air Museum in Texas. Pics thanks to GeorgeUSA.
  25. Mi-35 Hind, this is the export version of the Mi-24. Czech Air Force Mi-35 visiting the Helicopter Museum at Weston Super Mare. Pics thans to Mike Costello.
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