by: Tim Hatton [ ]
The MIL Mi-35M Hind E is the export version of the multi-purpose attack helicopters Mi-24V and has been bought by many countries. The Mi-35M is a modernised version of the very successful Mi-24. The Mi-35P carrying a wide range of armament including antitank guided missiles, cannon, grenades, bombs and mines. Modifications include the use of thermal and night vision. Designed to destroy armored vehicles, provide fire support, as well as transportation the transportation and evacuation of troops and casualties, causalities can also be moved on external slings.
The core of the aircraft was derived from the Mil Mi-8 [NATO reporting name "Hip"]: two top-mounted turbo shaft engines driving a mid-mounted 17.3 m five-blade main rotor and a four-blade tail rotor. The engine configuration gave the aircraft its distinctive double air intake. Original versions have an angular greenhouse-style cockpit; Model D and later have a characteristic tandem cockpit with a "double bubble" canopy. Other airframe components came from the Mi-14 "Haze". Two mid-mounted stub wings provide weapon hardpoints.
The body is heavily armoured and can resist impacts from .50 caliber [12.7mm] rounds from all angles, including the titanium rotor blades. The cockpit is an even more heavily armored titanium tub and can resist impact from 37mm cannon rounds. The Mi-35 is primarily an attack helicopter, but may also be outfitted for other missions. In the transport/cargo role it can not only carry internal loads but is capable of external sling loads up to 3,000 pounds. In the air ambulance role, the Mi-35 can carry four stretchers and one attendant. The Mi-35 cockpit areas and cargo/passenger areas are sealed, environmentally controlled, over pressurized and NBC filtered. The aircraft may be equipped with additional internal fuel tanks to extend the range/endurance of the Hind.
One of the special features of the Mi-35 is its speed. It was and still remains to this day the fastest combat helicopter. Considerable attention was given to making the Mi-35 fast. MIL Mi-35M Hind E equipped with 2 TVZ-2225 engines giving a very good cruising speed of up to 320 kph and a range of around 450km. The airframe was streamlined, and fitted with retractable tricycle undercarriage landing gear to reduce drag. Soviet pilots called the aircraft 'letayushiy tank' or flying tank. Another common nickname is 'Krokodil' (Crocodile) - due to the fuselage shape. The wings provide considerable lift at high speed, up to a quarter of total lift. The main rotor is tilted 2.5° to the right from the fuselage to counteract dissymmetry of lift at high speed and provide a more stable firing platform. The landing gear was also tilted to the left so the rotor would still be level when the aircraft was on the ground, making the rest of the airframe tilt to the left. The tail was also asymmetrical to give a side force at speed, thus unloading the tail rotor.
Box is a top opening with some very useful images of the built and unpainted model on one of the sides.
5 x light grey injected plastic sprues.
1 x transparent injected plastic sprue.
1 x small decal sheet.
1 x 10 page A4 instruction manual.
Cockpit: the main thing to notice is that the front of the model containing the cockpit is separate from the bulk of the fuselage. The cockpit is detailed and made up of around 16 parts. Both cockpits come with cyclic and collective controls, but there are no anti torque pedals. In reality the cyclic and collective controls are normally folded away in the gunners position. The pedals may be missing because there are two crew members included in the kit. Two crew are included for the cockpit. One crew member is made up from two parts, split at the waist. The other crew member is one piece. The rear position has three minor ejector marks on the cockpit floor although they should not be a problem to sort out. The side wall on the port side of the cockpits also has a couple of recessed ejector marks that can be either filled or sanded down. The one piece seats are not provided with harnesses. The instrument are provided as decals and look pretty good.
The canopies: I suspect are going to be the most challenging aspect of the build. The front canopy comes in two parts, the canopy hatch, hinging to port is separate. The rear canopy comes in three parts, with separate windscreen and a car type hatch opening to starboard. The prominent wind screen wipers are not included in the detailing. It's a pity there is not the option for complete canopies to make construction easier if you did not want the crew hatches open, but that's a minor point. While around the canopies, the rather lethal looking probe attached to the front canopy is beautifully moulded. There are transparent parts for the hold windows, eight in all, two each in the doors. The surface of the plastic on the outer side is slightly concave distorting the light some what. But you have to be very close to the parts to notice. A pity they could not mould the entire upper half of the door in transparent plastic. All that would be required to represent the windows is the application of cut masks applied to the window areas before painting. Again a minor grumble. The edges around the widows are slightly recessed, hopefully making the fitting of the windows more positive.
The fuselage: to the rear of the cockpit comes in two parts and is split vertically. There are depressions in the surface to fit the stub wings and access panel on the port side and a depression on the starboard side to fit a vent. The shape of the fuselage and the placement of the panel lines look very good compared to photographs. There are a number of cut outs for the windows in the hold, two hold doors, engine access hatches and for the engine exhausts. Internally in the passenger cabin there is some low relief framework, but this is slightly marred by some rough looking ejector marks. They wont be difficult to clean up, but leaving them will spoil the look of the detail inside the hold, particularly if you are displaying your Hind with doors open. There are a few components to add to the hold; front and rear bulkheads, floor, ceiling with nicely moulded detail representing the quilted insulation, and a central support with two bench seats. The rear bulkhead looks a little odd as the horizontal lines are not parallel. Whether this is to do with the fact that the Hind is slightly higher on one side than the other, I am not sure [see above history]. The clean and crisp detail of the hold components emphasis the need to clean up those ejector marks from the inside of the fuselage. The hold doors do not slide, but are split horizontally to open up and down. For each door a there are some finely detailed one piece hydraulic arms. Some drilling is required in the fuselage halves to provide location points for the chaff/flare dispensers. The holes have been already been started in the interior so all that is needed is to finish drilling through.
The engines: are superbly molded and can be displayed if you elect to display the hatches open. The nine part gear box has some lovely detail on it as does the floor of the engine compartment. There are a number of components to fit to the floor. Each engine is made up from nine components. All the components look beautifully detailed and busy, but the addition of some additional piping using references will further improve this area. As it stands most modelers will be very happy with the level of detail provided out of the box. One of the appealing features of this kit is that you can have access doors open to reveal all that lovely detail in the engine bays. The interior side of the access doors have some nice detail moulded on them. There is also a very nicely detailed intake for the oil cooler on top of the two power plants. This part could easily pass as a after market resin detail part. There is the choice of exhausts: the unfaired exhaust pipe or faired exhausts. The latter have a housings in the form of a box, that covers the pipes. There purpose is to reduce the heat signature of the engines, so they were less susceptible from ground fired heat seeking missiles. Each exhaust box is made up from 5 parts. The engine air intakes come with separate dust guards.
The five blades rotors: are pre-drooped on the sprue. Blades are thin with recessed detail. The rotor head is made up from 18 parts. The locating points for the blades and links look very positive. Although the build up of the rotor head looks initially complex careful study of the instructions should make the build straightforward. The four blade tail rotor is moulded in two pieces, two blades to each part and the detailing looks excellent. According to the instructions the separate tail blades are not assembled in a cruciform shape.
Undercarriage: Main undercarriage bay is detailed. Each leg of the main undercarriage is made up from two parts. The wheels are also made up from two parts, but the tyre look rather too inflated compared to the much softer look on the real thing. In some of the reference photos, some tyres almost look punctured. Front under carriage bay is detailed. Each of the two wheels for the front undercarriage are moulded in one piece, and have some very fine spoke detail.
Armament. Zvezda provide the following.
-1x twin cannon mounted in the nose turret.
-2 x rocket pods with 20 projectiles each.
-2 x twin cannon pods.
-8 x AT-9 Attack Antitank Guided Missile tubes [?]
-2 x Grenade launchers[?]
-2 x fuel tanks.
The instructions don't identify the weapons and I am no soviet weapons expert so you will have to forgive my ignorance with the above list.
The cannon pods are made up from three parts, each pod has two cannon barrels. The detail on the pods is very good and the four cannon barrels have slightly recessed detail depicting the cooling vents. Each of the two rocket pods are made up from five parts. Each of the twenty holes to the rear of the pods are nicely replicated. The projectile tubes sticking out from the front of the pods are made up from two pieces. The tubes are solid plastic, so a little bit of black paint should be enough to create the illusion of the plastic being hollow, unless you have a steady hand and a great deal of patience to drill out 40 tubes. The four anti tank missile tubes are not hollow either. The drop tanks are made up of two parts and look the part although I would be tempted to thin the fins a bit. Each stub wing to which the weapons are attached are made up of two parts. Each wing comes with two pylons, one positioned mid wing and the other pylon hangs from a elbow extension on the wing tips. There are two different types of gun turret for under the nose included with this kit, although only one type is applicable with this version. The turret can be rotated if you wish. Zvezda provide a choice of guns between a twin barreled gun or a four barreled Gatling style gun the latter you can add to your spares box. Just to the side of the turret is a TV camera housing, which is usually displayed open for the benefit of air show spectators, but in this instance the camera has the lens protective doors closed. To the port of the camera is the missile guidance pod and this comes in two parts.
The kit features some self defence hardware including the infra red suppressor on the engine exhaust have been mentioned already. There are also two different types of chaff and flare dispensers. The detail on the large fairings of the dispenser has some very fine detail representing the decoys.
Markings. Zvezda provide the marking for a unidentified machine, or at least there are no details in English. It carries the yellow Bort number 77. Overall colour is European green [Modelmaster 1764]. Nice and simple, if a little plain.
Decals. Printed matt with good colour density and registration. There are a number of stencils and badges to apply. There are a few blank looking areas on the sheet, look again, as there are some tiny white stencils there. Also as previously mentioned there decals [ seven in all] provide the instrument detail in the cockpit.
Instructions. 10 pages of black and white exploded diagrams taking you through 34 stages of construction. Written instructions are primarily in Russian, but the exploded diagrams are self explanatory. The parts in focus on each stage is highlighted by shading. There is guidance to painting each part using numbers referring to the Model master paint range. The paint guide includes stencil placement. Zvezda provide port and starboard profile views as well as upper and lower plan views of the rotor blades. The weapons also have separate diagrams which focus on stencil placement. Paint references are for Model master.
This looks a stunning kit particularly as it is in 1/72. Whether you are going to build it all buttoned up ready for it's next mission or all open for maintenance. The potential for super detailing is there so with some references you could make this model a show stopper with some extra detailing in the right places. Maybe if you have not tried further enhancing the detail of your kits, this one will encourage you to do so. Which ever way you build it, straight out of the box or super detail it I am sure you will enjoy this most distinctive aircraft. Nice one Zvezda.