Hasegawa 1/72 Mi-24 Hind A Kit First Look
|Date of Review||May 2007||Manufacturer||Hasegawa|
|Subject||Mi-24 Hind A||Scale||1/72|
|Kit Number||04019/K19||Primary Media||Styrene/Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Very nice detailing||Cons|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||Out of Production|
Before the appearance of the now famous silhouette of the Mi-24 Hind D/E, there were a few transitional models that preceded them and are almost forgotten. These were the true hybrid attack transports that were very large versions of the UH-1C Huey Hog.
The Mi-24 series first started development in the late 1960s following the success of the AH-1 Cobra in combat. As the AH-1 was developed using the power train from the UH-1 Huey, the Mil Design Bureau also saved development time by adapting key airframe and powerplant components from the Mi-8 Hip/Mi-14 Haze family. The Mi-24 was closer in development to the UH-1C Huey Hog, as it not only carried an impressive array of firepower on its stub wings, it also retained the ability to carry troops in its cabin.
The first versions of the Mi-24, NATO Codenamed Hind A, featured a greenhouse cockpit housing the pilots and gunner. This was essentially an Mi-8 Hip with a larger cockpit to accommodate the gunner and to provide greater visibility to the pilots. Variations of this design would yield the Hind B and C models, but the same problem plagued the pilot - poor visibility out one side of the aircraft because of the copilot accommodations. This was later resolved by deleting the copilot, narrowing the cockpit to a tandem two-place similar to the AH-1 Cobra, and upgrading the armor protection around both crewmembers - that design became the Hind D.
I was cruising eBay recently and saw this blast out of the past going for a very reasonable price. I remember when Hasegawa first released this series as these were the best Mi-24s to ever become kits by that point in time. Hasegawa first released the Hind A and B models, and I was anxious to get the flying rhino - the Hind D. By the time the Hind A and B kits made it to market, most of these had already been withdrawn from service in favor of the Hind D.
The kit is molded in tan styrene and rendered on five parts trees, plus a single tree of clear parts, and a small fret of photo-etch details. Hasegawa made several major achievements with this first release of the Hind:
- They somehow got a look inside one of these birds to replicate even this basic cockpit layout
- They were the first (I believe) to pre-mold the rotor droop - the curl in the rotor blades at rest
- They were the first (I believe) to offer a fret of photo-etch in a helicopter kit to render tail rotor details
What is really impressive about this kit is that despite the lack of really detailed information, they did a credible job of replicating the interior of the aircraft. The three-place cockpit is replicated with a reasonable mixture of observation and conjecture. The control consoles and instrument panels are provided as decals.
The main cabin is empty, but you could easily scratchbuild the troop seats - the kit does include the troops as well as three crew figures. The cabin is fully enclosed with forward and rear bulkheaads, floor and ceiling.
Hasegawa did a nice job on the exterior as well. Lots of details from pitot tubes to windshield wipers are rendered as separate parts.
Armament includes four UB-32-57 rocket pods, four 9M17 (AT-2 Swatter) anti-tank missiles, and a single 12.7mm machine gun in the nose.
The markings included in this kit are for a single example - Bort 24 from an unknown Soviet unit. Kudos again to Hasegawa on these markings as I've seen some interesting spelling on the simple 'DANGER' (OPASNO) markings placed at the end of the tail cone to warn of the tail rotor.
I doubt we'll ever see this aircraft in a larger scale, but if you'd like to have an example of the early Mi-24 in your helicopter inventory, this kit is the way to go. The Hasegawa Mi-24s are still the best Hinds in 1/72 to date.