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Mi-8/Mi-17 Hip Armament Set

LEM 1/35 Mi-8/Mi-17 Hip Armament Set First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review July 2010 Manufacturer LEM
Subject Mi-8/Mi-17 Hip Armament Set Scale 1/35
Kit Number - Primary Media Resin
Pros Nice resin castings Cons nothing noted
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $35.00 + shipping

First Look

Mi-8/Mi-17 Hip Armament Set
Mi-8/Mi-17 Hip Armament Set

There I was rummaging through eBay one evening and I happened across a listing for a 1/35 Mi-8/Mi-17 Armament set in resin. I looked at the images, looked at the seller's feedback, and looked at the price - $35 USD (nobody was bidding on this). I decided to take a risk and bought the set. The seller is from Kiev in the Ukraine, so there is a very good chance that the details were going to be as good as the images. You may recall that I had previously purchased a 1/32 MiG-27M Flogger J kit from this same chap and I am still pleased with the purchase.

A week later, a box arrived from the Ukraine inside a huge envelope smothered in stamps. My detail set had arrived. The first thing I was curious about was the company that was producing this kit. The company is called LEM and they sell their kits and detail sets on eBay under the name of ruporator.

First, the pictures in the eBay listing don't do this kit justice. I am VERY impressed with the workmanship. The kit is molded in resin, but most of the larger parts are hollow cast, sometimes a little too thin in places, but more on that later.

The kit is packed in a box with all of the parts safely wrapped in bubblewrap and stored inside a large zip-lock bag. Everything arrived safe and sound. Among the features of the set:

  • Six complete B8V20A 80mm rocket pods
  • Two triple-pylon fuselage racks
  • Six pylons
  • Fuselage suspension braces

You might wonder what the big deal is about this set. These are the first scale pods of the B8V20A that I've seen. These will look good under the Trumpeter 1/35 Mi-24 Hind kit as an alternative weapons fit, but you can only carry four on the Hind. One of the unique trivia questions from the 1980s was "What is the most heavily armed helicopter in the world?" If you guessed Huey Hog or Mi-24 Hind, you're wrong. At that time (and I believe this is still true) the Mi-8TB was the most heavily armed helicopter with six rocket pods, four ATGMs, and a nose-mounted gun.

The current attack version of the Hip family is the Mi-8MTV-2 which is based on the same updated Mi-17 airframe and still carries six rocket pods. The Mi-8TV-3 carries four pods. The Trumpeter Mi-8M/Mi-17 Hip kit is a nice kit out of the box, but I've always wanted the gunship version of this aircraft. With this detail set from the Ukraine, I can now properly arm up my Mi-17 kit and have an interesting subject on the shelf.

It is amazing some of the kits and detail sets that are coming through the market place from unusual places. I've done business with this company a few times now and I still don't even know their product line name. If you want one of your own, the only place I can find this kit is on eBay from seller ruporator.