Amodel 1/72 Mil Mi-10K Kit First Look
|Date of Review
|Very nice kit of this unique airlifter
The engineers in the former Soviet Union developed interesting solutions for their operational and logistical problems. Sometimes these solutions were developed from a growing internal problem, other times they were another installment in the ongoing rivalry against the Americans and other western countries. Take the C-5A Galaxy - this was answered by the Antonov OKB with the An-124 Ruslan to become the world's largest airlifter. When the need for moving even larger cargo - the Space Shuttle Buran, Antonov super-sized the An-124 with a larger wing, two more engines, and created the An-225 Mriya.
In the world of rotary wing aviation, the Mil OKB led the world in heavy lift rotary-winged aircraft, first with the Mi-6 (NATO Codename: Hook) in the late 1950s followed by a number of developmental prototypes experimenting in even greater internal loads. After Sikorsky first flew the CH-54 Tarhe, which was essentially a stripped down skeleton of a CH-53 to carry huge loads by hoist, Mil developed a super-sized sling-load aircraft of its own - the Mi-10 (NATO Codename: Harke).
The Mi-10 was a redesign of the Mi-6 to provide the capability to carry heavy sling loads like the CH-54 while also retaining its internal load carrying capability. The Mi-10 could carry 50% more cargo than its Sikorsky counterpart.
At least two variants of the Mi-10 were produced - the Mi-10K (commercial) and the Mi-10R. The Mi-10K had a gondola under the nose to facilitate a hoist operator, and landing gear that gave that stood the aircraft well off the ground to allow smaller vehicles to drive underneath. The military Mi-10R had even longer landing gear to allow very large vehicles and payloads to be moved under the aircraft for load and unload.
Until now, the only kit ever produced of the Mi-10 was the Mi-10K from VEB Plasticart. This unique company produced simple kits of a wide range of Soviet subjects from the Tu-95 and Mi-6 to the Mi-10 and Be-6. I used to see these kits when I was living in Berlin during the 1970s and they were the only options for many of these aircraft that flew around the walled city.
Today we have numerous companies producing many of these subjects (or have at least announced plans to produce some of them) but leave it to Amodel (from the former Soviet Union) to address the Mi-10K themselves. As you're read in other Amodel reviews in our pages, these kits are well engineered and nicely detailed, though some modeling skills are usually required.
In this release, Amodel has produced this 1/72 helicopter on 18 trees molded in light gray styrene, plus three trees of clear parts. The molding is crisp and the details are finely scribed.
The kit provides a nicely detailed flight deck with seating for the pilot, co-pilot, and flight engineer. You can see in the detailing one major difference between the Mi-10 and the CH-54 - where the rearward facing station on the CH-54 is for the hoist operator to manage the load and coordinate with the pilots behind him, the Mi-10's gondola is equipped with a complete set of flight controls to allow the pilot to hop down into the gondola and fly the aircraft in the hover with a clear view of the load and the intended destination. This is the same type of arrangement as the Space Shuttle where the pilot normally flies from the flight deck, but moves back to the robotic arm station to operate another set of flight controls to dock and undock the Shuttle from the International Space Station viewing through the overhead windows.
The main cabin is devoid of detail as you wouldn't see anything through the fuselage port holes. Unlike the clamshell cargo doors at the rear of the Mi-6, the Mi-10 has much smaller doors on the fuselage sides which are molded closed.
Even though this is a 1/72 scale kit, the completed fuselage is going to be nearly 18 inches long with a rotor diameter of over 19 inches. The kit will take some time and patience to get together right.
The weakest link in this project will be the landing gear which might be worth replacing the styrene struts and braces with brass rod and wire for strength.
The instructions don't mention ballast, but before you install the ventral belly pan (part 39) to the completed front and rear fuselage halves, you might want to see where the center of balance of the fuselage is going to be relative to the main landing gear. If it is close to or behind the main gear, you'll need to add ballast to keep the completed model from sitting on its tail. You won't need to add too much ballast as the main rotor assembly will add weight forward of the main gear later on.
The kit provides marking options for two aircraft:
- Mi-10K, CCCP-04123, Aeroflot, Soviet Union
- Mi-10K, RA-04127, Vzlet, Russian Republic
This is a beautifully done kit of this cold war airlifter and you'll still find commercial examples still in service today wearing rather distinctive colors. If you are a rotary-wing modeler and were thrilled to see Zvezda's magnificent Mi-26 Halo (the current reigning rotary-winged airlift champion), then kit will be a welcome addition to your scale flightline!
This kit is recommended for experienced modelers.
My sincere thanks to HobbyTerra for this review sample!