Zvezda 1/48 Mi-24V/VP Hind E Kit First Look
|Date of Review||July 2020||Manufacturer||Zvezda|
|Subject||Mi-24V/VP Hind E||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||4823||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Nice detail options||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$37.99|
The Mi-24 series started development in the late 1960s following the success of the AH-1 Cobra. 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, B & C, all featured a greenhouse cockpit housing the pilot and gunner. The next version of the Hind was the first to employ a similar tandem seating arrangement as the AH-1 Cobra, with the gunner in the forward cockpit and the pilot sitting above and behind the gunner. The Mi-24D Hind D retained the typical armament arrangement of the later glassnose Hinds with four rocket pods on the inboard pylons and four AT-3 anti-tank missiles on the outboards.
While operational experience dictated additional improvements for the next version, the Mi-24V Hind E, some of these were retro-fitted to the Hind D as well. These included centrifugal air filters over the engine intakes, an infrared jammer mounted aft of the main rotor, provisions for engine exhaust IR suppressors, self-protection chaff/flare launchers, and replacement of the four AT-3 missiles/rails with four cannisterized AT-6 anti-tank missiles. The Mi-24D, Mi-24V, and export Mi-35 were the combat workhorses of not only the former Soviet Union (especially in operations in Afghanistan), but also throughout the Warsaw Pact and many allied nations around the world. Many of these aircraft are still in service with the Russian armed forces and have even found their way into German Army service as well as with the US Army for OPFOR (opposing forces) training.
Zvezda released this kit earlier this year and is finally finding its way to North America despite the shipping disruptions from the Wuhan virus. This kit has been highly anticipated given that the only other option for this subject in 1/48th scale is the venerable Monogram kit. Molded in light gray styrene, this kit is presented on six parts trees plus one tree of clear parts. Among the features and options in this kit:
- Optional crew figures for the pilot and gunner stations
- Nice cockpit layout, but the kit panels are smooth (no details)
- Instrument panels and side console details are provided as decals (see notes below)
- Main cabin is fully enclosed and provides passenger seating
- Detailed transmission
- Detailed TV-3 engines
- Optional cetrifugal engine intake filters
- Positionable cockpit access doors
- Positionable main cabin doors
- Positionable engine compartment doors
- Positionable transmission access doors
- Positionable landing gear
- Choice of 12.7mm or 23mm cannons in nose turret
- Optional IR suppressors for engine exhausts
- Main rotor blades have molded-in droop
- Exteral chaff/flare launchers
External stores include:
- 4 x B8V20 rocket pods
- 2 x UPK-23 gun pods
- 4 x Shturm (AT-6 Spiral) anti-tank missiles
- 4 x external fuel tanks
Markings are provided for four examples:
- Mi-24V, bort 05, Soviet Forces Afghanistan, 1988
- Mi-24V, 7360, Czech AF, 2012
- Mi-24VP, bort 33, Russian Navy Baltic Fleet, 2015
- Mi-24VP, bort 37, Russian Navy Baltic Fleet, 2019
- As has been noted by other reviewers previously, this kit is a scaled-up version of Zvezda's 1/72 kit which explains the baby smooth surfaces inside and out. The full-scale Mi-24 is COVERED with rivets on the exterior surfaces. While these could have been rendered as recessed rivets on this kit, there are no rivets visible on the exterior surfaces. You can use a riveting wheel to replicate these on the kit's surfaces or you can use resin-printed rivet decals available from multiple sources.
- While the main cabin does have some detail, the cockpits are bare. While decals might be the ideal solution in 1/72 scale, this isn't the case in 1/48. The good news here is that Quinta Studio produces two sets of 3D color-printed resin details for the Mi-24V cockpits, one with standard turquoise interior color and the other with the NATO updated airframes with black interior cockpit colors.
- The TV-3 engines look good out of the box, but they could use some wiring/plumbing details if you want to position the access doors open. There are plenty of good reference photos out there.
- The nose is rendered separately, so there are possibilities that we'll see the Mi-24P gunship with those side-mounted 30mm cannons and perhaps an early greenhouse nosed version. We shall see.
Despite the notes above, this kit is currently the best option for the Mi-24 in 1/48th scale.
Here is a list of paints Zvezda identifies for use with this kit and their equivalent colors from other brands: