Mi-35M Hind E

Published: January 30th, 2012     
Box Art
Box Art
Reviewed by: Clarence Wentzel - IPMS# 1096
Scale: 1/72
Company: Zvezda
Price: $32.99
Product / Stock #: 7276
Product provided by: Dragon Models USA

Background

The Mil Mi-35M Hind E is an upgrade to the famous Mi-24 Hind gunship. In addition to being a potent gunship, the Hind can carry a number of soldiers in the fuselage or can evacuate wounded. Initially, the designation Mi-35, together with the Mi-25, were used for export versions. These designations were used before the end of the Soviet Union. More recently, the designation Mi-35 refers to the most modern version of this important helicopter. The Mi-35M is basically a modernized Mi-24V and is characterized by changes in weaponry and an increase in engine power. This model also features improved main and tail rotors, as well as modernized wings, fixed landing gear, and new laser aiming and navigation systems. One identifying factor is the four blade "scissors"-type tail rotor and two massive hard points under each wing. This version is also exported. In the western hemisphere, the Mi-35M serves in Brazil, named the "Sabre," and in Venezuela as the "Caribe."

The Kit

I have built some Zvezda kits in the past and generally have considered them to be somewhat simplistic. This kit is the opposite. It is almost as if the designers at Zvezda had an actual Hind E available to them to provide all the details that they needed. The kit contains 290 parts on six sprues. Surface detail is very good on the plastic parts, and seam lines and mold flash are minimal. The transparent parts are clear, very thin, and well protected in the box. The decal sheet is well printed and in perfect register, although I felt that the cockpit decals were a little crude. The decals are thin and conform well to the surfaces. A single set of markings is provided. The instruction sheet consists of ten pages, seven of which are devoted to the step-by-step assembly of the model. Most of the instructions are visual, showing how the parts are supposed to be assembled. Some of the assembly locations are somewhat vague. The colors used to paint the model reference Testors Model Masters paints, definitely a plus. The model can be built in two versions, with the difference being that version 1 shows many of the major maintenance panels in the open position.

Build

This is a complicated model to assemble. The modeler must pay very close attention to the 35 individual assembly steps and their sub-assembly steps.

The first major assembly is the cockpit/troop cabin/engine/transmission area. The design of the model is good in this area and the parts seem to key together well. To my thinking, I feel that the instruments seem a little garish. I chose not to include the pilot and gunner figures, so I added some decal seat belts. It is very important to make sure that the transmission assembly (the large blue part behind the engines) is mounted perfectly vertically. The main rotor mounts into the transmission, so any misalignment will cause the rotor to be out of line.

The second major assembly process is the closing of the fuselage. I encountered a number of problems with this step. The fit between my cockpit assembly and the fuselage halves was so tight that I could not get the fuselage completely closed. Possibly some of the formers in the cockpit assembly could be trimmed down. Also, the cockpit assembly seemed to be too far forward. I mounted the assembly firmly against the indentations inside the fuselage but this was not good enough. Possibly, the indentations could be trimmed back to allow a better fit. The lower nose panel must fit firmly against the fuselage halves. My recommendation is to take this step very slowly. Hold the parts together with rubber bands and tape to make sure that they all fit together perfectly before applying any glue. I would also glue the nose under-panel in place first so that the fuselage sides can be properly aligned.

The remaining assembly items must be taken as they come. The kit offers a wide variety of armament; gun pods, rocket pods, grenade launchers, etc. I chose to mount the rocket pods and the laser guided Spiral 2 rocket racks. This makes a mean-looking model. Each of the latter consisted of eleven parts. The main rotor consisted of twenty three parts and innumerable decals. I have included a photo of the underside of the rotor to show the detail and some of the decals which are not normally seen. The decal sheet includes seventeen small number decals on each blade to mark the ribs. I assumed that these markings would wear off in operation and did not apply these decals. Each of the exhaust heat dispersers contains five parts and three mounting parts. I used these detailed parts because I loved the way that they looked. Simple exhaust stacks are provided as alternatives.

The cockpit transparencies consist of five parts. The pilot compartment has a door that can be open and the gunner area has a transparent lift panel. The directions state that the gunner's transparency is to be installed first before the pilot's transparency. This is important for good fit. I found this out too late.

The remaining antennas and bulges are applied to finish the model. The antennas did not seem to have their assembly positions marked. Care must be taken in this step.

Painting and Finishing

I did not have any major problems with the painting. As I stated earlier, the instructions reference Model Master Paints. The overall scheme of the single subject provided is overall European green. A very complete decal sheet is supplied. Again, care must be used to ensure proper location. I had no major problems with the decals.

Conclusion

As I stated earlier, this is a complex model to build. I encountered some problems but some of them were caused by my haste during certain steps. If modelers pay attention to my comments above, they will not have the problems that I had. I suspect that this is the most accurate Mi-35M on the market. In the end, I love the looks of the finished model and am pleased to add it to my collection. I wish to thank Dragon Models USA for providing this kit and to IPMS/USA for allowing me to build this model.

  • Fit problem
    Fit problem
  • Interior module
    Interior module
  • Rotor underside detail and decals
    Rotor underside detail and decals
  • Left side
    Left side
  • Right front
    Right front
  • Right side closer
    Right side closer
  • Left front
    Left front
  • Right rear
    Right rear
  • Left rear
    Left rear

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