The Mi-8 was the principal Medium lift Helicopter of the Soviet armed forces throughout the later period of the cold war, It operates in armed and unarmed models and together with the export version the Mi 17 is one of the post prolifically produced helicopters in the world. The utility version is capable of carrying 4 UV-16-57 Rocket pods whilst the attack versions carry a mix of machine guns rocket pods and ATGWs. Within Soviet Frontal Aviation they were deployed by the Army Attack/Assault Helicopter Regiments, The Frontal Transport Helicopter Regiment and the Divisional helicopter squadrons. The Aircraft was introduced into the Soviet Airforce in 1964 it carries 24 passengers or 3,000kg. It is a true multi purpose platform with many variants being produced these include: Transport, Transport/Attack, Ambulance, Command Post, EW, Mine laying, Photo Reconnaissance and Search & Rescue. All round a bit of a must have if your a cold war Soviet fanatic.
The model is quite simple particularly, if like me, you leave out the interior detail and don't bother with the rotors. I ended up with 5 of these which i bought for £5 a piece at this price they really can't be beaten if you have to pay full price £10 ish you may want to look at some of the other options as the level of raised detail on the airframe is low compared to other versions.
The build is very straight forward I removed the locating lugs on either side of the airframe as it made alighning the airframe halves easier. It's worth spending a bit of time on hull alignment and I used clamps on the airframe until the glue had set.
Inserting the top of the engine can be a little fun but ultimately not too frustrating and the engine nacelles can be enhanced if your not putting the external covers on by inverting said covers and sticking them inside giving an impression of some interior to the engine other than a big hole.
I added a two pence piece into the nose to ensure they sat on the undercarrage when built. The under carrage and wing struts are a little painful as the locating points are indistinct. For the armament outriggers I drilled a hole immediately above each fuel tank and forward of the square protrusion that sits on the upper edge of the fuel tank and this allowed the outriggers to be constructed in a fairly reliable way all the other elements were glued direct to the hull. I built left side then right adding outriggers wheels and tail fins and left that to dry well before proceeding.
I am painting three in each of these colour schemes the armed ones using the top colour scheme and the unarmed ones using the bottom the intent being to represent aircraft of the different units.
I obtained the Bergamot Decal set for the SU 27B Sea Flanker, as it gives me enough coloured numbers to introduce some variety amongst the 6 Mi - 8s.
The base colour of the aircraft is Vallejo Iraqi sand, with a golden olive disruptive pattern, pin wash is GW Agrax Earthshade, raised detail is dry bushed with Vallejo Light Flesh and the rocket pods are Sky Grey. The underside is Vallejo Sky Blue and the windows and exhausts Grey black. The numbers and stars come from the decal set shown above. After the pin wash and the dry brush the aircraft has been washed in a very dilute solution of the base colours to tone down the impact of the wash.
Mi 8 Kits available in 1/72
Mi 8 Development Overview