Otdelnyy Boyevoy Vertoletnyy Polk OBVP or Independent Combat Helicopter Regiments were formed to support Soviet Armies from the late 70's and were part of the fronts Air Army. The Regiments comprised:
- 2 Attack Helicopter Squadrons of 5 Flights of 4 Mi-24
- 1 Assault Helicopter Squadron of 5 Flights of 4 Mi-8
As a component of Air Assault operations undertaken by the DShV these units were critical for support, escort and elements of transport, depending on the exact configuration of the Mi-8s.
Having decided to build a Soviet Air Assault force I felt I really need some solid Attack Helicopter support and these squadrons could deploy in there entirety to support operations. So a full squadron it had to be, 20 Mi 24 @ a ratio of 1-3 would give me 6 aircraft and a difficult problem of representing the flights. So I decided to represent these boys at 1:4 with 1 Aircraft per flight, flights were capable of independent operation or as part of Squadron or indeed Regimental plans.
Building this sort of force presents a few interesting problems if your to avoid breaking the bank or the models every time you use them. Ebay was the primary approach to the first problem and as such I have a bit of a range of marks and models in the Squadron. Breaking down to 1 Airfix, 1 Matchbox, 1 2 Italeri and 1 Zedveda all built as D/E variant Hinds. Whilst some have Sagger rails and others Spiral launch tubes I'll probably use them all as one type in a game. Of the different manufacturers I prefer the Italeri birds to the others more detail a better build quality and a nicer model. As can be seen by from the pictures the range of manufacturers does not detract from the unit.
On the second problem, robustness, I decided to drop rotor blades and numerous smaller parts, making transport and handling easier as inevitably because of the way they are based they take a bit of a battering. The other problem the Rotors give you is the relationship of there physical size to the ground scale. which means the aircraft which are otherwise fairly big beasts start to eat up a lot of real estate, more of a problem with the transports than the attack aircraft.
Without an airbrush painting also becomes a bit of a burden when building large numbers of aircraft, as does getting the markings right, particularly when you have three different manufacturers. I managed to crack that withs some decal purchasing, more of which in the construction post.
can't wait to get them into action.
FM 100-2-1 Soviet Army Operations and Tactics
FM 100-2-3 Soviet Troops Organisation and EquipmentSoviet Tactical Aviation - Yefim Gordon & Dmitriy Kamissorov
ORBAT - Soviet Air Assault Capability Part 1, Overview and Lift Assets
Review - Model 1/72, Mi-24 Hinde, Italeri, Zedveda, Matchbox, Airfix