Mil Mi-4 A Hound
Hobby Boss 1/72 scale model
The Mi-4 was designed in response to the American H-19 Chickasaw and the deployment of U.S. helicopters during the Korean War. While the Mi-4 superficially resembles the H-19 Chickasaw, it is a larger helicopter and is able to lift more weight. The first model entered service in 1952, and replaced the Mi-1. The helicopter was first displayed to the outside world in 1952 at the Soviet Aviation Day in Tushino.
One Mi-4 was built with a jettisonable rotor. It served as an experimental vehicle for future pilot's means of safety and ejection designs.
The Mil Mi-4 1/72 scale model kit comes in top opening box. Inside there are 4 sprues. Three in gray plastic and one in clear. Sprue A is in separate plastic bag while B and C share one. Sprue C and the decals are also separately packed. Instruction is one A3 size paper folded in two and the instructions are printed on one side only. There are no steps outlined so it is more like a bunch of sub-assemblies. Of course, it’s not hard to get what’s next but some numbers wouldn’t hurt. The scale model kit is divided in total 90 parts, 14 of which are clear.
The crew cabin of the aircraft is comprised of 11 parts and it is the first step of the building process. There is floor with molded in shaft tunnel and pedals, 2 seats, 2 cyclic and collective sticks, Instrument panel, sealing with various buttons molded in and rear bulkhead. In both the sealing and the rear bulkhead there is imitation of quilted padding. Overall, everything looks OK, unfortunately there are a few low points. The most noticeable difference with the real thing is the omission of the passage between the crew cab and the cargo cab, which is located under the right seat. All the details are a little bit soft and the texture of the plastic has noticeable grain.
The cargo cabin of the helicopter is made of the two fuselage sides, ceiling and floor pieces and the cargo doors, which are can be posed in either closed or opened position. The floor is flat with no surface detail what so ever. The front bulkhead has almost full height opening in it, which is rather ridiculous because there is the engine. What they have tried to replicate is the gun turret gate, which is the lower ¼ of the front bulkhead and part of the floor. The walls, ceiling and cargo doors have the structural ribbing details molded in which is nice. What is not so nice is that everything is riddled with ejector pinholes, which even destroyed raised surface detail. If you want a decent looking cargo cabin you should do some work by yourself or using aftermarket set.
- Clear parts
There is one fret with clear parts and it holds the canopy, doors and cargo area windows of the helicopter. The framing on the canopy is very wide and too much pronounced. Combined those two things make it look out of scale and reduces the visibility inside the cockpit of the aircraft. And if you think that’s not enough there are two crude windscreen wipers molded in the clear plastic… how clever. The actual windows are very clear and with only small distortion.
The rest of the windows on the crew cabin are the bulged door glazing and some flat pieces below them as well as windows located behind the doors. It is no surprise that the bulged transparencies are not clear and distortion free at all. Same goes with the bulged cargo cabin windows.
- Landing gear
Due to its non-standard wheels layout there are loads of struts and other suspension parts on this aircraft . Generally, everything is looking good and there is some raised detail. The wheels look ok for the scale.
The two fuselage halves make the complete length of the scale model except the very tip of the nose. It is all there – recessed panel lines, raised hinge and reinforcement plates, cooling slats, antennae. Strangely, behind the cooling slats, which are molded in open position, there is nothing to cover the empty space. It is the engine that sits behind them in the real helicopter. The two big air ducts are separate and will need some cleanup. The gunner position is also to be glued under the belly of the aircraft. The grille detail on top of the nose section is soft and lacks definition.
The rotor hub and rotor blades are well detailed and the assembly looks solid. There is no molded in droop on the blades and the ribbing detail is overdone.
1. Russian air force Mi-4A, White 03
2. PLA Air force Z-5
The decal sheet is rather small providing only insignia and board numbers.
• Final thoughts
As far as I know this is the only modern scale model kit of the Mil Mi-4 in 1/72 scale. Its only alternative is a rather old kit from Kopro. Hobby Boss did really good job overall and with little detailing job this will turn into a superb scale model of the real helicopter.
Best regards and happy modelling
Best regards and happy modelling
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