Mil Mi-8 alongside with its upgraded version Mi-17 is the most produced helicopter in the World to this date. More than 17 000 were built in many variants. It continues to serve primarily as a transport helicopter, but its versatility allows it to be used as armed gunship, SAR, flying command post, fire-fighting and medical helo, as well as many other roles in all of which you can see it all-around the World.
Trumpeter released 35th scale version of it more than a decade ago and it represent a wonderful platform for very high-level of detail and upgrade as a kit. Hobby Boss now offers it in 72nd scale, which is scaled down and simplified version of its bigger sister but also including many options for improving.
We have small box with a soft-ish cover, justified by the scale of the helicopter inside. It is made from nice materials and on the boxart we can find an aggressively looking Mi-8 gaining speed over a desert terrain, looking like on a troops evac or drop mission.
The box is fragile due to its softness, so be sure to be careful when dealing with it. I bent mine on couple of places. Not that is bad, but is delicate.
There is a single sheet with instructions and one with paint guide. The instruction sheet features the sprues and basic information on one of its sides, while on the other, the whole building process is placed. I am used to a lot bigger info-sheets than that, so that left me surprised.
It is not complex, although the steps give a feeling of a slightly chaotic process. You need to study it first and carefully. Interesting fact here is that I compared that to the instruction sheet of the other available variant from Hobby Boss – Mi-17 and they are 95% equal. Actually sprues are too.
Grey plastic, standard Hobby Boss for smaller kits. Everything is carefully wrapped in plastic bags and due to the modest number of sprues, there is some free space in the box. The detail is great, although rivets are lacking here and in case you want to fix that, a lot of work with a riveter will be required. Panel lines on the other hand are great looking, not shallow nor too deep.
There are some interior features embedded in the plastic, but they aren’t many and there are places that lacks detail. This can be improved but you should follow the ones that are here and add some EverGreen plastic with the similar size to fix it and make it look proper.
Clear parts are clean but can be scratched quite easily, so you should approach with care and attention. Due to the many side windows and the frame of the canopy, masking will be required here. You can check out DN Models for a masking set for this kit, which will be usable with Mi-17 version and the repack of ARK Models too.
Two options are included. They are depicted in the typical Trumpeter/HobbyBoss style accompanied by a color conversion chart. They are modern Russian and German Army Rescue Group.
Although nice and fairly attractive, with the endless possibilities that Mi-8 offers, I believe you can be a lot more creative and do another option closer to your heart or at least – more unusual than those two.
There are a lot of aftermarket options for this set, including unusual variants like Mexican Mis and Chinese versions, as well as various Search and Rescue /SAR/ options. All of them – very high quality decal sets.
Are not bad with this kit. A small sheet, with Russian stars and German SAR markings, painted in the typical orange style. Overall look of those is nice, being thin and if we follow the experience from other HobbyBoss decals – troubleless.
There are some technical markings, which are quite enough for my taste, although Mi-8 in the bigger scale requires a lot more than those to look adequate. Nevertheless, this is very well equipped decal sheet, so nothing to complain about. Just the contrary.
This Mi-8 is two-sided blade as a kit. It can easily be done as Mi-17, just adding some details and turning the tail rotor to the other side. Basically, the kits from Hobby Boss are equal in contents, besides the camouflage schemes. That makes the particular variant not so accurate, but I wouldn’t mention that since I am not building either one of those included.
The riveting tool will be required if you are interested in better realism, probably combined with some Eduard PE sets or Resin conversion already available on the market for this particular kit.
Hobby Boss Mi-8 is far better than Zvezda and that was by far the best of the rest. With slight modifications like cables on the rotor, some PE and scratch add-ons, this can be turned into wonderful 72nd scale representation of the legendary helo.