Mi-24V Hind Croatian Air Force helicopter . . Mil Mi-24 Hind is a well known Russian helicopter gunship, attack helicopter and low-capacity troop transport for 8 persons. This all-in-one capability makes the Hind truly unique and still unparalleled in military circles. Nickname ‘Flying tank’ is completely justified because it really is heavily armed and armoured for a helicopter. Body, capable of withstanding hits from .50cal weapons, and numerous loadout options make the Hind a formidable opponent, so it comes as no surprise, that over 50 countries have included it in their arsenals. I hope that those of you who would like to find out something more about this incredible flying machine don’t mind if my short introduction does not fulfil your dreams...
Soviet war in Afghanistan was one of the conflicts in which Hind has played a notable role, but also suffered heavily from guerrilla tactics employed by Mujahideens. Others were Iran-Iraqi war, First and second war in Chechnya, Persian Gulf war, and conflicts in Yugoslavia, to name only a few of them. The latter ones are also connected with this build.
Despite the weapons embargo, our Croatian neighbours managed to obtain 15 Mi-24V Hinds from Ukraine in 1993. Pilots were quickly trained, and most of the helicopters were extremely effectively used during the Oluja (Storm) operation in 1995, only one of them being lost. Afterwards they were slowly taken out of service because of their problematic maintenance and the fact, that they just weren’t needed anymore. At one moment it was claimed, that they were offered for sale at a ridiculously low price, 80.000 USD per unit, being one of the rumoured amounts. Macedonia also acquired several Hinds from Ukraine and used them in conflicts against Albanian insurgents in 2001, while Serbia used two during the Kosovo War.
The Mi-24V Hind featured here is a what-if creation. The reason for this is quite simple- lack of parts needed for a multicoloured camouflage. Croatian Air Force Mi-8s and Mi-17s have been wearing this rather boring grey scheme for the last few years, so I have decided to make alternative history, where Mi-24s service life has been prolonged a little bit. The Croatian roundel and coat of arms are lively coloured on other camouflage patterns, but this grey example demands proper adjustments to this feature too, so that is the reason why they are as dull as the whole scheme.
The five-bladed rotor design is loosely based on mrutek’s one, as seen on flickr. The cockpit design is quite obvious, the republic gunship cockpits are a perfect choice- but I have nevertheless decided to enhance the overall appearance by adding strips of painted stickers, specially cut out for this MOC. The purists will be terrified because I have done the same on the sides, but I unfortunately don’t have enough small transparent pieces needed for accurate rendition of those windows.
This small excavator is meant to resemble the famous machines from the Bobcat’s production line, except that the caterpillars are slightly larger and the colour combination not the typical black-white-reddish one. The workers are having a break, resting in the shade of birches that will surely be cut down very soon, because they are situated too close to the runway...
The stork at the front is just a joke, I found some old decals, and decided to use them in order to liven things up a little bit (though they should be greyish too...) Nevertheless it is still quite possible that such a mascot would find a way on this beasts armour, because storks are a common sight in mainland Croatia.