by Maik Heitsch (1:72 Zvezda)
With the German re-unification in 1990, all the military equipment of the former eastern German NVA was handed over to the Bundeswehr. This also accounts for the Mi-8 helicopters. Whereas the vast number of Mi-8T and PS went over to the Air Force, the German Army Aviation got 29 armed Mi-8TBs from the former attack helicopter quadrons as well as 4 Mi-9 and two Mi-8PS All Mi-8TB were subsequently converted to unarmed Mi-8T equivalents (internal designation Mi-8B). As well as the Air Force aircraft they were used in the transport and SAR role. The attack helicopter squadron structure was abandoned in March 1991 and the former units were renamed Heeresfliegerstaffel Ost [Army Flying Wing East] and Heeresfliegestaffel 70 at Cottbus airfield and Heeresfliegerstaffel 80 at Basepohl. The end of Mi-8 operations within the German Army came in 1993, when the Heeresfliegerstaffel Ost withdraw the type from service with a big hangar flyout party on the 25th March. For this purpose, the 93+62 got a special fly out scheme with a turtle motive. The Heeresfliegerstaffel 80 followed in September 1993.
Despite its shortcomings I decided to go with the Zvezda kit as it is quite easier to get a "real" Mi-8T from this kit as to "backdate" the HobbyBoss Mi-8MT with all the Pavla resin stuff. The build was straight from the box only with minor modifications on the rotorblade wiring. The paintwork was done (as usual) by paint brush.
The decals for this rather unsual scheme came from Kopro Decals. Besides their kit range, they obviously started to sell seperate decal sheets for fair prices. Other Mi-8/9/17 shemes are also available. Check out www.hobbyshop.cz.
The decals were good overall and have a fine print and thin carrier film. But the carapace of the turtle was quite tricky to apply so I decided to mend most of the motive by hand with a brush and a matching colour. Please feel free to comment!
Published on 26. March 2014
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