Monday, February 3, 2014

1/48 Mi-24 Hind Diorama "Hind Sight" - Finished!


This was one of those projects that I never fully invested in. What was going to start out as just a simple helicopter build turned into a more complex diorama than I had intended. This was all brought on by a rather disgusting kit, thanks to Revell and their tendency to skimp on buildability. Rather than spend more time correcting the model, I decided to create a scene depicting the Mi-24 as crashed in some sort of fictitious World War III urban scenario of UK vs East Germany. Thus, I had to purchase some 1/48 Airfix British troops to add some humanity to it as I didn't want it to be just another abandoned piece of hardware from the former Soviet Union. This did not excite me, considering I am not much of a figure painter, especially in such a small scale. Add to this to the fact that this project seemed to drag on a bit longer than I would have liked and you can see how I am glad this is finally over.
Never the less, though it wasn't what I had in mind from the start, I am still some what pleased with the final results...

The Kit

Despite my initial confidence in the Revell offering, it turned out to be a huge let down. Of course, had I done the research before purchasing the kit several years ago I would have avoided this issue altogether, but as my father would say, I am always "too dumb, too soon, and too smart, too late." The fuselage fit together nicely, which is just about the only positive I can say about the kit. The engine nacelles were a problem area. Not only did they leave a giant gap to fill, but they sat too far forward causing the canopy to sit incorrectly. A lot of sanding was to be done in order to correct this. The wing roots did not mate nicely either, but this is fairly typical of Revell kits.
The decals were actually quite nice and left no silvering after several coats of Testors' gloss. Perhaps the only other bright spot of the entire kit.
In the end, the kit did me a favor. My distaste for dealing with such terrible models came to a head, and I decided to get rid of nearly half of my stash which had been made up of mostly Revell kits. From now on, I will not be purchasing kits based on price alone, but rather what I want to buy coupled with how well it comes together. Hopefully, you won't be reading build posts like this one again...

The Build - Hind Sight

Once I decided on crashing the Hind, I had to chose a setting. I didn't feel like throwing it in the desert or wooded area, so I opted for more urban terrain inspired by this image...

  It was easy enough to replicate. Given the terrain, I felt it was necessary to include some figures to add a little interest. I picked up a set of Airfix British soldiers and used only four of the six included in the kit. I had no expectations for how I was going to finish them but they turned out better than I would have hoped. I did not add a camo pattern to their uniforms as I felt that it would just look like a mess in such a small scale so I left them in shades of green and tan. Why British? Well, I was indifferent as to what nationality to use, I just needed modern soldiers of some sort. The market is very slim for present day troops in this scale, so these are what I wound up with...

Everything is scratch built using foam, celluclay and pieces of dry wall. The water is Woodland Scenics' Realistic Water. Here is a tutorial for making a telephone pole. One thing remains - I need a better photo set up!

The finished piece is not terribly stunning and some what devoid of detail. It is the first 1/48 diorama I have done, so there is certainly room to improve especially in regards to figure painting. In the end though, it turned out to be a nice display for an otherwise ugly model that would likely have never been finished at all. I am happy to say it is done, and glad to be moving on to other things!
Thanks for reading. As always, comments and criticism is welcome!


  1. Looking very good. Nothing bad to say..its little scale and soldier and every things looks perfect.
    If need something criticism ..maybe soldiers light and shadows is better if then are softer. But its hard this scale.

    One more hings.. please make worse dioramas..then my works look better ;)

    1. Thanks Marko! I agree, I think one of my main problems with figure painting is not blending the highlights and shadows very well. But yes, in smaller scales its a bit harder.
      Thanks again

  2. Excellent work, Jon! Limping through my first diorama/base/thing, yours absolutely blows me away. And you made something of Revell's less-than-stellar Hind, to boot!

    If I had to pick one thing to nit on, some of the soldiers look a little bit shiny. Not much at all, but I'd imagine helmets etc should be dead flat. But that could easily be a trick of highlights/shadows and lighting.

    1. Thanks, Matt! I'll take the nit pick...fortunately, the figures are not fixed to the base so I can hit them with another dull coat to help tone it down. It may also be my over active highlighting that makes them appear more shiny. For some reason, I keep telling myself that the contrast between highlight and shadow should be more prominent on figures when I know I would never do that on a vehicle or aircraft. Just one of those strange things I do...

  3. What did you wind up doing with the Hind's cockpit(s)? I can't make out any crew in there, but that might be because there weren't any crew in the box to begin with :P

    1. The cockpit is empty, as if the crew got out. The kit comes with two crewmen but not worthy of including here. The bodies had the same poses, but there is the option of two different heads.

  4. It looks great to me Jon, it tells a good story and I do like the scene. I know what you mean about photo set ups, it us a science all of its own.