When this book showed up on the doorstep I thought it would be an adequate reference for my trio of 1/72 Hind kits (one Hasegawa, one Revell and one AMT/ERTL). A quick flip-through revealed to me that this title is much more than that, though. This book brings new meaning to the phrase photo-walkaround and is easily the best photo reference of the Hind helicopter out there.
The book starts out with a general history overview covering the following: Mi-24A Hind-A, Mi-24A testbed for D, Mi-24DU Hind-D, Mi-24D Hind-D, Mi-24V Hind-E, and Mi-24P Hind-F. These sections are illustrated with general view photos followed by a more detailed section with closeups and drawings. Then the book jumps into the the workshop section.
The workshop section shows a Mi-24D and V in the workshop, everything open to the wind. The cockpit is well covered as would be expected, but you also get such things as the inside of the tail boom, complete engine detail down to the cabin roof, radio and battery details, and much more. The photos don't stop there, though. There's also a big section on Hind armament, including the different guns carried by the Hind. Underwing armament is also well covered and includes the AT-2 Swatter, AT-6 Spiral, Universal/Minigun Pod, Grenade Launcher Pod, a wide selection of rocket pods, bombs, and fuel tanks.
My apologies for sounding like a late-night television commercial, but wait! There's more! A section on Hind camouflage follows with many photos of Hinds in Czech, Slovak, Hungarian, Chinese(!), Polish, East German, and Soviet markings. A pair of color profiles are also included.
Finally, at the back end of the book is a small section on some of the lesser-known variants of the Hind helicopter. These include the Mi-24RKhR Hind-G1, Mi-24K Hind-G2, Mi-24VP, Mi-35M, and the Israeli-modified Mi-24/35 Mission 24. There are general and detail photos of all of these (just not to the level of the Mi-24D/V above) and some interesting information is also included about them. The most interesting out of all of these has to be the Mi-24RKhR. This helicopter was modified to be dedicated to Nuclear, Biological, Chemical (NBC) reconnaissance. Two claw-shaped devices were fitted in place of the usual missile launch rails, allowing the helicopter to take samples from the ground. It was used extensively during the Chernobyl disaster.
This book is a must-have for any helicopter modeler, or anyone who has a Hind kit in their closet. One evening of thumbing through this title will have you dragging that kit out and clearing the workbench.