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Zvezda 1/72 scale Mi-26 Halo

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Zvezda 1/72 scale Mi-26 Halo
Kit: No. 3596
Scale: 1/72
Manufacturer: Zvezda,, from Dragon Models USA, 626-968-0322,
Price: $47.95
Comments: Injection-molded, 235 parts, decals
Pros: Impressive size, options for showing off the interior
Cons: Complex fuselage design, strangely flexible clear pieces
Issue Published: September 2009
Holy Halo! This helicopter is huge! Even in 1/72 scale, Zvezda's Mi-26 is more than 18" long with a main rotor span of 17"!

Molded in gray styrene, the 235-piece kit's surface detail features light, recessed panel lines and intricate detail for the interior and main rotor-blade assembly. The kit's detailed interior includes four seated figures and a cargo hold - even if all that detail disappears once the fuselage is glued together. However, you can leave crew access and main cargo doors open for a better view.

Overall, assembly is easy. But the fuselage assembly is complicated and cumbersome, with several parts that must be assembled around the multipiece interior. Also, these various subassemblies leave seams where they join. Building the main rotor was tedious, because so many parts must be glued almost simultaneously.

The clear parts are made of a fairly flexible vinyl. The flex allowed the windshield to assume a not-so-perfect fit. With these parts, I found it best to super glue one, then the other end of a part to anchor it, then gently push the rest into place and super glue it down. Another oddity of this vinyl was that it repelled Pledge Future floor polish.

Decals and painting references are provided for two aircraft: one in Russian military camouflage and an all-white Halo in United Nations service. I chose the former and painted camouflage with Model Master sand and Xtracolor Mi-24 field green. (Although the instructions specify Model Master field green and dark green, the photos I saw showed sand/field green.) The decals are thin, in-register, and responded well to decal-setting solution.

Extra-large and complicated, the Halo took 60 hours to build. I'd recommend intermediate modelers have a go at it - just to see what it looks like beside an Mi-6 or H-53!

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