Saturday, November 15, 2014

Polish Fitter C's and Soviet Hinds

I've been feeling in a bit of a 3mm rut lately, what with churning out loads of East German and Danish vehicles over the last 3-4+ months, so the aircraft binge I've been on lately has felt pretty good. I'll have to get back to vehicles, as there's still so much to get done, but I'm in no huge hurry. That being the case, I've been working on my first Polish fixed wings, as well as my first Soviet helicopters. 

First up is a Polish Su-20 Fitter C, it being one of the export versions of the Soviet-built Su-17 ground attack aircraft:
As you can see, some squadrons painted the air intake cone red and others used green. For no particular reason, I opted for green. Here's my rendition:
I never apply decals to the undersides of the wings. At 1/600, these little guys will only ever been seen from above, so it's a waste of effort and decals to put them on the bottom. When doing this Su-20, something I've seen a thousand times, but never really thought about, hit me. Cold War Polish aircraft had national insignia on each side of the fuselage and each side of the vertical stabilizer (the "tail"), but none on the upper surfaces of the wings! Lower surfaces, yes, but not the tops:
That seems odd to me. Perhaps that's been changed since Poland joined NATO? Also, as an added aside, from 1918 until 1993, the Polish checkerboard insignia was always presented with a red square in the upper left-hand corner (as viewed). In 1993, this was changed to a white square in the upper left, as a break from the Communist era. 

Next, I've added two Soviet Mi-24 Hind F gunships to my growing aircraft collection. The real thing:
And mine:

The Hind D entered service in 1973-74 and had a four-barreled 12.7mm Gatling gun mounted on the chin:
However, very early in the Soviet involvement in Afghanistan, it became blatantly obvious that the weapon did not pack a heavy enough punch. Beginning in late 1981, the Hind F entered service, which replaced the machine gun with a twin-barreled 30mm cannon:
In reality, the Hind F became operational in the autumn of 1981, but for my purposes, I'll assume that the Soviets pushed this forward by a few months, knowing that war with NATO was imminent. 

Ok, I'm headed back to the painting desk. More 3mm goodness from me soon!

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