...a kit from Zvezda
The KA-50 Black Shark, the Hokum, was a Cold War gunship design of the 1980's. It is still in service, though in relatively small numbers compared to what might have been. The financial problems of the old Soviet Union and the collapse of the Warsaw Pact saw production halted and only restarted again in 2006. Only about 50 were built, though there is also the Ka-52 development in production. It is a well armed single seater and features the characteristic contra-rotating design familiar to the manufacturer, Kamov. It has benefits from not needing a tail rotor to cancel the torque, so makes the whole thing more compact, gives greater maneuverability and means engine power doesn't need to be diverted to drive a tail rotor, which in itself is vulnerable.
Zvezda have done what look to be a very nice job of this kit, with neat panel line detail. The build starts with the nose section and cockpit tub, which does include a pilot figure for it. Then add the rear fuselage, the engine details and exhausts, the twin contra-rotating rotors and the undercarriage, which can be assembled up or down. I addition to the 30mm cannon under the fuselage there are also stub wings and two types of rocket launchers to provide the gunship with punch.
Two marking options are provided for. One is a camouflaged machine while the other is in overall black. Both look interesting alternatives for this small attack helicopter.
The Zvezda range is imported to the UK by The Hobby Company, who kindly provided our example.
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