The first sentence of Precise Modeling’s article about this amazing creation begins, “This particular Hind was flown by the Soviet Forces in Afghanistan…”
Those first three words—”This particular Hind”—say a lot: While most scale modelers are content to build more-or-less generic replicas of a particular make and model vehicle, Alex Sklyar, who spent about 9,000 hours over 15 years to complete this build, set out to achieve a level of detail at which the differences between one particular helicopter and another are significant and have to be considered.
Every reported fact about this model is more amazing than the last: It was begun in 1986, when much information about the Hind was still protected by the Soviet Union as military secrets. It is constructed mostly from corrosion-resistant metals: aluminum, titanium, brass, stainless steel. The pedals in the cockpit work. The tires actually have air in them. The shocks actually compress. Many of the parts were fabricated under a microscope. The list goes on and on.
The scale is 1:32, which brings the model in at just over 21.5″ in length. [Thanks, Scott!]
I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.View more articles by Sean Michael Ragan