Tag Archives: Soviet

Video: Birth Of the Alien Tiger Czech Hind Attack Helicopter

I recently posted a video that shows the amazing paint job the Czechs did to one of their Mi-35 Hind-D attack helicopters. Little did I know that there was a “behind the scenes” short documentary about the decision making that went into that paint job and that they won an award for it.

They had a number of conventional ideas that didn’t really wow anybody until they thought of a guy who specialized in the bio-mechanical look.
They do have some footage of the fellow doing the work. It was he, his brother and a few technicians who spent about 200 hours doing the paint job. I wish they had more footage of it and at a higher resolution.

The Documentary Video

Again, if you haven’t seen it already, check out the other post with a ton of footage of this awesome Hind. I hope you enjoyed these!


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Video: The Alien Tiger – The Mi-35/24V of The Czech Air Force

I’m a huge fan of the Hind family of attack helicopters. This video is of the Czech Air Force’s Mi-35/24V that they painted special for the NATO Tiger Meet exercise. This is one of the most badass paint jobs seen on a Hind. It’s got the H.R. Giger Alien feel for it and the result is just wicked. I had to screen shot a few photos to share but boy, you have to watch the video below.

The Video

Kudos to the team that did the filming as well as the Czech 22nd Helicopter Air Base and the 221st Helicopter Squadron.

What a wicked video! I sure hope you liked it as well.


Please note that all images were extracted from the video and are the property of their respective owner.


If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.

Larry Vickers Shows a Federov, SKS and Pre-Production AK-47

In 2015, Larry Vickers had a great chance to visit the Central Armed Forces Museum in northern Moscow.  While there, he had a chance to visit the museum’s archives and see an original Federov rifle, an early SKS and a preproduction AK-47 that was produced in 1946.  He assembled this part of his visit along with a comparison of a German StG 44 and a Type I AK into a video.

The Federov

The Federov Avtomat was arguably the first assault rifle.  It was designed in 1913 and produced at the Kovrov Arms Factory from 1913-1925.  Roughly 3,200 of these forward thinking rifles were built.  Personally, I think the rifle was very novel for its time including the use of the 6.5x50mm SR (Semi-Rimmed) Arisaka cartridge (What we call 6.5 Japanese today).

An overview of the Federov from the video.
Larry steps shows the Federov to viewers and has a lot of great close ups of this rare rifle.

The SKS

The Samozaryadny Karabin sistemy Simonov (SKS) was designed in 1944 and went into production in 1945.  Thus, it became known as the “SKS-45” in the USSR and was widely exported.  In total, the Soviets produced about 2.7 million SKS carbines first at the Tula Arsenal (1949-1958) and also Izhevsk Arsenal (153 and 1954).  The rifle was chambered for the 7.62×39 round that would later on be used the the AK-47.

Larry provides an overview of the SKS carbine
Here, he is holding an early SKS model and gives a quick overview of it.

A Preproduction AK-47

Larry had a chance to review an actual pre-production AK from about 1946 that was used in the Army’s trials of the weapon prior to official adoption in 1947.  This is what I especially wanted to see.  You see, many people assume the AK-47 was one single assault rifle when, really, it evolved over time.  They had the Type I, II, the III/AKM and so forth.

At any rate, Mikhail Kalashnikov and his design team worked on the AK-47 design from 1946-1948.  From 1949 to present, it estimated at least 75 million AK-47s were built.  Like the SKS, it uses the 7.62×39 cartridge.

Larry shows the Army Trial rifle and the viewer gets to see a number of angles of the rifle.

German StG-44 vs. Type I AK-47

Larry then goes on to argue that the StG-44 greatly influenced Kalashnikov and his design team.  Folks, this is a hotly debated topic.  As a point of Russian pride, they minimize any thoughts of influence.  At this point, it’s really hard to say.  If it were me, I’d look at a previous design and get ideas from it to save time, money and reduce the risk of mistakes.

Larry has a German StG-44 on the left and a Type I AK on the right.

The Video

So with no further to do, here’s Larry’s video:


Please note that all images above are extracted from the video and are the copyright of Vickers Tactical.


If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.


Cool New Soviet KGB Vodka Flasks – Awesome Conversation Starters

So I was surfing one day and stumbled across these cool souvenir personal liquor flasks from Russia that hark back to the Soviet era.  They looked really cool in the photos and were brand new so I figured why not get one and check it out.  Thus, out came the credit card and I got one from worldgifts1 on eBay.  I should point out that a number of vendors are selling these and they all look the same.

The below are photos of my exact flask.  I actually bought two – one for myself and one for my buddy Scott.  They really are nicely done – the chrome plate is good and what really caught my eye is the coat of arms – the CCCP is the abbreviation of the Cyrllic words “Союз Советских Социалистических Республик” that translate as the Union of Soviety Socialist Republics.  The КГБ is the Cyrllic abbreviation for Комите́т госуда́рственной безопа́сности which translates as the Committee for State Security, which we better know as the KGB.

I bought this strictly as a novelty plus as a place to keep either vodka or, gasp, my beloved tequila.  I think I am in big trouble for the tequila comment 🙂  It’s definitely a cool conversation starter and you could put whatever drink you want in there of course.

At any rate, it arrived as you see above and is water tight.  I sloshed some soapy water around inside, rinsed it out several times and then let it dry and it was good to go.

In my opinion it is a good deal – sure you can get cheaper generic flasks but they scream “boozer” vs. being a conversation starter.  I’d recommend these and they do make flasks with other insignia too – I opted for the KGB one due to growing up during the Cold War and tons of spy movies.


If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.