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  1. Ot Vinta! a new company from Russia has just released a 1/48th Polikarpov I-1 resin kit - ref. 4801 Sources: https://www.facebook.com/mak.bylkin https://www.facebook.com/media/set?set=a.2525260864354468&type=3 https://www.facebook.com/mak.bylkin/posts/2678852222328664 https://www.facebook.com/groups/695711033832473/permalink/3727677653969114/ Pre-order https://northstarmodels.ecwid.com/Ot-Vinta-1-48-Polikarpov-I-1-Soviet-Fighter-p202274722https://northstarmodels.ecwid.com/Ot-Vinta-1-48-Polikarpov-I-1-Soviet-Fighter-p202274722 V.P.
  2. The Hobbycraft kits are getting pretty old now, first being issued in 1992. They build up reasonably well, the only real issue is they lack the cut out in the main gear doors to allow the gear leg to pass through it. You need to make this cut yourself, I chose to simply remove the offending gear doors, call it removed for mud build up. Decals are thick, but the colour is good, I ruined the number on the tail myself to scrounged one from the spares box.
  3. I-16 Type 10 with Chinese Pilots (32008) 1:32 ICM via H G Hannants Ltd The I-16 was a ground-breaking design that first flew in 1934, as it was both a monoplane, and benefited from having retractable landing gear. It was designed by the Polikarpov Design Bureau, and was also intended to have a totally enclosed cockpit, but Soviet pilots disliked being ensconced within their aircraft, perhaps harking back to the days of open-topped biplanes, and all this was despite the freezing temperatures that they had to endure, even at zero feet. It was a small aircraft that led to some diminutive nicknames such as Burro or Rata, depending on where it was in service. Early variants saw action in the Spanish Civil War as well as in Chinese hands against the Japanese invaders, and by the time WWII came around they were one of the major fighters in service with the Soviet Air Force in terms of numbers. Action against the Bf.109s of the Legion Condor during the Spanish conflict left the designers with the distinct impression that it was outclassed by larger, more modern designs, but production did not cease immediately thanks to the remaining development potential of the basic airframe. By the time the Type 10 came into production, it was fitted with four 12.7mm machine guns, two synchronised in the cowling, two more in the wings. It was also powered by a Wright Cyclone R-1820 engine, and had a sliding canopy, which many pilots still discarded by preference to improve their situational awareness or whatever their excuses were. Subsequent variants improved the armament further, installing 20mm cannons with the same designation (why??) for extra destructive power, and increasing the power and supplier of the engine, although the improvements there were incremental rather than revolutionary. By the middle of WWII the type was obsolete, and was retired in favour of more advanced and powerful designs. The Kit This is a reboxing of their recent kit that is based on the initial tooling that dates to 2017, but with the addition of a set of Chinese aircrew figures to sweeten the deal. It arrives in a medium-sized top-opening box that has a captive flap on the bottom tray, and inside are five sprues in grey styrene, a clear sprue, decal sheet, and instruction booklet. Detail is excellent, and you may notice immediately that there are a few extra large parts on the sprues that you will end up leaving there, as it’s cheaper and more efficient to do so, rather than retool existing sprues. The addition of the figures gives some potential for a diorama or vignette, or you could just stand them next to your finished model on a bare shelf. Unusually, construction begins with the wings, that are full-span underneath and has the gear bays moulded into the centre. It is closed over immediately with the upper surfaces, and a pair of formation lights are inserted into the tips, then the ailerons are made from two halves each and are fitted in place, deflected if you wish, inserting a perforated cowling into the gap in front of the gear bays at the same time. The cockpit is created in stages, starting with the rear bulkhead and seat, which is then suspended in the port fuselage half, which has ribbing moulded into the interior. A front frame and equipment are also added to the sidewall, and the floor is slipped through the two bulkheads from the front, locking in place on a couple of cut-outs in the correct locations. A couple of bottles are installed around the rear of the cockpit, some pilot controls that include rudder pedals and control column are fitted in the main area, followed by the clear instrument panel with decal and the pilot’s seat pan, plus a few more detail parts, with yet more on the starboard sidewall. At the same time, a firewall bulkhead has a saddle-tank applied to the front surface, and two gun troughs extending from the rear toward the pilot, ready for additional parts once the fuselage is closed up. In preparation for that, the rudder and elevator halves are joined, and the upper cowling over the gun troughs has a pair of clear lights inserted from within. Predictably, the rudder is trapped between the fuselage halves on closure, allowing it to pivot if you are careful with the glue. The deck in front of the cockpit is then inserted, and the cockpit door is also glued into place, after which dealing with the seams would be a good plan before you join the wings from beneath. The elevator flying surfaces form a single assembly when complete, and are trapped between the halves of the elevator fins, which attach to the rear of the fuselage on triangular tabs, closing them in with a short fairing later in the build. Your Rata is bereft of an engine at this stage, so a circular mount with zig-zag supports is built, followed by the rear of the motor with intake piping that slides into the centre along with an ancillaries box. The nine-cylinder radial engine is supplied as a front and rear half, with push-rods moulded into a separate shallow bell-housing. The back of the motor is peppered with nine exhaust tubes, each one a separate part, and individually shaped to exit the cowling at the rear through the various holes. A little test-fitting would be sensible before resorting to glue to ensure they all exit where they’re supposed to, after which you can join the mounts to the back of the engine and insert the whole assembly into the front of the fuselage, taking care not to knock off any exhausts as you do. The cowling is next, starting with the front, with the three-part intake with adjustable cooling made up first, leaving the centre section mobile in case the temperature drops on your workbench. The prop shaft is slipped through a hole in the centre, through a perforated spinner plate and two-blade prop, which is covered over by a stubby spinner cap. The prop is then glued to the lower cowling and a pair of guns are slotted into the gun troughs, then the remaining three parts of the cowling can be glued into position or left off at your whim. The windscreen is then glued into position over a clear gunsight, then it’s time to make the wheels. Each gear leg is made from a triangular combination strut that has a three-part captive door applied to the outside, plus a retraction strut that has its own door fixed to it near the top. Take care during this process, as some small areas should be removed with a sharp blade or file to make the main doors and struts accurate to the type. The wheels are two parts each and slide onto the axles perpendicular to the ground. The tail cone has a small light at the tip, and a skid keeps the back end from dragging on the ground. The final few parts include the wing-mounted guns, a pitot tube, and a strange ‘dongle’ hanging from the starboard cowling. WWII China Guomindang Air Force Pilots (32115) We’ve reviewed this three-figure set before, and it’s nice to see it again. The single sprue contains parts for three figures, one crew chief or officer, and two pilots, who are dressed in flight overalls, flying helmets and their parachute packs slung low to the rear. Each figure is highly detailed, and broken down with separate torso, legs, arms and heads, plus parachute packs for the pilots, and a satchel for the uniformed gentleman. He also has separate coat tails for realism, and a two-part cap with separate peak. Markings There are four decal options included on the sheet, each one having half a page of colour profiles devoted to the detail, with just a single wing depicting the underside to show the location of the national markings. From the box you can build one of the following: China Guomindang AF, 1939 23rd Chantay of China Guomindang AF, 1939 24th Chantay of China Guomindang AF, September 1940 24th Chantay of China Guomindang AF, Chengdu, June 1941 Decals are by ICM’s usual partners, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion The I-16 is a small aircraft, even at this scale, and adding the three figures to the package gives it some human scale. Good detail and ICM’s usual fit and finish round out the package. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  4. A usually reliable russian source announces ICM is to release in 2017 a 1/32nd Polikarpov I-16 kit. To be followed. Source: http://scalemodels.ru/news/10678-anons-ICM-1-48-He-111H3.html For the record a 1/48th I-16 type 24 kit is expected by ICM in December 2016 (link). V.P.
  5. Another Arma Models project is 3D printed & resin kits from the Polikarpov I-187. Scale(s) being under evaluation. Source: https://vk.com/armatamodels?w=wall-114983756_350313 V.P.
  6. After the 1/144th and maybe 1/72nd kits (link), Arsenal Model Group (AMG) is to release 1/48th Polikarpov R-5 & MR-5 kits Sources: http://www.greenmats.club/topic/3125-kyiv-hobby-show-2017/?page=3&tab=comments#comment-41772 https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1898002190512233&id=1505395696439553 Box art 3D renders V.P.
  7. Thanks Alexei ! Source: https://propjet.ucoz.ru/forum/18-254-36708-16-1607710239 In 2021, ABM is to release a 1/72nd Polikarpov TB-2 resin kit Box art V.P.
  8. This I-16 was captured by the Finns during the Continuation War, it was converted to 2 seats to familiarise pilots with the Soviet Aircraft. Aircraft in the Finnish Air Force Museum, , pics thanks to Sergey (mr_stomach)
  9. U-2/Po-2 WWII Soviet Multi-Purpose Aircraft (72244) 1:72 ICM The Polikarpov Po-2 or U-2 in the training role, was a standard training bi-plane developed to replace the U-1 which was a copy of the Avro 504. The prototype first flew in 1928. The aircraft would also later find roles in crop dusting, light attack, reconnaissance, liaison and even psychological warfare, The Russian forces used the aircraft very successfully in the night bomber role where the Germans nicknamed it the Sewing Machine due to the note from its engine. The aircraft would also go on to fire some of the first shots in the Korean War. American forces would nickname the aircraft "Bedcheck Charlie" due to its nocturnal raids. Due to its low radar signature the aircraft was very hard to detect by allied forces in Korea. In what was fast becoming the Jet age the Po-2 was credited with a kill on an F-94 when it stalled trying to shoot down the Po-2, and a USMC would score the Skyraiders only Air-2-Air victory against a Po-2. It is estimated that upto 30,000 aircraft were built and it was in production longer than any other soviet era aircraft. The Albanian Air Force only retired the type in 1985! The Kit This is not to be confused with ICM's previous boxing of the aircraft, this is a new tool kit from them. The kit arrives on a single main sprue and this boxing has an additional sprue for the under wing & over wing pods. The moulding is first class as you would expect from ICM, the fabric effects are very good and should look quite realistic under a coat of paint. There is another boxing of this kit from ICM for the night bomber, however this can not be built directly from this box as the sprue with the bombs and rear machine gun is not included here. Construction starts in the fairly basic cockpits. Instrument panels are built up and installed into the fuselage as well a some flight controls. The fuselage is then closed up and the front added on to mount the engine. Once this is finished work can start on the wings. For the lower wing holes are opened up then the seats and their frames can be installed in the centre section which also forms the cockpit floor. one on this can then be added to the main fuselage. Next up the engine is made up and installed on the front of the fuselage. The tail planes and the rudder are then added. Underneath the main wing now the undercarriage is built up (or skis as needed) and adde The struts are then added and the upper wing can be added. A basic rigging diagram is provided to rig the bi-plane. Markings There are four decal options included in the box. From the box you can build one of the following: U-2 Summer 1943, Black/Green over blue camo. (Fitted with over wing pods) U-2 Winter 1942 overall white. (Fitted with under wing pods) Po-2 339th Independant liason air regiment, 3rd Russian Front, Feb 1945 (Green/Black/.Tan/Brown over blue scheme) U-2 Summer 1941 Green over blue camo. Decals are printed by ICM, with good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion It is good to see an important historical aircraft like this kitted, and its good to see the ICM kit on release again. The inclusion of a figure set makes for a ready made airfield diorama. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  10. ICM is to release 1/72nd Polikarpov Po-2 kits - ref. 72243 - Polikarpov U-2/Po-2VS WWII Soviet Light Night Bomber (100% new molds) NEW Source: https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/ICM72243 - ref. 72244 - Polikarpov U-2/Po-2, WWII Soviet Multi-Purpose Aircraft NEW Source: https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/ICM72244 V.P.
  11. I-16 Type 10 WWII China Guomindang AF Fighter (32006) ICM 1:32 Design work on the I-16 began during the summer of 1932 at the Central Aero and Hydrodynamic Institute. At this juncture Polikarpov was in the kind of straits that could only happen in the Soviet Union. His career which had entailed a swift ascent to the top post of the OSS (the department for experimental land plane construction), had taken a sudden downward plunge upon the occasion of his arrest during the 1929 purge. Instead of a firing squad or a gulag, however, Polikarpov and his design team were sentenced to an "internal prison," there to continue their work under the close scrutiny of the state. Evidently, his prosecutors judged him too vital to the future of Soviet military prowess to inflict a harsher punishment. When the tiny I-16 flew for the first time in December 1933, it was far ahead of any other fighter design in the world, featuring retractable landing gear, a cantilever wing and variable pitch propeller. At this point the I-16 might well have faded into obscurity, if not for the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in July 1936. This war drew support from all over the world. The Nationalists, supported mainly by German and Italian forces, were the better equipped. Britain, France, the United States, the Netherlands, Czechoslovakia and Turkey all sent an assortment of aircraft to the Republican forces, directly or indirectly. But by far the major supporter of the Republicans was the Soviet Union, which supplied 1,409 of the 1947 aircraft contributed by other countries. 475 of these aircraft were Polikarpov I-16s. They first entered combat in Spain in November 1936. Flown in many cases by Soviet pilots, they proved more than a match for German He 51 fighters and Arado Ar68, but met their equals in the Italian C.R.32 biplanes and were overpowered by Messerschmidt Bf 109s. From March 1937, all remaining I-16s were concentrated into Fighter Group 31, and this was by far the most successful of all Soviet-equipped units. Meanwhile, I-16s were fighting also in China, and in 1939 were operated against the Japanese in Mongolia. Their final fling came during the early part of the Second World War, but by then they were overshadowed by more advanced foreign types. Suffering the brunt of the German invasion, those remaining were replaced by more modern fighters in 1942-1943. The outstanding manoeuvrability, firepower and rate of climb, surprised the enemy leading to the opposition nickname of Rata (Rat) and the friendly name Mosca (Fly). Equipped with the Soviet 20 mm cannon it was the most powerful aircraft weapon in front line service with any nation on the eve of World War II. Another batch of I-16s was purchased by China to fight the Japanese, again surprising the other side with excellent performance. When it first appeared, the I-16 Ishak (Little Donkey) was powered by a radial engine which developed a modest 450 hp. Even with this it achieved a creditable 376 km/h (234 mph) and, as the world's first single-seat fighter to have low monoplane wings, an enclosed cockpit (on some versions) and a retractable undercarriage. It was immediately put into mass production alongside the Polikarpov I-15 biplane fighter. Development led eventually to one version of the I-16 reaching over 520km/h (325 mph), with an engine of about two-and-a-half times the original power. The Model This is the latest kit from ICM of this diminutive fighter. This is the standard I-16 Type 24 Kit with additional sprues for the fuselage and wings of the Type 10 so you could build a type 24 from this if you wanted. All the parts are superbly moulded, with no sign of flash or other imperfections and only a few noticeable moulding pips. Since the aircraft was mostly wood there are very few panel lines, where fabric was used in the construction, the kit shows the underlying structure, but in a nicely restrained way. There are a fair number of unused parts in this boxing due to the way ICM has moulded the parts for maximum use from all the variants. Construction begins with the wings and the two upper sections being attached to the single piece lower section, after which the port and starboard clear navigation lights are attached. Each aileron is moulded in top and bottom halves, which, once joined together are fitted in the desired poses, along with the lower underside of the nose. The cockpit is assembled next, and is a very nicely detailed area. The rear bulkhead is fitted with the seat backrest and support, while the two piece rudder pedals are assembled. The pedals are fitted to the cockpit floor, along with the rear mounted battery box. The front and rear bulkheads are then glued into the left hand fuselage section along with some sidewall detail. The floor is then slide in through the front bulkhead opening and glued to the rear bulkhead. The two piece throttle is assembled and glued into position, and then the instrument panel, which is moulded in clear plastic is fitted with the instrument decal. The rest of the cockpit is then detailed with the oxygen bottle instrument panel, joystick, a couple of handles, and seat. On the opposite side wall the undercarriage handle and a couple of instrument clusters are attached. The firewall is fitted with the two piece oil tank and two gun troughs, before being fitted to one half of the fuselage. The two piece rudder and three piece elevators are then assembled, as is the two piece upper nose section. The fuselage halves are then joined, and the rudder, horizontal tailplanes and upper nose section attached, as are the two door panels. The fuselage and wing assembly are then glued together. The engine bearers and attached to the engine mounting ring, followed by gearbox case and intake manifold, the two halves that make up the cylinders, each with exquisite fin detail, are joined together, then fitted with the piston rods and individual exhaust pipes, before the gearbox assembly is fitted to the rear. The completed engine is then attached to the fuselage. The engine is cowled with three optionally fitted panels, plus the three piece nose cowl, with optionally positioned vents. The two machine guns fitted to the upper nose are then slid into their associated troughs, followed by the gunsight and windscreen. The build is finished off with the assembly of the two main undercarriage units. Each unit is made up of a two piece wheel, single piece main leg, complete with actuator, two outer doors, with separate hinged lower section, there is a second support rod fitted with another door which is glued to the leg and rear mounting point in the wing. The tail wheel is then attached, as is the tail cone and rear light, wing gun muzzles, side mounted venturi style pitot and what looks like an aerial unit, aft of the cockpit. Decals The decal sheet is printed by ICM themselves. The decals are quite glossy, well printed, in register and nicely opaque, particularly useful for the large white numbers. There are three decal options, in the kit; I-16 Type 10 of the China Guomindang AF, 1939 I-16 Type 10 of the 23rd Chantay (Squadron) of China Guomindang AF, 1939 I-16 Type 10 of the 24th Chantay (Squadron) of China Guomindang AF, Sept 1940 I-16 Type 10 of the 24th Chantay (Squadron) of China Guomindang AF, June 1941 Conclusion There’s something about the old I-16, no matter which type. Whether it’s the cute little plane, or the plucky little fighter going up against the odds, with only the skills of the Soviet pilots keeping the aircraft, which was quite difficult to fly and fight with, in the air. Available from their UK importers, H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  12. Thanks Maks! link It's still unclear who. NeOmega Resin ? A 1/48th Polikarpov I-1 resin kit is reported in progress. Source: https://www.facebook.com/mak.bylkin/posts/2491424717738083 V.P.
  13. Rumour: Mars Models could produce Polikarpov VIT-1/-2 kits. Source: https://www.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1392753120865778&id=568843716590060 To be followed V.P.
  14. Sources: http://karopka.ru/forum/forum185/topic4526/?PAGEN_1=4 http://modelforum.cz/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=68170&start=3360 Ark Models is to release very soon a 1/48th Polikarpov I-158 kit - ref.AK48045 More about Ark Models: http://www.war.ee/modelling_area/view_article.php?id=291&lang_id=1 V.P.
  15. I-16 Type 17 WWII Soviet Fighter (32005) ICM 1:32 Design work on the I-16 began during the summer of 1932 at the Central Aero and Hydrodynamic Institute. At this juncture Polikarpov was in the kind of straits that could only happen in the Soviet Union. His career which had entailed a swift ascent to the top post of the OSS (the department for experimental land plane construction), had taken a sudden downward plunge upon the occasion of his arrest during the 1929 purge. Instead of a firing squad or a gulag, however, Polikarpov and his design team were sentenced to an "internal prison," there to continue their work under the close scrutiny of the state. Evidently, his prosecutors judged him too vital to the future of Soviet military prowess to inflict a harsher punishment. When the tiny I-16 flew for the first time in December 1933, it was far ahead of any other fighter design in the world, featuring retractable landing gear, a cantilever wing and variable pitch propeller. At this point the I-16 might well have faded into obscurity, if not for the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in July 1936. This war drew support from all over the world. The Nationalists, supported mainly by German and Italian forces, were the better equipped. Britain, France, the United States, the Netherlands, Czechoslovakia and Turkey all sent an assortment of aircraft to the Republican forces, directly or indirectly. But by far the major supporter of the Republicans was the Soviet Union, which supplied 1,409 of the 1947 aircraft contributed by other countries. 475 of these aircraft were Polikarpov I-16s. They first entered combat in Spain in November 1936. Flown in many cases by Soviet pilots, they proved more than a match for German He 51 fighters and Arado Ar68, but met their equals in the Italian C.R.32 biplanes and were overpowered by Messerschmidt Bf 109s. From March 1937, all remaining I-16s were concentrated into Fighter Group 31, and this was by far the most successful of all Soviet-equipped units. Meanwhile, I-16s were fighting also in China, and in 1939 were operated against the Japanese in Mongolia. Their final fling came during the early part of the Second World War, but by then they were overshadowed by more advanced foreign types. Suffering the brunt of the German invasion, those remaining were replaced by more modern fighters in 1942-1943. The outstanding manoeuvrability, firepower and rate of climb, surprised the enemy leading to the opposition nickname of Rata (Rat) and the friendly name Mosca (Fly). Equipped with the Soviet 20 mm cannon it was the most powerful aircraft weapon in front line service with any nation on the eve of World War II. Another batch of I-16s was purchased by China to fight the Japanese, again surprising the other side with excellent performance. When it first appeared, the I-16 Ishak (Little Donkey) was powered by a radial engine which developed a modest 450 hp. Even with this it achieved a creditable 376 km/h (234 mph) and, as the world's first single-seat fighter to have low monoplane wings, an enclosed cockpit (on some versions) and a retractable undercarriage. It was immediately put into mass production alongside the Polikarpov I-15 biplane fighter. Development led eventually to one version of the I-16 reaching over 520km/h (325 mph), with an engine of about two-and-a-half times the original power. The Model This is the latest kit from ICM of this diminutive fighter. This is the standard I-16 Type 24 Kit with additional sprues for the fuselage and wings of the Type 17 so you could build a type 24 or 10 from this if you wanted. All the parts are superbly moulded, with no sign of flash or other imperfections and only a few noticeable moulding pips. Since the aircraft was mostly wood there are very few panel lines, where fabric was used in the construction, the kit shows the underlying structure, but in a nicely restrained way. There are a fair number of unused parts in this boxing due to the way ICM has moulded the parts for maximum use from all the variants. This boxing comes with an additional sprue for the Ski landing gear used during winter. Construction begins with the wings and the two upper sections being attached to the single piece lower section, after which the port and starboard clear navigation lights are attached. Each aileron is moulded in top and bottom halves, which, once joined together are fitted in the desired poses, along with the lower underside of the nose. The cockpit is assembled next, and is a very nicely detailed area. The rear bulkhead is fitted with the seat backrest and support, while the two piece rudder pedals are assembled. The pedals are fitted to the cockpit floor, along with the rear mounted battery box. The front and rear bulkheads are then glued into the left hand fuselage section along with some sidewall detail. The floor is then slide in through the front bulkhead opening and glued to the rear bulkhead. The two piece throttle is assembled and glued into position, and then the instrument panel, which is moulded in clear plastic is fitted with the instrument decal. The rest of the cockpit is then detailed with the oxygen bottle instrument panel, joystick, a couple of handles, and seat. On the opposite side wall the undercarriage handle and a couple of instrument clusters are attached. The firewall is fitted with the two piece oil tank and two gun troughs, before being fitted to one half of the fuselage. The two piece rudder and three piece elevators are then assembled, as is the two piece upper nose section. The fuselage halves are then joined, and the rudder, horizontal tailplanes and upper nose section attached, as are the two door panels. The fuselage and wing assembly are then glued together. The engine bearers and attached to the engine mounting ring, followed by gearbox case and intake manifold, the two halves that make up the cylinders, each with exquisite fin detail, are joined together, then fitted with the piston rods and individual exhaust pipes, before the gearbox assembly is fitted to the rear. The completed engine is then attached to the fuselage. The engine is cowled with three optionally fitted panels, plus the three piece nose cowl, with optionally positioned vents. The two machine guns fitted to the upper nose are then slid into their associated troughs, followed by the gunsight and windscreen. The build is finished off with the assembly of the two main undercarriage units. Each unit is made up of a two piece wheel, single piece main leg, complete with actuator, two outer doors, with separate hinged lower section, there is a second support rod fitted with another door which is glued to the leg and rear mounting point in the wing. If wanted the ski under carriage can be fitted instead of the wheels. The tail wheel is then attached, as is the tail cone and rear light, wing gun muzzles, side mounted venturi style pitot and what looks like an aerial unit, aft of the cockpit. Decals The decal sheet is printed by ICM themselves. The decals are quite glossy, well printed, in register and nicely opaque, particularly useful for the large white numbers. There are for decal options, 3 in the standard green of blue camouflage, and one in the green & Black over blue scheme. The four aircraft are:- I-16 Type 17 of the 22nd Fighter Regiment, winter 1939, 40 I-16 Type 17 of the 5th Baltic Fleet Regiments, winter 1939, 40 I-16 Type 17 of the 191st Fighter Regiment, 7th Fighter Corps Leningrad Air Defense, 1941 I-16 Type 17 of the 4th Baltic Fleet Fighter Regiment, Spring 1942. Conclusion There’s something about the old I-16, no matter which type. Whether it’s the cute little plane, or the plucky little fighter going up against the odds, with only the skills of the Soviet pilots keeping the aircraft, which was quite difficult to fly and fight with, in the air. Available from their UK importers, H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  16. I-153 WWII China Guomindang AF Fighter ICM 1:48 (48099) The Polikarpov I-153 was the last of Nikolai Polikarpov's biplane fighter aircraft to enter service and despite being the most advanced entry in the series was already obsolete when it first entered service in 1939. The I-153 was developed as a result of a misreading of the results of the aerial combat during the Spanish Civil War. In July 1937 a meeting chaired by Stalin concluded that the Fiat CR.32 biplane was superior to the Polikarpov I-16 monoplane. The nimble Fiat fighter had achieved impressive results against the Soviet fighter, but partly because the I-16 pilots had attempted to dogfight rather than use their superior speed to break off combat. The successful introduction of the Bf 109 was ignored, and instead of focusing on producing a superior monoplane the Soviet authorities decided to work on an improved biplane. The new aircraft needed to maintain the manoeuvrability of the I-15 and I-152 while also increasing in speed. Work on the I-153 was officially approved on 11 October 1937. Polikarpov's main aim was to reduce drag and weight in an attempt to compensate for the weight of a heavier engine. He did this in two main ways - first by introducing a retractable undercarriage, and second by returning to the 'gull wing' configuration of the I-15, in which the upper wing was linked to the fuselage, eliminating its central section. This had worked on the I-15, but had been unpopular with some pilots and higher authorities, and had been removed from the I-152. As a result that aircraft had been less manoeuvrable than its predecessor. The 'gull wing' on the I-152 was an improved version of that on the I-15, with a bigger gap between the wing roots, which improved the pilot's forward view when landing and taking off. The fuselage and wings of the I-153 were similar to those of the I-15 and I-152, with a steel tube framework, covered by metal at the front of the fuselage and fabric elsewhere. The manually operated retractable undercarriage rotated through 90 degrees before folding backwards into the fuselage. The first prototype was powered by a 750hp M-25V engine. Its maiden flight is variously reported as having taken place in May or August 1938. Tests that began on 27 September are variously described as state acceptance or factory trials. These tests weren't entirely satisfactory and production was delayed while some of the problems were solved. In June-August 1939 state acceptance trials were conducted using an I-153 powered by the new Shvetsov M-62 engine, a version of the M-25V with a two-stage supercharger. These trials were not officially concluded until January 1941, long after the type had been superseded. Next in line was a version powered by the 900hp M-63, and this version passed its trials on 30 September 1939. Only a handful of aircraft were produced with the M-25 engine. The 800hp M-62 was used in the largest number of aircraft, around 3,018 in total. The 1,100hp (at take-off) M-63 was used in 409 aircraft. A total of 3,437 I-153s were produced, beginning in 1938. 1,011 aircraft had been completed by the end of 1939, and a massive 2,362 were built in 1940, at a time when the Soviet Union desperately needed more modern monoplanes. Production came to an end early in 1941 and only 64 aircraft were completed that year. The standard I-153 was armed with four ShKAS machine guns. The four under wing bomb racks could carry up to 441lb of bombs. In 1940 93 of these aircraft were delivered to the Chinese nationalists for their fight against the Japanese. They served until 1943. The Model This is a new boxing of the original kit from 2015, with decals for the Chinese Nationalist Forces and a small extra sprue with a new cowling. All the parts are superbly moulded, with no sign of flash or other imperfections and only a few noticeable moulding pips. Since the aircraft was mostly wood there are very few panel lines, as fabric was used in the construction, the kit shows the underlying structure, but in a nicely restrained way. Both the upper and lower wings are single parts so the thickness looks correct and there is no worrying join lines. Construction begins with the cockpit, the tubular frame is built up, the controls are added into this then it is attached to the cockpit floor and the seat is added. The complete section is then added onto the lower wing. Additional controls and other parts are then added to the inside of the fuselage halves. These can then be closed up and added to the lower wing. A template is provided for the front to drill the mounting holes for the engine. The upper wing and the interplane struts can then be added, followed by the tail planes. Moving on the the front of the aircraft the radial engine is built up. This has separate parts for the control rods, cylinders and exhausts this should build up into a convincing replica of the real thing. The cowling and propeller are then added and the engine mounted into the holes drilled earlier. The three part outer cowling (top & 2 sides) can be fixed or left off as needed. The Small clear canopy is then added. Moving to the underside the landing gear and door are made up and added. If required a number of light bombs can be built up and added. Rigging of the aircraft is fairly simple and an enclosed diagram shows how this can be done. Decals The decal sheet is printed by ICM themselves. The decals are quite glossy, well printed, in register and nicely opaque, particularly useful for the large white numbers. There are four different options for unknown aircraft from the Chinese Nationalist Air Force. Conclusion As with the I-16, this is a very cute and recognisable little aeroplane. The biplane design, whilst out of date, makes this aircraft look a nicer design then the I-16. It’s certainly great that ICM are catering to those aircraft. Available from Importers H G Hannants Ltd. In the UK Review sample courtesy of
  17. I-16 Type 10 WWII Soviet Fighter (32004) ICM 1:32 Design work on the I-16 began during the summer of 1932 at the Central Aero and Hydrodynamic Institute. At this juncture Polikarpov was in the kind of straits that could only happen in the Soviet Union. His career which had entailed a swift ascent to the top post of the OSS (the department for experimental land plane construction), had taken a sudden downward plunge upon the occasion of his arrest during the 1929 purge. Instead of a firing squad or a gulag, however, Polikarpov and his design team were sentenced to an "internal prison," there to continue their work under the close scrutiny of the state. Evidently, his prosecutors judged him too vital to the future of Soviet military prowess to inflict a harsher punishment. When the tiny I-16 flew for the first time in December 1933, it was far ahead of any other fighter design in the world, featuring retractable landing gear, a cantilever wing and variable pitch propeller. At this point the I-16 might well have faded into obscurity, if not for the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in July 1936. This war drew support from all over the world. The Nationalists, supported mainly by German and Italian forces, were the better equipped. Britain, France, the United States, the Netherlands, Czechoslovakia and Turkey all sent an assortment of aircraft to the Republican forces, directly or indirectly. But by far the major supporter of the Republicans was the Soviet Union, which supplied 1,409 of the 1947 aircraft contributed by other countries. 475 of these aircraft were Polikarpov I-16s. They first entered combat in Spain in November 1936. Flown in many cases by Soviet pilots, they proved more than a match for German He 51 fighters and Arado Ar68, but met their equals in the Italian C.R.32 biplanes and were overpowered by Messerschmidt Bf 109s. From March 1937, all remaining I-16s were concentrated into Fighter Group 31, and this was by far the most successful of all Soviet-equipped units. Meanwhile, I-16s were fighting also in China, and in 1939 were operated against the Japanese in Mongolia. Their final fling came during the early part of the Second World War, but by then they were overshadowed by more advanced foreign types. Suffering the brunt of the German invasion, those remaining were replaced by more modern fighters in 1942-1943. The outstanding manoeuvrability, firepower and rate of climb, surprised the enemy leading to the opposition nickname of Rata (Rat) and the friendly name Mosca (Fly). Equipped with the Soviet 20 mm cannon it was the most powerful aircraft weapon in front line service with any nation on the eve of World War II. Another batch of I-16s was purchased by China to fight the Japanese, again surprising the other side with excellent performance. When it first appeared, the I-16 Ishak (Little Donkey) was powered by a radial engine which developed a modest 450 hp. Even with this it achieved a creditable 376 km/h (234 mph) and, as the world's first single-seat fighter to have low monoplane wings, an enclosed cockpit (on some versions) and a retractable undercarriage. It was immediately put into mass production alongside the Polikarpov I-15 biplane fighter. Development led eventually to one version of the I-16 reaching over 520km/h (325 mph), with an engine of about two-and-a-half times the original power. The Model This is the latest kit from ICM of this diminutive fighter. This is the standard I-16 Type 24 Kit with additional sprues for the fuselage and wings of the Type 10 so you could build a type 24 from this if you wanted. All the parts are superbly moulded, with no sign of flash or other imperfections and only a few noticeable moulding pips. Since the aircraft was mostly wood there are very few panel lines, where fabric was used in the construction, the kit shows the underlying structure, but in a nicely restrained way. There are a fair number of unused parts in this boxing due to the way ICM has moulded the parts for maximum use from all the variants. Construction begins with the wings and the two upper sections being attached to the single piece lower section, after which the port and starboard clear navigation lights are attached. Each aileron is moulded in top and bottom halves, which, once joined together are fitted in the desired poses, along with the lower underside of the nose. The cockpit is assembled next, and is a very nicely detailed area. The rear bulkhead is fitted with the seat backrest and support, while the two piece rudder pedals are assembled. The pedals are fitted to the cockpit floor, along with the rear mounted battery box. The front and rear bulkheads are then glued into the left hand fuselage section along with some sidewall detail. The floor is then slide in through the front bulkhead opening and glued to the rear bulkhead. The two piece throttle is assembled and glued into position, and then the instrument panel, which is moulded in clear plastic is fitted with the instrument decal. The rest of the cockpit is then detailed with the oxygen bottle instrument panel, joystick, a couple of handles, and seat. On the opposite side wall the undercarriage handle and a couple of instrument clusters are attached. The firewall is fitted with the two piece oil tank and two gun troughs, before being fitted to one half of the fuselage. The two piece rudder and three piece elevators are then assembled, as is the two piece upper nose section. The fuselage halves are then joined, and the rudder, horizontal tailplanes and upper nose section attached, as are the two door panels. The fuselage and wing assembly are then glued together. The engine bearers and attached to the engine mounting ring, followed by gearbox case and intake manifold, the two halves that make up the cylinders, each with exquisite fin detail, are joined together, then fitted with the piston rods and individual exhaust pipes, before the gearbox assembly is fitted to the rear. The completed engine is then attached to the fuselage. The engine is cowled with three optionally fitted panels, plus the three piece nose cowl, with optionally positioned vents. The two machine guns fitted to the upper nose are then slid into their associated troughs, followed by the gunsight and windscreen. The build is finished off with the assembly of the two main undercarriage units. Each unit is made up of a two piece wheel, single piece main leg, complete with actuator, two outer doors, with separate hinged lower section, there is a second support rod fitted with another door which is glued to the leg and rear mounting point in the wing. The tail wheel is then attached, as is the tail cone and rear light, wing gun muzzles, side mounted venturi style pitot and what looks like an aerial unit, aft of the cockpit. Decals The decal sheet is printed by ICM themselves. The decals are quite glossy, well printed, in register and nicely opaque, particularly useful for the large white numbers. There are for decal options, in the standard green of blue camouflage. The four aircraft are:- I-16 Type 10 of the 70th Fighter Regiment, Khalhin Gol, July 1939 (Pilot LT VG Rakhov. I-16 Type 10 of the 70th Fighter Regiment, Khalhin Gol, July 1939. I-16 Type 10 of the 122nd Fighter Regiment, Weston Front, Summer 1941. I-16 Type 10 of the 145th Fighter Regiment, Mrmansk Region, Summer 1941, Pilot Cpt LA Galchenko. Conclusion There’s something about the old I-16, no matter which type. Whether it’s the cute little plane, or the plucky little fighter going up against the odds, with only the skills of the Soviet pilots keeping the aircraft, which was quite difficult to fly and fight with, in the air. Available from their UK importers, H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  18. I-16 Type 10 Spanish Air Force (after 1939) ICM 1:32 (D3203) ICM have been doing many versions of the I-16 in 1.32 scale now they are bringing us a decal sheet for those used by The Spanish Air Force after the Civil war when ex Republican examples were now in the Spanish Air Force. This sheet follows the one for Civil War machines we reviewed here. The sheet provides markings for 6 aircraft used post Civil War; Conclusion This is a great addition from ICM to an already great kit. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  19. I-16 Type 29 Update set, Seatbelts & Masks (for ICM) 1:32 Eduard ICM are determined it seams to kit all versions of Polikarpov's diminutive donkey. The kits are very good but still will benefit from a little sprinkling of Eduard updates. Update Set (32935) Two frets are included, one nickel plated and pre-painted, the other in bare brass. The main thrust of the nickel fret is a new instrument panel in two layers. There is also a few other cockpit fittings on this fret, and a new radio box complete with dials. The brass fret provides new insides for the main gear doors, bomb fins, aerial fittings, a new gunsight, cockpit floor parts, new rudder pedals. There are additional cockpit parts in the form of throttles and the landing gear actuators. Zoom! Set (33208) This set contains a reduced subset of the interior, namely the pre-painted parts that are used to improve on the main aspects of the cockpit, as seen above. Whatever your motivations for wanting this set, it provides a welcome boost to detail, without being concerned with the structural elements. Seatbelts (33209) These belts are Photo-Etch (PE) steel, and because of their strength they can be etched from thinner material, which improves realism and flexibility in one sitting. Coupled with the new painting method that adds perceived extra depth to the buckles and other furniture by shading, they are more realistic looking and will drape better than regular brass PE. Masks (JX224) Supplied on a sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with a full set of masks for the diminutive canopy, and a set of wheel hub masks.. Review sample courtesy of
  20. I-16 Type 24 with Soviet Pilots (32007) ICM 1:32 Design work on the I-16 began during the summer of 1932 at the Central Aero and Hydrodynamic Institute. At this juncture Polikarpov was in the kind of straits that could only happen in the Soviet Union. His career which had entailed a swift ascent to the top post of the OSS (the department for experimental land plane construction), had taken a sudden downward plunge upon the occasion of his arrest during the 1929 purge. Instead of a firing squad or a gulag, however, Polikarpov and his design team were sentenced to an "internal prison," there to continue their work under the close supervision and scrutiny of the state. Evidently, his prosecutors judged him too vital to the future of Soviet military prowess to inflict the usual penalties of summary execution or slow death in a labour camp. When the tiny I-16 flew for the first time in December 1933, it was far ahead of any other fighter design in the world, featuring retractable landing gear, a cantilever wing and variable pitch propeller. Although not among the best remembered aircraft of the thirties, it was nevertheless a very able and rugged machine and featured prominently in the events of the time. When the Spanish Civil War broke out, almost 500 were put into service with the Republicans. The outstanding manoeuvrability, firepower and rate of climb, surprised the enemy leading to the opposition nickname of Rata (Rat) and the friendly name Mosca (Fly). Equipped with the Soviet 20 mm cannon it was the most powerful aircraft weapon in front line service with any nation on the eve of World War II. It had a very high rate of fire and was extremely reliable. Another batch of I-16s was purchased by China to fight the Japanese, again surprising the other side with excellent performance. When it first appeared, the I-16 Ishak (Little Donkey) was powered by a radial engine which developed a modest 450 hp. Even with this it achieved a creditable 376 km/h (234 mph) and, as the world's first single-seat fighter to have low monoplane wings, an enclosed cockpit (on some versions) and a retractable undercarriage. It was immediately put into mass production alongside the Polikarpov I-15 biplane fighter. Development led eventually to one version of the I-16 reaching over 520km/h (325 mph), with an engine of about two-and-a-half times the original power. At this point the I-16 might well have faded into obscurity, if not for the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in July 1936. This war drew support from all over the world. The Nationalists, supported mainly by German and Italian forces, were the better equipped. Britain, France, the United States, the Netherlands, Czechoslovakia and Turkey all sent an assortment of aircraft to the Republican forces, directly or indirectly. But by far the major supporter of the Republicans was the Soviet Union, which supplied 1,409 of the 1947 aircraft contributed by other countries. 475 of these aircraft were Polikarpov I-16s. They first entered combat in Spain in November 1936. Flown in many cases by Soviet pilots, they proved more than a match for German He 51 fighters and Arado Ar68, but met their equals in the Italian C.R.32 biplanes and were overpowered by Messerschmitt Bf 109s. From March 1937, all remaining I-16s were concentrated into Fighter Group 31, and this was by far the most successful of all Soviet-equipped units. Meanwhile, I-16s were fighting also in China, and in 1939 were operated against the Japanese in Mongolia. Their final fling came during the early part of the Second World War, but by then they were overshadowed by more advanced foreign types. Suffering the brunt of the German invasion, those remaining were replaced by more modern fighters in 1942-1943. The Type 24 entered service in 1939 with the M-62 radial engine, but later versions had a 1,100 hp (820 kw) M-63 radial engine. The wings were strengthened and larger capacity drop tanks could be used. Most aircraft were equipped with either the RSI-1 or RSI-3 radio and oxygen equipment. The Model This is the first 1:32 scale kit from ICM, and having seen what’s in the box, I really hope it’s not their last. Once you take the lid off the box and opened the inner lid, you will find three large sprues of grey styrene, one small clear sprue and a medium sized decal sheet. All the parts are superbly moulded, with no sign of flash or other imperfections and only a few noticeable moulding pips. There are a few swirl marks in the plastic, but nothing to worry about and will easily be covered when the kit is primed and painted. Since the aircraft was mostly wood there are very few panel lines, where fabric was used in the construction, the kit shows the underlying structure, but in a nicely restrained way. Construction begins with the wings and the two upper sections being attached to the single piece lower section, after which the port and starboard clear navigation lights are attached. Each aileron is moulded in top and bottom halves, which, once joined together are fitted in the desired poses, along with the lower underside of the nose. The cockpit is assembled next, and is a very nicely detailed area. The rear bulkhead is fitted with the seat backrest and support, while the two piece rudder pedals are assembled. The pedals are fitted to the cockpit floor, along with the rear mounted battery box. The front and rear bulkheads are then glued into the left hand fuselage section along with some sidewall detail. The floor is then slide in through the front bulkhead opening and glued to the rear bulkhead. The two piece throttle is assembled and glued into position, and then the instrument panel, which is moulded in clear plastic is fitted with the instrument decal. The rest of the cockpit is then detailed with the oxygen bottle instrument panel, joystick, a couple of handles, and seat. On the opposite side wall the undercarriage handle and a couple of instrument clusters are attached. The firewall is fitted with the two piece oil tank and two gun troughs, before being fitted to one half of the fuselage. The two piece rudder and three piece elevators are then assembled, as is the two piece upper nose section. The fuselage halves are then joined, and the rudder, horizontal tailplanes and upper nose section attached, as are the two door panels. The fuselage and wing assembly are then glued together. The engine bearers and attached to the engine mounting ring, followed by gearbox case and intake manifold, the two halves that make up the cylinders, each with exquisite fin detail, are joined together, then fitted with the piston rods and individual exhaust pipes, before the gearbox assembly is fitted to the rear. The completed engine is then attached to the fuselage. The engine is cowled with three optionally fitted panels, plus the three piece nose cowl, with optionally positioned vents. The two machine guns fitted to the upper nose are then slid into their associated troughs, followed by the gunsight and windscreen. The build is finished off with the assembly of the two main undercarriage units. Each unit is made up of a two piece wheel, single piece main leg, complete with actuator, two outer doors, with separate hinged lower section, there is a second support rod fitted with another door which is glued to the leg and rear mounting point in the wing. The tail wheel is then attached, as is the tail cone and rear light, wing gun muzzles, side mounted venturi style pitot and what looks like an aerial unit, aft of the cockpit. Figures This boxing comes with ICM Set 32102 "VVS RKKA Pilots. There are actually 2 pilots, one seated and one standing, plus what looks to be a ground crew member. As with all of all of ICMs figure sets I have seen these are well sculpted and thought out on the sprue. They should work well with the kit. Decals The decal sheet is printed by ICM themselves. The decals are quite glossy, well printed, in register and nicely opaque, particularly useful for the large white numbers and slogans. There are for decal options, three in standard green of blue camouflage and one in overall aluminium. The four aircraft are:- I-16 Type 24 of the 67th Fighter Regiment, South Front, Summer 1941 I-16 Type 24 of the 72nd Mixed Regiment of the Northern Fleet Aviation, Summer 1941 I-16 Type 24 of 4th Guard Fighter Regiment of the Baltic Fleet Aviation, Winter-Spring 1942 I-16 Type 24 of the 254th Fighter Regiment, Leningrad Front, Summer 1943. Conclusion There’s something about the old I-16, no matter which type. Whether it’s the cute little plane, or the plucky little fighter going up against the odds, with only the skills of the Soviet pilots keeping the aircraft, which was quite difficult to fly and fight with, in the air. This first large scale kit from ICM is really very nice and will build up into a great looking model. It is great to see the kit now available with figures. Available from their UK importers, H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
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