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The IAR 80 was a small-series Romanian-built WW2 fighter plane. Built with very limited resources and under many unfortunate circumstances, the plane behaved pretty well during its operational life, on all fronts. This little forgotten fighter is really close to my heart so I was very happy to see that Hobbyboss decided to offer a plastic kit dedicated to IAR 80. Now let's see what's in the box: Dry-fitting of the main pieces is very good and also the kit seems to be pretty accurate in dimensions. It really looks like an IAR80:) But this is where the good news is over, because the kit has some errors probably caused by sloppy documentation work (no wonder for Hobbyboss). Hopefully, with some love & tenderness, most of these can be properly addressed. I also acquired the separate PE instrument panel released by Yahu Models for IAR 80. It can be seen in the above picture with the canopy and windscreen. Although it looks like difficult to assemble (it is not the traditional just-stick one-piece IP from Yahu, this set consists of many small pieces that must be assembled together), I strongly recommend it for those interested in IAR 80, because it is a HUGE improvement over the kit's parts. The kit itself comes with a small PE fret containing the seat belts...but unfortunately these seatbelts are not correct for the early time-frame of the IAR 80 series. This type of seatbelts were indeed fitted to IAR 80/81 but only starting with summer 1943. They were also usually retro-fitted to earlier models of the plane, but of course starting with 1943. A 1940-1941-1942-early 1943 machine would not be fitted with such seatbelts. As said, the IAR 80 was produced in very limited numbers, only some 450 machines were built and it was used operationally only by the Romanian Air Force, mostly on the Eastern front and home defense missions. As an example, when fighting the Americans during the Ploesti oil fiend missions, it was usually mistaken with the Fw190:) Anyway, there is very limited knowledge about this plane and a very good reference work on the subject is the book "Romanian Hunter" authored by Radu Brinzan. Very solid work, it contains lots of details needed for an IAR 80 model. I greatly recommend it to anyone interested. One of the main problems of the Hobbyboss kit is that the original decals are almost unusable and the painting instructions are largely incorrect. There are decals for 2 airframes in the box: aircraft no.42 and aircraft no.137. But no.137 was a 6-gun wing model, while in the box we have the 4-gun wing model. Of course, some modifications could be made, but the idea is that OOB the markings for no.137 are incorrect for this model. The remaining variant, no.42 airframe, was indeed a 4-guns wing, but the King Michael's crosses are not the right ones for this model. But again Radu Brinzan came to help with this lovely decal sheet dedicated to early series on IAR 80, which is offering some very nice and correct markings and painting instructions for the earliest IAR 80 airframes. Another problem is related to the guns. As represented in the kit, they are not very correct and anyway under-represented. The early IAR 80 series were armed with 4 FN machine guns. These were some Belgian variations of the classic Browning 303. I looked to find some decent aftermarket for these and I found appropriate only this Quickboost set designed for the new Airfix P40B kit, which contains 4 browning 303 barrels. While not perfect, they are the closest match I could find for the FN's installed in the early IAR 80. Anyway, I intend to represent an early IAR 80 airframe, one of the machines built in the first series. The airplane was built in small batches, first series spanning from No.1 to No.20. I will probably go for a pre-war marking (1940 to early 1941 time frame), so the most probable candidates are no.2, no.9 or no.17 from Radu's decal sheet. That's all for the moment . Thanks for looking and cheers,