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PZL P.11c "First shots" - 1:72 Azur


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PZL P.11c "First shots"

1:72 Azur


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The P.11 was designed by Państwowe Zakłady Lotnicze (PZL) The Polish state aviation works. They were Polands main aircraft manufacturer during the interwar years. The P.11 was designed by Zygmunt Pulawski. In the late 1920s he had designed the all metal monoplane fighter the P.1 using a high mounted gull wing. This became known as the Polish or Pulawski wing.

The P.1 and later P.6 & P.7 lead to the development of the P.11. The original P.11a was powered by a Bristol Mercury IV S2 radial engine but was considered an interim model and only 30 were built. The final variant the P.11c had a new refined fuselage with a lowered engine to give the pilot a better view. Production of the P.11c began in 1934 with 175 being produced. The first 50 had the Bristol Mercury V S2, with the remainder being fitted with the Bristol Mercury VI S2.

Even though in 1934 the P.11C was more advanced than the Gloster Gladiator and the He 51, the fast pace of aircraft design in this time period coupled with the untimely death of Zygmunt Pulawski left the Polish with the P.11c in 1939 which was by then totally outclassed. The Polish had tried to order Hurricanes from Britain and M.S 406s from France. In the end none of these were delivered and the Polish Air Force faced the Luftwaffe in 1939 in their P.11cs.

Not only were the P.11s low in numbers, lacking armament and radios, but they found the Bf 109s & Bf 110s faster and better armed. The Polish fighters had better manoeuvrability and due to the design better visibility. Despite the odds the Polish pilots managed to acquit themselves well. German records show losses of 285 with 110 being credited to the P.11 though the numbers are not 100% verified. The P.11c also has the dubious distinction of being the first aircraft to be shot down in WWII on 1st September 1939.


The Kit
The kit arrives in a standard open end box with the parts packed into a re-sealable plastic envelope. You get two sprues of grey plastic; a small clear canopy, a small selection of resin parts and a small etched fret. The plastic parts are well moulded with restrained panel lines where needed. The shape of the wing is well represented along with the surface.

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Construction starts with the cockpit. Its fairly basic in there on the kit, but I suspect the real thing was not exactly brimming with features. A combination of plastic and photo etched parts are used with a little bit of wire the modeller will need to provide. In all this should be sufficient for what you can actually see into. Following construction of the cockpit this is placed inside the fuselage halves and it is closed up. No location pins are provided so the modeller will have to ensure correct alignment.

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Following this the wings are constructed. The main wing Is moulded as one on the top part to capture the gull shape. Two outer wing panels are then attached on the underside. There are some large towers which will need to be removed before the wing parts can go together. Trim tabs and flap hinges are provided in PE for the wings, though the hinges are very small in 1.72! there are a couple of spares though if one is claimed by the carpet monster. The wings can then be attached to the fuselage with two struts each side.

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The last steps are then to attach the landing gear struts. These are moulded as one side. Getting the angle right will be a challenge as no where on the instructions does it show a view for you to compare against. Once these are on and the wheels attached the tailplanes are added. A PE trim tab is also included at this stage for the rudder. Finally the engine & cowl can be assembled and added.


Decals
Decal are provided for four different aircraft. Marking diagrams are provided in the instructions and a colour side view for each on the back of the box. The smallish decal sheet is printed by Aviprint of the Czech Republic. All appears to be in register with good colour definition and minimal carrier film.
  • White 4 - 2nd Lt Jan Dzwonek Shot down Hs 126 Sept 1930 - As box art.
  • White 10 - 2nd Lt Hieronim Dudwai, captured Sept 1939.
  • White 5 - Waraw 1939
  • White 8 - Krakow 1939

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Conclusion
A historical subject if you like to model the inter-war years, or the very beginning of WWII. A good looking kit which is not to complicated.

Highly recommended.


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Review sample courtesy of logo.jpg

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