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Julien

Polikarpov I-16 Type 24 - 1:48 Eduard - Profipack

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Polikarpov I-16 Type 24

1:48 Eduard - Profipack


ppbox.jpg



The I-16 was a Soviet fighter of revolutionary design. It was the worlds first low wing cantilever monoplane fighter with retractable landing gear to achieve operational status. The designer Nikolai Nikoleavich Polikarpov designed the aircraft optimised for speed with a short stubby fuselage similar to the Gee Bee racer. It was to feature cutting edge items such as a fully retractable landing gear and an enclosed cockpit.

Work began in June 1933 and full scale production began in November of the same year. The aircraft was designed around the Wright Cyclone SR-1820-F-3 nine cylinder engine. The construction was a mix of wooden monocoque and wings based around chrome-molybdenum steel alloy wing spar. Original armament was a par of 7.62mm machine guns mounted outboard of the main wheels. The Type 24 aircraft featured Four machine guns, two in the original wing positions and two synchronised in the fuselage. Landing flaps replaced the original drooping ailerons, a tail wheel was also added. This variant was powered by a Shvetsov M-63 engine developing 900hp.

At the start of WWII Russian had 1635 I-16 variants. During the first 48 hours of Operation Barbarossa Luftwaffe attacks on I-16 bases reduced this to only 937 aircraft. The I-16 was surprisingly good in combat against the Bf 109E with Russian pilots using its superior horizontal manoeuvrability. However later versions of the 109 would prove to be much faster, and more heavily armed. One advantage in the Russian winter was the I-16 had an aircooled engine and were more reliable. In all over half of the produced aircraft were still in service when they were replaced in 1943.
I-16 would also serve overseas with China. Germany, Romania and Finland would operate captured examples. The Spanish Republican Air Force used I-16s supplied by Russia, and after the Civil war these would be used by Spanish State Air Force, amazingly only being retired in 1952.

The Kit
The kit arrives on four sprues with one small clear sprue containing the front windscreen. The parts are all very well moulded with nice engraved detail. There is no evidence of flash anywhere on the parts.

fuse.JPG

Construction starts with the cockpit and the interior of the fuselage. A mixture of plastic and photo-etch parts make up the cockpit details. Some of the engine exhausts are added at this time along with internal features. The fuselage is closed up and the cockpit is added from underneath. The cockpit is fairly Spartan much like the real thing. The instrument panel comes as either photo-etch parts, or as a decal; though you could paint the plastic panel if you prefer. A set of seatbelts is supplied on the photo-etch fret.

wing.JPG

Once the cockpit and instrument panel are in the wings are constructed. These are of a conventional one part lower wing, with left and right uppers. Once completed they are added to the fuselage. There are a couple of photo-etch parts to be added to the main wheel wells at this point. Next job is to install the tailplanes, rudder and tail wheel. Once this is done construction moves to the front of the aircraft. The engine face is added along with the cowl. Additional exhausts are added, along with the machine gun blisters on top of the front fuselage. Again in this area the modeller has a choice of plastic or photo-etch parts.

sp1.JPG


sp2.JPG


The next step is to complete the landing gear, this is fairly complex with quite a few parts.. Luckily the instructions show a couple of different views so you can get the positioning of all of these parts correct. Some of the decal options in this kit had the gear doors removed from the aircraft so the modeller needs to check before adding the doors. Finally the gun sight, windscreen and prop added to finish off your model. A reflector gunsight along with a photo-etch ring sight are supplied. There are no instructions as to which to use, so the modeller will need to consult their references.

canopy.JPG

Photo-Etch
A small photo-etch fret is supplied with this profipack edition. This contains cockpit parts, instrument panels, seatbelts, pilot access door, and engine face. These are of typical Eduard quality with the instrument panel being pre-printed.



pppe.jpg


Decals
A medium sized decal sheet printed by Eduard is supplied with the Profipack. The decals are in register and appear colour dense. These aircraft did not carry many markings and this is reflected in the kit. There are enough national markings for all 4 decal options provided;
  • Boris F.Safonov, 72 SAP Northern Fleet, 1942 (With a choice of patriotic slogans).
  • Genadij Tsokolajev, 4 GIAP, Baltic Fleet, Lake Ladoga 1942.
  • Lt Krichevskly, 254 IAP, Leningrad Front 1942
  • Lev L.Shestakov, 69 IAP, Odessa 1941.

  • ppdec.jpg

    Conclusion
    There is no doubt this will build up to make a good looking model. I for one am a fan of this stubby looking aircraft. With the Profipack edition you get a few more extras in the box such as the photo-etch parts, some masks; and many more decal options.

    I-16 Profipackbin-new.jpg



    If the modeller wishes to use more of the decal options available in the profipack kit then there is a boxing of overtrees available from Eduard with all the plastic but no other frills.

    I-16 Basic overtrees (8149X)bin-new.jpg



    Review samples courtesy of logo.gif

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