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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:

5d32f34c-7f09-413e-8fe3-8b51be68a7a3.jpg34f75035-e662-4846-bfaa-332daec39b86.jpg6d4bbbf1-7afb-4fab-8581-77fea92717e9.jpgbf9047ed-a28e-42a3-b7a0-b7d21f025187.jpgd8e7baad-192d-4590-918a-b156739ebe79.jpg

 

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.

ac270f82-d3a7-4781-a4c8-9f2c08b05eed.jpg

 

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.

00496749-ae54-4abb-9c53-af2729149fd1.jpg

 

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, 

Edited by One-Two

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Ok so I started with the main pieces of the fuselage and cockpit.

First of all, there are some problems with the exterior of the fuselage:

- the real plane never had any IP coaming or cover so this must disappear;

- the external brace/reinforcement belt (just behind the cockpit) was not present at the airframes of the first series, so it must also disappear;

- the indentation just behind the cockpit was not present at the real plane. However, it is not visible if the canopy is in closed position (I intend to make it closed), so I decided to leave it like it is. However, in case that the aircraft is presented with canopy open, this indentation must disappear also.

So the first step was to apply these modification on the fuselage sides.

714e31ed-ac0b-456c-8fac-8b13672ebbcd.jpg6e52f162-343a-4656-a9ae-25d18f140315.jpg

Another problem is that the pilot's seat is molded in one piece with the headrest. And the headrest is not the correct model for this series and anyway it's shape and dimensions are erroneous for any model of IAR 80/81. In reality, the headrest was of bigger dimensions, it was also some sort of shoulder rest which was going down to the back of the seat - there was no significant empty space between the headrest and backrest. 

So I separated the headrest from the pilot's seat and assembled the main pieces of the cockpit. I made some minor modifications to some pieces, like adding the wires coming out of the stick, drilling few holes here and there.

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Thanks for looking and cheers,

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Now that I see how well You`re doing and enjoy watching your progress of work. I have a kit of IAR-80 in 1/72 by "Amodel" and I hope to be able to carry it out also.

Edited by Ozzyman69

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Thank you Ozzy.

As far as I know, the 1/72 Amodel kit can be turned I into a good representation of the IAR80.  You should pay attention to the propeller, it is molded like turning in the wrong direction, if I remember correctly.

However, I saw some very nice models made from Amodel kits, so good luck with yours.  

 

Back to the Hobbyboss kit, I started to erase the details molded on the cockpit walls. They are not great some of them are wrong for this specific variant of IAR80 (first series) - so I'll just replace them with scratched ones.

On the central part of the cockpit I also made some add-ons representing a part of the front cockpit frame.

 

dc799d80-1904-4a9e-ac76-22a048a16516.jpg854063a2-5586-41f5-aa4c-8bf1972db830.jpg

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5 hours ago, One-Two said:

Thank you Ozzy.

As far as I know, the 1/72 Amodel kit can be turned I into a good representation of the IAR80.  You should pay attention to the propeller, it is molded like turning in the wrong direction, if I remember correctly.

However, I saw some very nice models made from Amodel kits, so good luck with yours. 

:thanks:

Presently the W.I.P. of my AVRO 707 (A,B,C) are being finished, then the IAR 80 will be ready to start as a new project.

Edited by Ozzyman69

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Thank you guys for your interest.

 

In the meantime, I just scratched some of the missing/deleted details on the cockpit walls.

I mane all sorts of circuit systems, pump levers, selectors, oxygen supply apparatus, etc.

On the front-upper part of the cockpit I made some internal wall separating the back of the instrument panel from the rest of the stuff installed in the forward fuselage.

From the documentation I have, it was really impossible to me to establish with certainty is this internal separation wall really existed, but I just couldn't left just a big hole in there, especially considering that right in front of it the fuel tank was installed.

 

06435afc-9321-4964-b1c6-7cfb2816d575.jpgb1d7258c-4ca6-4356-b6d9-bdaf2db54836.jpg

That's it for now, thanks for looking.

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On 23 January 2018 at 14:54, Ms Modeller said:

Always been fascinated by this aircraft! Can't wait to see what you do with this kit! 

 

Me too, but I can't decide on 1/48 or 1/32 scale.

 

John

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On ‎1‎/‎27‎/‎2018 at 4:54 PM, Biggles87 said:

 

Me too, but I can't decide on 1/48 or 1/32 scale.

 

John

Well John, I have both of them (IAR 80 1/48 Hobbyboss and IAR 81 1/32 Azur) and while I cannot comment about dimensions, it seems to me that the 1/32 kit is more accurate and much better documented.

Actually, I'm using the 1/32 wing details in order to correct/improve the details on the 1/48 HB wing.

 

Speaking of wings, this is exactly the area where the HB 1/48 kit has most of the problems.

For the beginning, I focused on underside of the wings and I just pin-pointed the main problems in the picture bellow:

78b91a33-d392-4cf9-adee-d7b5c94211ce.jpg

 

The vertical panel line is the very easy to solve, no major issue here.

 

But the distance between the wheel wells is not so easy to fix and if left like this, it will be very noticeable for anybody familiar with the plane.

Therefore it must be corrected.

After some thinking I decided to try to solve it by inserting some bits of plastic sheet (approx. 1 mm thick each) in both of the wheel bay ends.

Two such plastic pieces (first one shorter, the second one a little bit longer were forced to conform the round shape of each of the wheel wells and the glued in place and sanded to shape.

0b1dd232-fbb3-4622-a528-7ec79d224bd1.jpg83bf46ef-03b0-4422-8a32-7e75d6e2df7c.jpg

This way, the distance between the wheel bays was actually doubled - and now it is almost spot-on.

It is interesting that although the inside space in the wheel bays was considerably diminished, nevertheless it is still enough space for the whole wheel.

Now I have to cover the resulting 1 mm steps in the wheel well covers at each end of the insertions...I have an idea for this, hope it will work.

 

Also another problem is that the wheel bay roofs on the real thing were not so flat as depicted in the kit.

In order to solve this issue, I used the 1/32 wing as a model.

I used again some plastic bits shaped by sanding, in order to obtain some volume on the roof of wheel bays.

ff46f3a4-7ecc-4ee2-8b5a-84ad9058bcf0.jpg

 

The shape of the inserts is a little bit more complex than the picture allows to be seen...but anyway, it is much better than leave it like it was.

The work it is not ready here, there is still some detail to be added.

 

Until then, all the best,

 

Edited by One-Two

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Thanks for that, you've just made up my mind for me.

You've done a splendid job on the wheel wells, using exactly the same solution I would have tried.

 

John

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I've had the old LTD kit in the stash for donkeys' years, and yours is serving as fit inspiration! Following along with much interest and admiration.

Cheers

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Ok so last evening I tried to solve the step problem caused by the plastic insertions in the wheel bays.

I needed something to ensure a smooth transition from the level of the insertions to the level of the original wheel well internal wall.

At the both ends of the insertions, there was an approx. 1 mm step that has to be filled with something that can be sanded perfectly.

I was afraid that standard putty is not ok for this job, so I thought to try with Milliput - some sort of two-parts putty which I never used to date.

It must be prepared like epoxy glue and after the mix is completed it hardens in 3 hours and cam be sanded - at least that's what they say in the instructions.

I applied the material as best as I could and you can see the result in the photos bellow:

3a244946-3a59-4e44-91f2-21d36eb9f10a.jpg7314a70d-2edb-4719-93e0-2ae7679d2e01.jpg

 

This is just the brut result - the areas of interest were not yet sanded at all.

I checked in the morning and it was rock-hard, so as soon as I have some spare time I can apply some sanding and it think that after it will be just ok.

 

Cheers,

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This is how the replacement PE instrument panel released by Yahu Models for IAR 80 looks like.

This set (labeled as IAR 80 early) is specially designed only for the initial series (1-20), for the later motels there is another set.

The package contains the horizontal shelf on top of which the 3 separate panels of the IP were installed. Each of these 3 separate sections of the IP is consisting of 2 distinct panels that must be put together first. It looks so much better than the original plastic bits...

At this stage, I only applied some gloss coat on the panels containing the gauges and some flat coat on the exterior panels of the IP.

I also glued some plastic discs on the back of the IP, in order to simulate the individual cases for the instruments, as they will be also visible through the transparencies.

The next step is to assemble together the main pieces of the IP...

1b837c72-8705-4d24-9350-11fefc03fc7a.jpg3b1c8444-36a1-4f26-83f6-046b888d6607.jpg 

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looking forward to seeing this come together! I made this kit a year or two ago and while I didn't get anywhere near your level of diligence, I remember it being a fun kit to build of an unusual and I think rather handsome plane! 

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Ok so I assembled th Yahu Models instrument panel.

The fuel cut-off levers are from the Yahu set, but the propeller pitch control is scratch.

608bba98-dcc4-4705-9441-18bb65470931.jpg6b53027c-6634-4ebb-89d3-fb443af8e436.jpg

In the picture bellow the assembled Yahu Models IP cam be seen together with the original IP.

The PE instrument panel indeed looks much better...

0cf43ad2-f666-437d-a7d8-afa503658b1d.jpg

...but now looking closely at this picture, I realize that there is a significant difference in shape and dimensions regarding the side panels on the Yahu IP, when compared with the plastic IP...

Edited by One-Two

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Thank you Jonners, glad you like it.

 

Not so much plastic time lately, so not much to report.

I just sanded the Milliput applied in the wheel bays until I obtained a very smooth surface. I also added some other plastic details.

6cdb5889-50a8-4f6c-bf5e-5e03739ded26.jpg9c01f0b4-ba3c-4a40-b0b8-f6c424aed651.jpg

Still I have to apply corrections on the wheel bays, but more about this at a later stage.

I also made some modifications on the upper side of the wings

I don't like the way in which the machine gun barrels and the oil radiator air intake are represented in the kit:

27747f44-f64d-4445-a052-ec8e3fdd6489.jpg

So I just eliminated the molded machine gun barrels and drilled holes for the replacement resin barrels.

I also modified the oil radiator air intake...which was moved a little lower on the wing root and provided with internal walls and some minimum internal ducting.

fd078b84-d888-4b7f-82db-8ea9b44c5061.jpg

On the upper side of the left wing I represented an air outlet for the oil radiator circuit. This air outlet was present on all machines equipped with only one oil radiator (right wing root), like this one.

451e502c-8589-416e-8312-a23a121b1a20.jpg

I also hit the cockpit with some color.

The interior color used on IAR 80/81 cockpits is a mystery. According to documentation I have, I understand that as a general rule, the interior cockpit color was the same like the underside of the plane. So in most cases it was some sort of light blue, depending on the camouflage scheme applied on a specific airframe on a specific time frame.

But it is also clear that the very early machines had their cockpits in some sort of aluminum dope or silver dope. It is certain that this was the case of the prototype and production airframe no.1

Since I intend to represent here a very early IAR 80 first series airframe, I will go for silver dope also.

a3017d5f-fda2-4005-bb2c-901d7a740603.jpgea584792-bfd6-42d4-9d0e-2bea7c23d675.jpg

 

That's it for now.

Thanks for looking, cheers.

Edited by One-Two

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Thank you guys.

 

The IAR 80 had some pretty visible canopy hood rails. There were three of them - 2 on the cockpit sides and one on the fuselage coaming.

I installed them last evening. Of course, the fuselage coaming had to be accordingly modified.

I also thinned down the cockpit walls in the contact area with the side elements of the Yahoo PE instrument panel.

The cockpit walls are now almost paper-thin in that specific area.

Despite this, the Yahoo instrument panel is still too big to fit in the fuselage. That leaves me with no other option than modifying the IP itself - which is giving me headaches, since the Yahu instrument panel is a pretty fragile PE multi-pieces affair...

 

edf79537-d6f3-4805-a4c9-006574ab2e96.jpg405ea728-eadd-4b8c-bf79-6720f553a7c9.jpge734633e-47ae-49c9-b8b5-0f3c0c7bcb09.jpgbe899830-28f7-4b08-8574-0b1dcf10d2d8.jpg  

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Ok so I finished with the Yahu Models IP.

As anticipated, it was a tuff fight to fit it to the Hobbyboss plastic. The problem is the Yahu Models PE pieces representing the lateral panels of the IP are so much different in shape and dimensions (considerably rounder and larger) than the plastic they are supposed to replace. As assembled together, the Yahu models instrument panel simply doesn’t allow the fuselage sides to be closed together, even after thinning the plastic from the contact area down to paper thickness.

So my solution to this was to use a fine file in order to remove material (metal) from the exterior edges of the 2 side panels of the PE IP. This way, I could reduce de dimensions of the pieces and to bring their profile closer to the profile of the fuselage. The only problem is that since the PE IP is a multi-piece affair assembled together with superglue…this was a rather nerve-racking experience.

And I had to do it twice, since after a first session, when I started to believe that victory is in sight (the PE IP was fitting into the fuselage now), I just said to myself “let’s just see how it looks with the windshield on”…only to discover that the same side panels were not allowing the windshield to sit down in its designed place.

So I was forced to use that file again. Finally, after I broke down and reconstructed the IP two times, I was able get everything to fit.  After this, I just added some other details (like wiring for individual gauges and stuff) and ended up with this:   

a4c03e4d-46c0-4182-9f0a-8ae3407fffa7.jpg99594146-5092-4d8d-803b-3a399b9de30f.jpg516b79a0-345b-4740-bae4-aa29eb2aac1d.jpg

As a conclusion, the Yahu Models PE IP looks really great, but it simply doesn’t fit into the Hobbyboss plastic, without some serious modification. I think they did a very good job in scaling down the IAR 80 instrument panel (the profile/shape of their product does really match the IAR 80 IP plans), but somehow they seem to have failed to take into consideration the shape/dimensions of the plastic piece they were supposed to replace.

But nevertheless, I’m happy that I was able to adapt the Yahu IP, because it simply look so much better that the plastic piece.

 

Thanks for looking and cheers,

 

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You did a great job on the IP. I had a similar problem with their 1/32 Spitfire Mk1 panel which de-laminated during  my attempts to make it fit. 

 

John

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Thank you John.

 

Work continues with the seatbelts.

The Hobbyboss kit came with some PE seatbelts included, but they are the late (final) type of seatbelts, which are not correct for an early IAR80.

The early model of seatbelts was a little bit of a strange type…with 2 shoulder straps which were keeping the pilot on the seat if they were linked with a single strap which was situated on the seat pan, between the legs. The shoulder seatbelts were adjusted via a steel cable.

In order to make the seatbelts I used some masking tape strips…painted with flat tan…then cut to dimensions…then I added buckles and other metallic pieces.

This is how they look now – I only have to glue the  front ends of the shoulder straps to the seat and to add the adjustment steel cable…

c311c5eb-b8fb-4981-b7cc-c36c3b72cd55.jpg72551382-56fa-455a-b879-a14ab3e422fc.jpgb94a2b60-b8f3-470d-acaa-0775ea5bee6c.jpg

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