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I-16 and seatbelts - and interior colours!

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Good morning all,


This could quite possibly be seen as one of the most minor things in the history of model making, however, I’m going to ask regardlessly. 


I’m currently striding my way through the 1/32 ICM I-16 Type 24 - and it’s a beautiful kit. Really enjoying it! So to go with it, I purchased the HGW seatbelt set. 


So upon opening it, it’s for a 4 point Sutton harness as shown below:




However, a brief look through my references indicates that the primary design of the I-16 Seat belt was with two separate straps either side of the pilots shoulders, coming together in one retainer before going into the harness.


So... it’s just a quick question... but I know the I-16 seatbelts to have had the design briefly mentioned above - but is there any evidence that 4 point Sutton harnesses were used at any point as HGW would have us use?


As I said, a minor problem and one that I can very easily resolve with a bit of scratchbuilding, but I do feel a strange desire to try and get this right!! And the more I look into it, the more I feel like I need to know the answer! 


In fact, maybe I should just go to the pub??


many thanks!!




Edited by Chris Jephcott
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All I've ever seen for shoulder harness mounting on the I-16 is a cable from side to side at about shoulder height on the seat back with the straps attached. Take a look at the sketch in the bottom right-hand corner of this image:



Here's a photo of a preserved I-16; the belts themselves are a bit of a mess, but you can see the cable:



If you need/want more, let me know and I'll post images here, or PM them to you.


BTW, when I click on your "4-point Sutton safety harness" instruction image, my antivirus software blocks it and tells me a phishing attempt has been detected... :shrug:



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Ohh ok. Thanks for the help and the pointer. And the warning about phishing... doing a scan right now! 


That’s brilliant - thank you very much!!! Exactly what I thought - scratchbuilding ahead! 



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There are several restored I-16's out there, notably in New Zealand; see the following:



It seems very likely that, when these aircraft were restored, the original shoulder harness design was considered inadequate by today's safety standards, and the harnesses were replaced with the Sutton design. Then some well-intentioned but unknowing soul photographed these modern harnesses and erroneously used the photos as a reference to manufacture your photoetch set. Or, I could be overthinking the issue again - maybe some very late I-16's did have a Sutton harness-like arrangement after the Soviets saw and liked the harnesses in their lend-lease Hurricanes! Yes, overthinking...:mental:



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2 hours ago, Seawinder said:

Not quite on topic, but that's a really interesting/unexpected cockpit color in the photo John posted.


I'm not sure about that colour; it seems to be accepted based on translated Russian sources that I-16 cockpits were finished in one of two greys:


"According to Maslov and his new I-16 book, the interior was gray before 1939 and after 1939 it was painted in AE-9* applied over the yellow ALG-2 primer.

IMHO, the gray A-14** would be almost certain for 1937 and 1938. 1936 I-16s (those with black cowlings) may have been painted differently.

I haven’t seen any references of light blue interiors in prewar and WWII Soviet planes!

With all the respect for Juan Millan, his evidences for light blue interiors are weak. Memories of the SCW veterans are important, but they are incomplete – were those planes and their interiors repainted in Spain? Who knows what happened to original A-14 when it was baked under the Spanish sun? Were those Republican pilots or Nationalist pilots (who may have remembered post SCW planes)?"


* AE-9 - light grey

** A-14 - medium to dark grey


The quote is from Konstantin Lesnikov on the Sovietwarplanes forum, back in November, 2010. My guess about the non-standard blue colour in the photo I posted is that it's either the result of a bad attempt at a restoration, or else this is a Spanish-built aircraft with a somewhat random interior colour. I hate to admit it, but I don't have any record of where I got that image! Regardless, whenever I attempt an I-16 model, I use whatever shade I think best represents A-14 at that moment. Am I right? Maybe not always, but my stress level is much lower than it used to be... :lol:



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When i was building  the I-153, seatbelt  photos were very hard to find. The photos  show the seatbelts arranged like an inverted letter "T" attached to the bracket on the inside of the seat at lower center. The vertical strap splits into 2 shoulder straps at the top of seat . Wire cables attach the top of seatbelt to the fuselage frame.

The bracket that all the belts attach to is seen in The illustration in Post #2. There is an unarmored and armored seat , the latter having a full back and integral headrest , in the last illustration the upper part can be seen. Of course the Type 24 has the armored seat.

In the photo in Post #2, the unarmored seat is present and the attachment bracket is just out of sight.


If I remember correctly, the only good photo of the seatbelt and buckles that I found was from a wrecked I-153 on a Russian forum, I doubt that I could find it again. 

The Eduard I-16  steel seatbelt for the ICM kit looks correct. If you go to their website and click on the Instruction Sheet this will explain the layout far better than I can.


Garry c

Edited by Garry c
153 not 15
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I’ve hedged my bets a little bit on this - and used a combination of light grey and blue:




No idea if this is 110% or not, or whether it should be slightly more grey than this? It’s XF22 with a thin overspray of light grey roughly.


Thanks for the answers on the seat belts too - it’s very much as I thought. I can see myself ordering an Eduard set and putting the HGW set to one side for an aircraft that actually used a 4 point harness as described previously! 



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