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PZL P.11g 'Kobuz' Polish Fighter


Paul A H
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PZL P.11g 'Kobuz' Polish Fighter

1:72 IBG

 

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For its time, the PZL P.11 was one of the most advanced fighter aircraft in the world. While many nations were still using bi-planes, Warsaw-based PZL (Państwowe Zakłady Lotnicze - State Aviation Works) had designed and built an all-metal gull winged monoplane fighter. The high wing provided the pilot with a good field of view and produced less drag that the bi-plane fighters of the time. The type drew orders from overseas as well as Poland. The aircraft was ordered by Romania and was built under licence by IAR.  By the time of the German invasion of Poland however, the type was outclassed by the Bf 109. The majority of the Polish Air Force was lost fighting bravely against the invasion.  The P.11g variant was a stop gap intended to bridge the gap caused by the delays getting the P.50 into service. It featured a more powerful engine and an airframe that was strengthened accordingly. It also featured an enclosed cockpit and improved armament. The P.11g was unable to enter service however, its development curtailed by the invasion of Poland in September 1939.

 

The PZL 11 is one of a growing number of aircraft kits produced by IBG Models. This kit follows the likes of the RWD-8 and PZL 23A and continues IBG's method of producing numerous versions from a common set of moulds. This boxing is the PZL 11g, but an PZL 11a is also available (reviewed here). Inside the box are eleven frames of light grey plastic, a single frame of clear plastic, a fret of photo etched brass parts, a small sheet of pre-marked clear plastic and decals. The parts are all superbly moulded and I'd go as far as to say they look as good as anything else from central Europe. A quick review of the instructions reveals this to be a well-detailed kit, with fine surface details and high quality mouldings.

 

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Constructions starts with the cockpit. Most of the details are moulded in plastic, but the fret of photo etched parts contributes components such as the rudder pedals, throttle and seat harness. Aside from a rather nice cockpit framework, there is also plenty of detail moulded into the fuselage sidewalls, which should make for a rather nice overall effect. The two machine guns also fit into the inside of the fuselage halves before they can be fixed together. Once the fuselage has been assembled, construction turns to the engine and cowling. This multi-part assembly is very nicely detailed and there are individual parts provided on the photo etched fret for the ignition wiring (although this could be omitted if fiddling around with these tiny components is likely to drive you to distraction). 

 

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Once the engine and cowling have been fitted to the fuselage, the flying surfaces can be assembled. The fit and rudder are separate parts, as are the elevators. This means you can finish the model with these parts in your choice of position (photographs of examples on the ground seem to show the elevators in a lowered position). The ailerons are also moulded separately to the wing. The undercarriage is nicely detailed and there are photo etched parts for the strengthening wires. When it comes to the enclosed canopy, you have two options. The sensible, conventional choice is a two-part canopy nicely moulded in clear plastic. The option for show-offs or lunatics involves hewing a framework from three tiny bits of photo etched brass and then gluing in place no fewer than ten individual pieces of clear plastic film. Surely this has to be the modelling equivalent of a chicken phaal, only taken on by the unaccountably brave or foolhardy. 

 

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The decal sheet provides three options, all of which are hypothetical 'what it?' markings:

  • PZL P.11g 'Kobuz', September 1939;
  • PZL P.11g 'Kobuz', 111th Fighter Squadron, 1940;
  • PZL P.11g 'Kobuz', Pursuit Brigade, 1940.

The decals are nicely printed. A decal for the instrument panel has been included too.

 

Conclusion

 

There appears to have been a resurgence of interest in the early WWII period and this kit adds to the growing number of kits that represent aircraft from that time. Although we've been relatively well served in recent years by Azur Frrom and Arma Hobby and their P.11s, IBG's version includes a number of advantages such as separate control surfaces. Once again the Polish firm have produced a high-quality kit of an important aircraft. The level of detail is excellent and the quality of manufacture is up there with the best. Highly recommended.

 

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Review sample courtesy of 


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Smashing. I'll be buying one or two (one in Polish markings one in the service of the Sovereign Military Order of St John of Malta!). It has to be better than trying to kitbash one from a MisterCraft P11!

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 12/28/2019 at 1:34 PM, Paul A H said:

The decal sheet provides three options, all of which are hypothetical 'what it?' markings:

  • PZL P.11g 'Kobuz', September 1939;
  • PZL P.11g 'Kobuz', 111th Fighter Squadron, 1940;
  • PZL P.11g 'Kobuz', Pursuit Brigade, 1940.

 

 

This is not exactly correct. First option is hypothetical and isn't a "what-if". That's a prototype which was used in combat in 1939, his pilot was credited with two He-111 bombers. Unfortunately, no photo of it is known, so scheme was reconstructed based on eyewitness account. More details can be found here:

Other schemes indeed are pure "what-if's".

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