Kopro/KP 1/72 TS-11 Iskra
|PRICE:||HK$30 at UML|
|DECALS:||Polish Aerobatic Team|
|NOTES:||Mastercraft seems to be the original company|
- Team Iskry or the "White and Red
Sparks" - is the Polish Air Force display team. It was formed in 1969 and has
flown the TS-11 Iskra (Spark) ever since. It performs regularly at European
The Sparks' plane is quite remarkable. Designed and built in Poland, first flown in 1960, produced for 27 years, it is still the Polish Air Force's jet trainer as well as Team Iskry's ride. The little Iskra can zip along at 720 km/h (390 knots) on its single engine with 2,400 lb thrust. The trainer has a 23mm cannon and four hardpoints for rockets or bombs.
India bought some Iskras too, and used them until 2004. They were apparently very highly regarded.
Iskras are also present on the warbird circuit. You can pick one up with a lazy 85 grand. In the 1990s, the city government of Canberra, Australia's capital, ran an ill-fated tourism campaign encouraging visitors to come and "Feel the Power of Canberra". Most citizens, naturally enough, thought they felt rather enough of the power of Canberra in the daily activity of the Federal Government. That reality sent the campaign to a pretty quick death, but not before an Iskra was painted up in the attractive blue and gold scheme and performed at some airshows in Australia. My own photos of it are in storage, but there's a good one on airliners.net: http://www.airliners.net/photo/PZL-Mielec-TS-11-Iskra/0019028/&sid=f0680466344de0b7d24fdb76b8c727be
There are a few different boxings of this kit, labeled
Mastercraft or KP/Kopro. I'm reasonably certain they are all the same basic
kit. This is the aerobatic team boxing but it contains drop tanks, rocket pods,
and parts to make the single seat Iskra and the recon version.
The moulding is quite good, especially for a KP/Kopro kit, and the fuselage and wings have gently engraved panel lines. Detail on the smaller parts is a little softer, and the two pilot figures look, well, kind of weird.
You'll probably want some pilots or some extra detail in the cockpit because although there's a floor, seats and sticks, and basic decals for the instrument panels, the Iskra has a big cockpit and there's a lot of space to fill. The canopy is quite hazy, too.
Instructions are a four-step exploded diagram, fine for such a simple build. Colour call outs are simple - red white and black! You get Humbrol and "Agama" paint numbers for the main colours, and colour names only for the smaller details.
Decals are a bit disappointing but the Polish national marking isn't that difficult to find (there's usually one in any MiG kit) and red Soviet block numbers are equally easy to track down. The Team Iskry badges could be more detailed but if you're happy with this type of kit, like me, you'll probably be happy enough with the decals.
Finally - painting. To get the distinctive Team Iskry scheme, it's just you and your masking tape. The wings will be easy enough, with a bit of patience, but the nose cone, with its curved striping, will be pretty tricky.
This is a decent kit of a rare and interesting plane. It'll be a simple build for anyone with some basic skills, but finishing it as a Team Iskry jet will take some painting and serious masking skills. If that's not you, and you can't find the alternative boxing, there are plenty of interesting colour schemes to use instead, and Polish decals are easy enough to find. Airliners.net has lots of photos, including bare metal, camo, and special schemes (even a shark mouth, and special nose art).
As a late note, this is a Mastercraft of Poland kit
and not an original KP boxing.
Recommended for anyone who likes to build more unusual jets. Kit courtesy of me liking the Iskra ever since I saw the "Feel the Power of Canberra" jet at an airshow!
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