Amodel 1/72 Hydroplane SPL
KIT #: 7271
PRICE: $11 some years ago
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Peter Burstow
NOTES: Short run kit

HISTORY

Designed by I. V. Chetverikov for submarine launching, 2 aircraft were built in 1934, the first called OSGA 101, the second the SPL Gidro-1.

 The OSGA 101 had 3 seats and was first flown in spring 1935. In September and October 1937 it achieved three FAI records in the light amphibian class, Speed over a 100km course - 170.2 kph, Distance 480 km, Ceiling 5400 m.

 The SPL was much smaller with seating for two. It was designed to fold and fit in a small hanger aboard a submarine. Poor hydro-dynamics, and the lack of submarines to carry it, doomed the design. The prototype was passed to DOSAAF (Voluntary Society for Collaboration with the Army, Air Force and Navy, which sponsored aero clubs throughout the USSR).

THE KIT

 The kit represents the second prototype, and is very small, spanning 135mm or just under 5 and inches.

 Moulded in a light grey, soft plastic there are 44 parts for this tiny flying boat. The plastic has a slightly rough surface appearance, lots of flash, but the pieces seem to be well shaped and finely detailed.  There is an understated fabric effect on the wing aft of the spar, and framework detail on the cockpit side walls. There are no sink marks visible.

 The 3 clear parts have a number of inclusions, scratches and bubbles, and would best be replaced. As they are flat and very small, pieces could be cut from the scrap around a vacform canopy.

 The cockpit is open, with only side windows and a windscreen, so would benefit from more detailing than the seats, fuel tank and instrument panel supplied. No crew figures are included.

 The tail boom, biplane tail structure and the engine pylon, looks to be a difficult build, and probably will need jigging to get square.

The decals represent an anonymous Aeroflot aircraft, comprising a plain Aeroflot name, the SSSR part of the registration with no serial number, a single red star and an instrument panel. I could not find reference to the serials of either of these aircraft.

The instructions are a single sheet of A4, clearly printed in English and Russian, showing 5 construction steps, parts layout and painting guide. It includes paint references with Humbrol numbers and generic names.

CONCLUSIONS

  A nice model of a rare and unusual aircraft, not only a FAI record holder, but a submarine borne flying boat. It looks very much like a small boat, with wings, tail and engine bolted on, and will probably generate a few puzzled looks.

 Not recommended for beginners due to the amount of cleaning up required, small parts, difficulty with the tail assembly and need for at least some scratch building and detailing of the cockpit. Anybody with some experience of limited run kits and biplanes should have no problem.

REFERENCES

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chetverikov_SPL.

Vaclav Nemecek, The History of Soviet Aircraft from 1918, Key Publishing, London 1986.

Kit Instructions.

 Peter Burstow

January 2013

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