ICM 1/72 Polikarpov Po-2/U-2
Scott Van Aken
Polikarpov Po-2 (also
served as a general-purpose Soviet
Кукурузник, from Russian "kukuruza"
(кукуруза) for maize; thus, 'maize duster' or 'crop duster'), NATO reporting
name "Mule". The reliable, uncomplicated as well as a low-cost ground
attack, aerial reconnaissance, psychological warfare and liaison aircraft during
war, proving to be one of the most versatile light combat types to be built in
USSR. It is the second most produced aircraft, and
the most produced biplane, in the history of aviation. More than 40,000 Po-2s
were built between 1928 and 1953. It remained in production for a longer period
of time than any other Soviet-era aircraft.
molding on this kit is actually very well done. I found a few ejector pin
marks on the inside of the fuselage, but those will be pretty much invisible
when the kit is complete. Cockpit detailing is very nice and quite parts
intensive. Each of the two seats is constructed of six separate pieces and
tehre are not only instrument panels, but also detail on the side wall.
There is a control stick and rudder pedals for the front seat, so unless it
was normal not to have rear seat controls, this one cannot be done as a
The engine is also a little kit in and of itself with nicely detailed
cylinders and separate exhaust. THe forward section of the aircraft is also
a separate construct and the engine mates onto that. One can build the
aircraft either on wheels or skis as both are included.
Underwing bomb racks and bombs are also in the kit. For the
racks to fit, the one piece wing needs to have dimples carefully drilled
into the lower part. There are indicators as to where these racks fit. Each
rack includes anti-sway braces and there are four four-piece bombs that can
be attached if you wish. The aircraft also comes with a rear machine gun and
a simple mount, though I am curious as to how the rear seat man is supposed
to fire it as his seat is fixed forward.
are well drawn on basically one side of a sheet of paper. The other side has
a front and side view to help with rigging. Color information with Model
Master paints is provided as well. All aircraft are in overall green to
start with an underside of light blue. The box art option with all the
slogans on it adds tan and black to the upper surface shades. Another
similarly schemed plane but with a Polish emblem on the nose is the second
option. A third option is one in a rough winter wash and this is one that is
on skis. Finally, one with just black camo bis is provided as a night bomber
from mid 1943.
The decals are nicely printed and quite matte, something that some modelers
really like. I have used ICM decals before and they are quite opaque.
Though the kit is quite parts intensive, careful construction will result in
a superb looking model for your collection. It has a variety of interesting
markings and will reward one's care.
Thanks to Squadron Products for the preview kit. You can find this
kit at your favorite hobby shop
or on-line retailer.
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