Classic Airframes 1/48 I-152 with skis






9 aircraft


Scott Van Aken


Multi-media with resin, metal and vac parts


The Polikarpov I-152 is often referred to as the I-15bis. It was a continued development of the I-15 and differed mostly in having a more powerful engine and trading in the gulled upper wing for a more typical straight one. Like its earlier brother, the I-15 was a mixed wood and steel tube frame construction with fabric covering. It could carry up to 220 lbs of bombs or six RS-82 rockets in addition to its four 7.62mm machine guns.

The aircraft served in large numbers during the Spanish Civil War, as well as being supplied to the Chinese for action against the Japanese. The Soviets themselves used them against the Japanese during the Nomonkhan war in Mongolia, and during their wars with Finland (who captured and used a number of them). By the time of the opening phases of WWII, the aircraft were obsolescent and obsolete when the Germans invaded during 1941. A large number were captured and used by the Germans as trainers.


As with most (if not all) Classic Airframes kits, this one probably molded in the Czech Republic by MPM. Since this is a newer kit, it has shown all the improvements in quality that MPM has. Two sprues in medium grey plastic as well as two bags of resin/metal/vac bits await you when you open the box, as well as a largish decal sheet and two instruction sheets.

The injected parts are quite well molded with fine engraved panel lines. Thankfully, the fabric representation is relatively 'tight' and not that saggy look that is often seen on a kit. The parts are free from sink marks, have just a touch of flash and no ejector pin marks or towers in any embarrassing parts. The sprue gates will need a touch of cleanup once the parts are cut away. I had some 'bites' taken out of a few thin pieces by the parts disengaging from the sprue, but nothing that cannot easily be repaired.

Resin parts are super and have great detail. They are basically for the cockpit, and, of course, for the skis. According the Jules at Classic Airframe, the cockpit is all but invisible once the fuselage halves are glued together due to the small cockpit opening. Well, we will all know about how great it is and the flashlight gang should have no problem snooping around in there! Etched metal parts, made by Eduard, are provided for the engine cowling grilles. Thanks to these items, no engine is needed as you won't see it! There are two different vac windscreens and two sets are provided. Much appreciated and should be standard with kits that have vacuformed parts. You can build this as the wheeled version (with or without spats) if you wish, but what's the point of spending the extra for the kit with the skis if you do so?

Instructions are really first rate, providing you with all the info needed to build the kit. Painting information needed during construction is given via little letter blocks that refer to a painting reference. FS numbers are given as needed. A well done rigging guide is also provided. Thankfully, this one is not that intensive! There is a separate set of decal and overall painting instructions provided. Decals are superbly done by Microscale and provide markings for nine aircraft. Of course, seven of those are Finnish AF versions. The Finns captured and used a number of these for reconnaissance  and army co-op. Most of these were in Dark Olive over Light Blue Grey though at least one was in the three color Finnish scheme. The other two are Soviet planes in Soviet Dark Olive over Soviet Light Blue Grey. Unlike many Soviet planes, these carried insignia on the upper wing.


I find it hard to believe that I've never built a Classic Airframes kit. This one will be my first and I'm looking forward to giving it a try.


War Planes of the Second World War: Fighters, Volume 3, William Green, 1961

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