Azur/Frrom 1/72 IAR-39

KIT #: FR001
PRICE: $22.45 on sale at
DECALS: Three options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Short run with photo etch and resin parts


The IAR 37 prototype was flown for the first time in 1937 to meet a requirement for a tactical bombing and reconnaissance aircraft. The IAR 37 was an unequal-span single bay biplane with a fixed tail wheel landing gear and powered by a licensed copy of the Gnome-Rhône Mistral Major radial engine called the IAR K.14. It had room for a crew of three under a continuous glazed cockpit, pilot at the front then observer and a gunner at the rear. It had dual controls and was fitted with a locally designed bombsight and a camera. The IAR 37 entered production in 1938, but production of the engine lagged, preventing the aircraft from being completed, and it was replaced on the production line by the IAR 38, powered by the reliable BMW 132A engine. As availability and reliability of the K.14 engine improved, the incomplete IAR 37s were fitted with K.14s to allow their completion and production was switched to the improved IAR 39, which also reverted to the K.14. Total production of all three types was 380, at both IAR and SET, continuing until October 1944 with the majority being IAR 39s.

The aircraft entered service with the Royal Romanian Air Force in 1938 and by the end of the 1940 they equipped a large number of squadrons. When Romania supported the German offensive against the Soviet Union 15 of the 18 reconnaissance squadrons were equipped with IAR biplanes. The IAR 39 was used by most of the reconnaissance squadrons involved in the 1944 offensive against the Ukraine.

When the new post-war government was formed in 1947 a smaller number of IAR 39s were used by the new Romanian Air Force for training and liaison.


Very much a typical MPM kit of today, the kit comes with two grey plastic sprues, one clear sprue, a bag of resin, a fret of photo etch and a vacuformed canopy. I found it interesting that the vac canopy would be in this as the injected plastic one looks just fine to me and has better frame detailing.

The resin parts are the 24 light bombs, the engine, instrument panel and some other smaller pieces, many of which are for the cockpit. The nicely done photo etch fret has the bomb racks instrument panel face, belts, tail struts, rear machine gun mount, and many other small pieces, again mainly for the cockpit.

The two injected sprues have a slightly grainy finish. Fuselage and upper wing halves have small ejector towers on them. The fabric presentation is well done with the usual slight hill and valley presentation that most give to fabric surfaces. The lower wings are one piece as are the horizontal stabs. The kit's interior is well done with the usual seats and stuff. A nicely done interior framework is provided, something that is important as this plane has a lot of glazing on the side and lower fuselage. Clear parts are well molded.

Instructions have colors keyed to Gunze paints, though RLM shades are also given. The construction steps are well drawn and it appears that some of the parts will need to be modified prior to use. This is all clearly shown, though I'm not sure how well most can measure things like 'cut 1.8 mm'. Several smaller alignment guides are provided. No rigging information is included so one has to use the box art in this regard. Markings are for three similarly painted planes (RLM 71 over RLM 65) with two in Eastern Front markings with yellow wing and fuselage bands. The third is after the Romanians switched sides and has white markings and the later roundels. Decals are very nicely printed and should provide no issues. The color and placement guide are also on the back of the box in full color.


While I doubt if there will be a mad rush to grab this one, it does make for a very nice and somewhat unusual kit that one just doesn't see very much if at all. Those who lean towards the path less trodden will really want to look into this one.


November 2010

I got this at GreatModels where you can find this and other fine kits and accessories.

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

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