ZTS/Mikro72 1/72 RWD-5
KIT #: S-05
PRICE: $3.00 or so when new
DECALS: Two registration numbers
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken


The RWD 5 was constructed by the RWD team of Stanisław Rogalski, Stanisław Wigura and Jerzy Drzewiecki (their designs were named RWD after their initial letters). It was a further development of earlier RWD aircraft series (RWD 1, RWD 2, RWD 3 and RWD 7), especially of its direct predecessor, the RWD 4. It shared the same wing shape and construction, while the fuselage was totally new, constructed of steel frame, unlike its wooden predecessors. The fuselage had a modern shape and a closed canopy with panoramic windows (earlier models had atypical fish-shaped fuselages with no direct forward view from the pilot's seat).

The first prototype (registration SP-AGJ) was flown on 7 August 1931 by its designer Jerzy Drzewiecki. It was built in new workshops of Warsaw University of Technology near Okęcie airport, from 1933 converted to Doświadczalne Warsztaty Lotnicze (DWL) company.

After successes of the prototype in air competitions, a small-scale series production was set up, mostly for the Polish Aero Club. Series aircraft had improved landing gear. Two were built in 1932 (registration SP-AJA and AJB), five in 1933 (including the single-seater RWD 5bis), eleven in 1934 (including one in Aero Club workshops in Lublin) and one more in 1937 (SP-BGX), for a total of 20 aircraft. In 1932, the RWD 5 was shown at the International Air Show in Paris. The RWD-5bis gained fame for flying the South Atlantic from Senegal to Brazil non-stop and setting a distance record for small light aircraft.


This is a kit I've had in the collection for so long that I don't recall where I got it. The kit is definitely from the Cold War era as the box and instructions are in a pretty cheap paper/cardboard, the decals have so much carrier that they are basically on a solid sheet and the plastic is in a rather bright turquoise color. The two colored and one clear sprue are pretty nicely molded with the fabric parts of the airframe having a rather rough texture. While the clear bits are not all that transparent, for something like this, they are good enough. The only real flash is on the long exhaust and there are some ejector and sink marks, but nothing really horrible.

One is able to build either the RWD-5 or RWD-5bis. The latter is the single seat version and that is how the fuselage is molded. To do the more common standard plane, one has to remove sections of plastic from the sides. This area is clearly marked and one has separate side windows for each version. The interior consists of a floor with room for a control stick and two seats. If doing the bis version, there is an additional fuel tank that goes in place of the rear seat.

The upper wing is two pieces with the lower section being an insert that covers about half the lower wing. This means that the upper and lower outer wing pieces are a single molding. Same with the fin/rudder and horizontal stabs. Remarkably, there are no wing struts. The landing gear is pr
obably the most complex part of the kit. This consists of the main inner struts which are a single mold along with the lower fuselage in that area. Two outer struts then attach to the wheel pants. These items are in left and right halves with the wheels molded in place. Not all these planes had the pants so you'll have to dig through your spares box for wheels. A tail skid is on the rear with the three transparency pieces fitting in after most of themodel is built and before the wing is installed.

Instructions are a single folded sheet with history and painting on one side and construction on the other. There are three options available. One is SP-AJU as either a single or two seat plane in overall silver. The other is a two seat plane, SP-ARP with a lot of red trim on the fuselage. I'm not sure how viable the decals are after what has to be 25-30 years, but unless you want to copy them and make new ones, you'll have to test some you won't use. No interior color info is provided so you are on your own in this regard.


Though this may be an old kit, it is nicely molded and I have to admit that injected plastic kits of Polish interwar light planes are few and far between.



June 2016

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Thanks to me for picking this one up.

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