Print Scale 72-338: Poliparkov I-153


$15.00 plus shipping


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Scott Van Aken



Soviets were one of several nations that went into WWII with biplane fighters, even as late as mid 1941. The Polikarpov I-153 was the culmination of a series of biplanes starting with the I-15. It differed from the earlier variants in that this one had retractable landing gear. This gave the aircraft a bit higher speed, but much of the aerodynamic benefits were reduced by the additional weight of the gear.

There have been several kits produced of this aircraft in 1/72 scale. Heller was probably the first and it makes into a nice model. Most folks today would probably lean more towards the newer, but bit more fiddly ICM version. Neither kit is perfect and the ICM one curiously does not include the exhaust sticking through the cowling, a fairly major omission.

One thing that has not been very plentiful have been aftermarket decals for this one. PrintScale has pretty well taken care of that with this sheet that offers fifteen different options. The majority of these are Soviet and differ only by aircraft number. The sheet also includes planes operated by the Germans, Chinese, and the Finns. Some of the options are not shown in the above illustration of the instructions. But you do get a good idea of what's available.

The decals themselves are very nicely printed, though I think that the Chinese roundels are a bit on the light side. I find it interesting that the tail swastikas are broken up, but not the Finnish insignia.

Well worth seeking if you want some alternatives to the kit offerings.

November 2020

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