Amodel 1/72 Alekseyev I-211

KIT #: 72251
PRICE: $41.99 SRP
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken

Short run kit


After working as Lavochkin's right hand man during World War II, Semyon Alekseyev was appointed as Chief Designer of OKB-21 at Gor'kiy. The Council of the People's Commissars directed Alekseyev (among others) to develop jet fighters using more powerful engines than the captured German examples and their Soviet-built copies. The result of Alekseyev's efforts was the I-21 (istrebitel, fighter), which was planned to be produced in several variants.

The I-21 was a twin-engined all metal single seat jet fighter, with straight wings, mid-set on a round streamlined fuselage, and engines mounted in front of the wings at about one third span. The slightly swept tail unit was cruciform in layout with the tailplane set at approximately half-fin span with slight dihedral. The aircraft's structure was constructed from high strength B-95 aluminium alloy, high strength steel for highly loaded parts and "Elektron" magnesium alloy for cast fittings. A hydraulically retractable tricycle undercarriage was fitted, using twin wheels for nose and main undercarriages. Hydraullically actuated airbrakes were fitted either side of the rear fuselage.

Construction of the first two airframes began at the end of 1946, with extreme pressure from the Ministry of Aircraft Production to complete Initial flight testing by 1 August 1947, to enable the aircraft to take part in the Aviation Day Flypast at Tushino on 18 August 1947. While one of the two airframes initially produced was used for static testing, the other was completed as the I-211 (I-21 version 1) with Lyul'ka TR-1 turbojet engines. (The Lyul'ka TR-2 was the intended powerplant, but was not available). Despite pressure from above, the I-211 was unable to participate in the Tushino display.

Flight testing started in the Autumn of 1947, but only six test flights had been carried out before the I-211 struck a pothole on landing, which collapsed the undercarriage. Repairs were carried out and the opprtunity taken to replace the troublesome TR-1 engines with Rolls-Royce Derwent V engines. The result was the I-215 which had been in development before the first flight of the I-211. Other minor modifications were carried out, the most noticeable being the larger engine nacelles. Despite good results from flight testing the I-215 lost out in production orders to the newer generation of swept winged fighters.

A third I-21 was built as the I-215D (dooblyor, second prototype), with a bicycle undercarriage, using wider-diameter paired wheels in a bicycle arrangement, retracting into the fuselage, along with small outrigger wheels under the engine nacelles which retracted into fairings. to order from OKB-1. This was used to test this arrangement for "Aircraft 150" and other projects (OKB-1 was supervised by Dr. Brunolf Baade, who later designed the VEB type 152 airliner, in the DDR, as a direct descendent of "Aircraft 150", and indirectly of the I-215D). The main undercarriage of the I-215D also incorporated a kneeling feature which could increase the incidence of the aircraft by 3o to assist take-off. Trials with this undercarriage arrangement proved successful and paved the way for its use in many other Soviet aircraft.

Armament of the I-211 comprised two, three, four, or six cannon in the chin, depending on variant.


The first thing I noticed was this was not the usual Amodel molding. There are no ejector towers on the inside of large parts, no sink areas, no larger than usual molding flash and in fact, quite an improvement over other kits from Amodel. Looking closer at the sprues it has 'Produced by 44 Master' stamped on it.

It is still a short run kit with no alignment pins, butt fit of the wings and tail planes, somewhat thick and slightly distorted clear parts and a bit of flash on a few parts. There is some detail on the inside of the fuselage halves at the cockpit which is nice. The cockpit itself is comprised of a floor, rear bulkhead, side consoles, a two piece seat, control stick and instrument panel, which has raised detail on it. The wings are several pieces, thanks to the mid-fuselage position and the engines which are in the middle of the wings. Each side consists of four wing sections as well as the upper and lower engine nacelles. Into the nacelles fits a compressor face section and an exhaust section along with their respective ducting.

The single piece tailplanes butt join to the fine. Landing gear is nicely formed with separate oleo scissors on the main gear and separate retraction struts all around. There is a lower forward fuselage insert to allow this version to be built as I gather from looking at the other kit's box art that this area changes with the other versions. One thing for sure, this one will need a considerable amount of nose weight to keep it on its nose gear and there is plenty of room for that to be added.

Instructions are well done with Humbrol color references. Typical of Soviet planes of the era, this one is bare metal and stars with the prototype number and manufacturer's logo. The decal sheet is well printed and in register as far as I can tell. Data markings are also included though are difficult to read (probably because they are in Russian).


 Overall, it looks like a very nice kit. The subject is pleasing and without the myriad of scoops and protrusions that go along with the other boxings. If you are a fan of prototype aircraft or just like something a bit different, this is one you should seek.  


March 2013

Thanks to me for getting this one to show you.

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

Back to the Main Page

Back to the Previews Index Page