KIT: Kora 1/72 Siebel Si-201
KIT #: 7281
PRICE: Approximately $26 at
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Resin with Vacuformed canopy


In 1937, a specification was drawn up for an air observation/army co-op aircraft that had superlative Short Take-off/Landing (STOL) capabilities. The three aircraft in consideration was the Fi-156 (already being tested before the specs were released), the Bf-163 and the Siebel Si-201, these latter two flying in 1938. While the Bf-163 was more like the Fi-156, the Si-201 was rather unorthodox with its Argus As10 V-8 air-cooled engine in a pusher configuration. This allowed superlative viewing from the forward cockpit and so the pilot was seated in the back. The aircraft had high lift devices such as full span automatic leading edge slots and four section Fowler-type flaps with the outermost flaps also acting as ailerons.

The fuselage was of welded steel-tube construction with metal skinning and a plywood-covered wing. The pilot and observer were seated in tandem in the extensively-glazed forward fuselage, the observer being positioned ahead of the pilot with his seat offset to starboard. The first of two prototypes of the Si 201 flew during the early summer of 1938, revealed excellent short take-off and landing characteristics, and was found to possess acceptable slow-flying characteristics closely comparable with those of the Fi-156, however at the upper end of the speed scale tail flutter proved troublesome. Considerable effort was expended in damping out oscillation in the tail boom which developed under certain flight conditions, and the second prototype, which featured some simplification of the high-lift devices, was flown with a somewhat sturdier tail boom. The most serious shortcoming of the Si 201 proved to be the extremely limited cg travel permitted by its configuration, and when Siebel was ordered to abandon further development of the aircraft the problem of tail flutter remained largely unsolved.


Kora's kit of the 201 is in its usual tan resin. The fuselage is in three sections with the tail boom and fin section separate. A large vacuformed canopy is supplied and the interior has two seats and an instrument panel. My kit was missing the control column and what looks like a radio box for the sidewall. The seats are very narrow and it seems to me that they may be undersize as they will look almost child-like in what is a huge (and undetailed) interior. May want to look into replacements. There is a one piece wing which is beautifully molded and seems flawless. Can't say that for many of the other kit parts. The main fuselage section has some air cavities and crud on the outside of it. I also found some crud and resin bubbles attached to the underside of the two props. The landing gear and wing struts are flat on the bottom and will need to be gently sanded to give a proper airfoil shape. The upper wing engine pod has the exhaust mis-drilled as they are not in a straight line as shown in the box art and instructions. This will mean filling them and re-drilling them. Not sure how this managed to sneak past quality assurance. A forward skid is also poorly molded and will need replaced with wire. Wire is needed for several of the smaller supports and Kora provides a 1/1 drawing so you can make these bits. There were also two pieces that I could not find on the instructions so I'm not sure just what they are orwhere they go (one shown in image above). They almost look like anti-glare hoods for instrument panels.

Instructions consist of a single small sheet with color information and painting guide and another single sheet with a basic exploded diagram. No interior colors are given, but at this time, RLM 02 would be the standard interior shade. The decal sheet provides markings for both aircraft, the v1 prototype having only a tail swastika while the v2 has registration codes. Decals appear to be ALPS printed as it has a continuous carrier over all the markings. There is no indication as to which aircraft uses which prop blade as both a three and four bladed prop are included.


This is a neat kit of a most interesting aircraft. If you are like me and have a penchant for prototypes, then you'll want to look into getting this one. The quality of the parts in this kit is not quite up to the high standards of other Kora kits I've seen, but none of the glitches are insurmountable and if you've done a resin kit or two, you should find this one to be a very nice build.


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September 2006

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