KIT: Fly Model 1/33 Polikarpov I-16
KIT #: ?
PRICE: $10.00 MSRP
REVIEWER: Shalom Mor
NOTES: Card Model


Polikarpov I 16 is a Russian fighter, first flown in 1933. This was the first russian cantilever with retractable landing gear and variable pitch propeller. It was in used in anger in the civil war in Spain and at the first years of WW2, with estimated total production of 7000.


The model at a scale of 1:33 is from a Polish company Fly Model, purchased through the internet from a store in Poland. Fly Model specialize in 1:33 aircraft models and 1:200 warship models. The I 16 model is very detailed and accurate, with good printing. The instructions are in Polish with a number of diagrams aircraft top, profile and detailing for cockpit and landing gear.  


Most of the model is built "as is", with scratch building of the main gear, engine cylinders and cowl, and propeller spinner. The fuselage up to the engine cowling is build from 5 sections, each one rounded to a circular shape, the edges bonded with a tab. A shaped ring is bonded in each section to receive the fuselage geometry. The sections are bonded to each other with tabs. To mask the connection line, I painted both edges with the same color as the fuselage, and let it dry before bonding.

 The engine cowl was built "as is", and than, to get the round shape, filed to the right shape with Humbrol model filler, and smoothed with fine glass paper.

 The radial engine is made of 9 cylinders. Each one is made of a small cut cone, and than bonded radially. To simulate the cylinder's cooling ribs, I used a thin and very flexible wire, that was densely wrapped around the cylinders. The engine was painted gray, bonded to the fuselage, and covered by the cowl. In this position you need to be very close to see the engine through the cowl cooling shutters.

 The propeller and spinner is built "as is", and the spinner was rounded by filling with Humbrol  filler, and smoothed with fine glass paper. In this way, spinner shape is accurate, and the bonding line between the parts is not visible.

The wheels where the most challenging part of the model. First I hade to find drawings and pictures from different directions of the landing gear, wheels and wheels bay. The landing gear is made of 3 bars, the main one is made of 1mm metal rod wrapped with paper, it's end bended in L shape. The other two made of wood bars. The 3 bars bonded to the wing, and then painted with gray Acrylic color.

The wheels are made of card rings with 1mm diameter deferens, bonded together and then filled to the right shape with a filler and smoothed with fine glass paper, and painted black. Than they where bonded to the main bar L shape.

The main gear covers are made of a double sheet paper, the inner ribs are made from a flexible wire bonded to the inner cover. The outside covers were left in the original cover, and the inner painted gray.  


 The model aircraft colors are of an aircraft served in 1941 in the Russian center section, and the slogan translation is "For Stalin !" , what ever it is ..... All the camo and markings are pre-printed on the card stock.


 In my opinion this model is good, detailed and accurate, and can build "as is", or with detailing as I did. For an experienced modeler, the drawing are good and detailed, and the Polish instructions should not be a problem.

The model's price was 10 USD, a good value for 1:33 scale aircraft.


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