A-Model  1/72  Shavrov  SH-2
KIT #: 7216
PRICE: $12.00 or so
DECALS: Six options
REVIEWER: Brian Baker
NOTES: Good little kit of an interesting but little known aircraft.


The Russian Shavrov SH-2 was designed by Vadim B. Shavrov while he was working with the OMOS Design Bureau during the late twenties, and was intended as a trainer, fishery patrol aircraft, and air ambulance.  Flying for the first time in 1930, the SH-2 bore a close resemblance to the Italian Savoia Marchetti SM-56 amphibian of the same vintage, and from appearances, may have been almost a direct copy.  The type was produced in limited numbers, and was used during the thirties and World War II for the above mentioned purposes.  At least one was being used as a crop sprayer in the early sixties, and the last one was not retired until 1964.  One is reputed to be still flying somewhere in Russia.

The SH-2 was powered by a single 100 hp. M.11 radial engine with a wooden propeller.  It was a parasol wing three seat amphibian with wheels that rotated upwards for water operations.  The stabilizing floats were attached to small sponsons which were attached to the fuselage.


The kit is cast in three light grey plastic sprues and one clear sprue which provides several canopy options.  There is some flash, but not what we have come to expect from these limited issue kits. The kit is a little more complicated than the average single engine model, mainly because of the parasol wing arrangement and the sponson-mounted floats.  The wing is made up of no less than seven components, with the outer sections fitting into the three piece center section, which also includes the engine mount. This leaves a seam in the middle of the underside of the wing which is difficult to remove without affecting the wing rib detail.  Some filler is required here, but this is nothing that a reasonably experienced modeler shouldn’t be able to handle.

 The instructions provide a history of the type, unfortunately in Russian, so I used the internet for the basic information.  The 6 page instruction sheets provide a sprue diagram,  three exploded assembly drawings, and color and marking information for no less than seven aircraft.  These include one civil ambulance,  two civilian aircraft,  one military version, one military ambulance, and  two captured examples  in Finnish markings.  The decals are of good quality, and there are a lot of decals left over for later conversions. Color information is a little hard to decipher, and there is little documentation on when are where any of these planes were operated.  The Finnish aircraft would have undoubtedly been painted in their typical black and green over light blue, with yellow theater markings, but I’m not exactly sure of the other colors on the Russian versions, although I would bet that dark Russian green over light blue would be appropriate for most of the military models.


The fuselage is somewhat complicated, and reminded me of a kayak, with two side assemblies and a top deck.  A basic interior is included, including two seats, some bulkheads,  a rudder bar, and a control stick. Several canopy options are included, and although I couldn’t find any interior information on the type, I did a fair job of detailing the cockpit.  The only problem here is the fact that the cockpit can’t be seen because of the parasol wing, but at least, I know the details are in there.  The sponsons look a little odd, but they trim up nicely,  with the floats being  integral parts of the units. The plane was probably constructed entirely of wood, so some cross braces and structure could probably be added. I would suspect that the SM-56 would be almost identical internally. The canopies include a completely enclosed unit, a partially enclosed section, and a windshield. There is a rear cockpit cover to be used on some of the open cockpit variants.

The wings and tail unit are easily attached to the fuselage. After drilling out the mounting holes,  I mounted the cabane struts on the fuselage at the correct angle, and after gluing the wing to these and letting it set up to dry, I attached the outer wing struts.  It would probably be wise to paint the main assemblies before installing the wing and struts.  The tail unit goes on easily, although I replaced the kit bracing struts with plastic rod, and the landing gear struts and wheels, while a little spindly, can be easily glued into place. I also added control horns and control cables, and a mooring hook in the nose.

The engine, which should be installed last, required a little bit of detailing.  I added pushrod housings in front, and straight exhaust stacks at the rear of each cylinder, and I was satisfied with the result.  Some rigging wire is required between the wing struts, but these areas are easily accessed, so this is simple to do. Don’t forget the control cables.


There are a lot of options on this kit, especially if you can decipher the color information.  The decals are very good, and the since these airplanes were used mostly in remote areas under very harsh operating conditions,  they should probably be weathered fairly extensively, although you shouldn’t make the mistake of using silver for paint chipping, as the structure was entirely wooden.


This kit is a little gem, a sleeper.  It looks a little rough in the box, but with a little TLC, this kit can become a masterpiece.  Get at least one if you can find one, and put some effort into it and you’ll have a model that your modeling friends will admire.  Highly recommended.

Brian Baker

June 2010

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