Croco 1/72 Polikarpov R.5





Six aircraft


Scott Van Aken


Resin with brass and 3D printed parts


The R-5 was developed by the design bureau led by Nikolai Nikolaevich Polikarpov as a replacement for the R-1(an unlicensed version of the DH.9A built in Russia) which served as the standard reconnaissance and light bomber aircraft with the Soviet Air Force.

The prototype first flew in autumn 1928, powered by an imported German BMW VI V-12 engine. It was an unequal-span single-bay biplane of mainly wooden construction.

After extensive evaluation, the R-5 entered production in 1930, powered by the Mikulin M-17, a licence-built copy of the BMW-VI, as a reconnaissance bomber. Further modified versions were produced to serve as floatplanes, ground-attack aircraft and civil transports.

The R-5SSS, an improved reconnaissance bomber with improved streamlining, served as the basis for the Polikarpov R-Z, which succeeded the R-5 in production.


This isn't the first R-5 to be kitted, but so far, I'd have to say it is the most detailed. This is basically a resin aircraft kit with both 3D printed and photo etch/brass parts. Starting with the cockpit you have a cockpit floor with seat and stick. There is a gunner's section behind with nice framework detail and a place to stow the rear gun. Though resin parts are provided for the gun mount and gun, a nice set of photo etch and brass is included for this area and it provides a higher level of detail. A forward bulkhead is installed along with the radiator prior to closing the fuselage halves.

A plate on which the exhaust are attached is then glued in place followed by the upper cowling. Landing gear is properly complex for a kit of this size, but seems easy enough to attach. The final assembly should be nice and solid. You do have the option of either wheels or skis for this kit. Upper and lower wing are a single piece with the lower one including a small portion of the lower fuselage.

All of the wing struts are wire reinforced so no worries about them sagging over time. A bag full of 3D printed parts is provided and this includes the underwing bomb racks and some bombs to fit upon them. These are nicely done and shows that this medium is perfect for fine detail parts such as this.

Instructions are basically a parts layout image of all the resin bits and an exploded view showing how they all go together. A detail image is provided for the installation of the bomb racks. It would have been nice to have a more detailed image of how the landing gear go together, but if you are an experienced modeler, it should prove to be no obstacle. A nice addition to this kit is a rectangle of vinyl on which are the insignia and six different aircraft numbers. Yes, they are basically paint masks and are something I'd like more kits to provide. No placement guid is provided, but for the most part, these planes were olive green over a blue-grey. Insignia were basically on upper and lower wings with the aircraft number on the rudder or sometime on the fin or rear fuselage. I'd recommend doing a web search for various images when it comes to this and when it comes to rigging as no guide is provided for this.


So there you have it. So far, the best R-5 on the market. This is not for beginners, but if you want a nicely done R-5 and have the skills to build a resin kit, then this is for you. Since Croco doesn't sell direct, do a web search to find those who carry the kit.  


January 2024

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