Wednesday, November 13, 2019

A Momentary Diversion

       Having done too much of just a couple of things for the last three weeks I decided to jump ship and do something entirely different. I dug into The Vault and found an ancient  1/72 Revell model of a Polikarpov I-16. This particular kit had been made in Spain some time in the late 70's I would guess. The model looked to be cleanly cast so I figured "Why not?". It would be cheaper than talking to a shrink or a good bottle of bourbon at the very least.

contents, the decals had yellowed over the years but everything else was in good order

the plastic was very thin in section which worried me at first 
but there was no sign of warping and the parts fit was excellent

detail was very good, raised panel lines of course but otherwise it closely matched the photos

parts fit was very good, no effort at wheel well or cockpit details at all

this was a fat little airplane

the engine compartment was given a decent level of detail with 
the firewall and fuel tank sitting behind the nicely detail radial engine

it wasn't until after I assembled the odd three-piece cowling that I realized that the designer had made it so that the modeller could build the kit with the cowling opened for maintenance, 
a secret that the very rudimentary instructions failed to point out

the undercarriage was straightforward but lacking much detail

letting the glue on the tires dry before placing them under load

primed and ready for paint

the first coat of color

a few more very thin coats of green followed by a light drybrushing of 
green highlights then the paint chipping and exhaust smoke trails

looking OK so far

the decals were very curled and resistant to coming off the paper

but warm water and persistent poking with the tip of a paintbrush got them free

they were thicker than they had first appeared 
and left an unsatisfying silvering around the edge

        A most satisfying way to spend an afternoon. I stuck with my "straight out of the box" rule and ended up with a nice little model of one of the mainstays of the Soviet Air Force in 1940. For a model that is older than most people on the planet the kit is really rather good. Now back to work on "important stuff"............... I did spend a few hours considering picking up a copy of Check Your Six, Finns vs Soviets in The Winter War, hmmm.

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