Monday, September 27, 2021

1/72 scale Encore Polikarpov I-15bis


       In my endless quest for more aircraft with spats I managed to acquire two of these little gems. As usual with Encore kits you get a good-quality decal sheet with a nice choice of options and a faithful reproduction of some other manufacturer's kit; in this case an old ICM mold. The kit went together just fine until it was time for me to install the upper wing when a combination of my fat fingers and vague instructions made things a bit dodgy. But, in the end tube cement and careful adjustments brought things together in a satisfactory manner. This first one joined the Soviet Air Force (of course) I'm still trying to decide on Chinese or Spanish for the second one. Of course nothing is stopping me from rounding up another one and doing both!

there is no mistaking the Polikarpov blood-line in this bird

"how small a body can we build behind that massive engine"
 seems to have been the central design concept

the I-15 held it's own in Spain and early-on in the Far East but no amount of streamlining and engine upgrades could make it keep pace with the all-metal monoplanes built just a few years later 
on the other hand; just look at those huge spats!

the landing gear were a bit fussy to install and I managed to be off by just enough to give the model a tiny lean (fortunately this won't be noticeable when used in gaming)

looking at it I might just go with the Republican Spanish
the color scheme is far brighter than the Chinese overall olive drab