The Polikarpov I-16 gave the Republican Air Force a well needed boost with its arrival in 1937 (type 10). The nationalist forces were causing havoc with their new shipments of Bf 109ís and the I-16 levelled the field somewhat leaving the success of air battles down to the pilots.
Supplied by the Soviets the type 10 was an improvement on earlier models with a more powerful engine and upgraded to four machine guns.
The Republicans went on to use around 475 (including type 5 & 6 variants) of these fighters and they were eventually lost in battle, accidents or captured by the Nationalists as the fighting increased in through 1938/39.
This kit by Azur was first released in 2004 as a limited run kit as is the nature of Azur releases. It has now been re-released so should be widely available. The kit is somewhat daunting when youíre first presented with the sprues and care will be needed throughout the build, there are no major problems itís just a bit of an old school build, meaning filler on every join and wing roots with a large gap etc.
I used super glue as a filler which worked quite well, the few panel lines were then re-scribed and I added a few rivets around the engine cowling. The cockpit is sparse as the real thing and you canít really see anything other than the chair. Seatbelts are supplied in etch metal and resin exhausts are included. For the silver ring on the cowling I used a thin strip of foil tape.
Painting was quite straightforward and done in a day with standard soviet colours from WW2. There are decals for the fin but I chose to paint this instead, the rest of the decals are nice, maybe slightly thick for the scale.
For finishing I used a different method by buffing the paint back with a cloth and sanding sticks, then I rubbed pigments lightly all over the airframe to give a dusty look.
A nice kit and so far the only game in town for a 1/32 type 10, although that could change with the recent release from ICM of a type 24Ö
Recommend for experienced builders.
Polikarpov I-16, Type 10, 1. Squadron, Lina Base, April 1938.