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ICM Polikarpov I-16 Type 24

FineScale Modeler reviews the 1/32 scale aircraft kit
Modern in 1934, Polikarpov’s  I-16 was the mainstay of the Soviet Union’s air force when Germany invaded in 1941. 

ICM’s big-scale I-16 comprises 103 gray and eight clear parts as well as decals to mark four aircraft.

Recessed and raised panel lines are sharply molded, as is the fabric texture on the wings.  Rudder and elevators are movable. The starboard upper-wing half was warped in my kit, so I clamped it for fit. 

A thin strip of styrene filled a gap at the wing root, and I used a little putty to blend the join between the rear of the wing and the fuselage. These were the only glitches in an otherwise trouble-free build.

The instrument panel is a clear face with molded bezels and gray plastic backing plate to which you apply decal dials. After assembling the panel, I masked the molded instruments with Testors Clear Parts Cement and sprayed the panel black. Once the paint dried, I picked out the glue with a sharpened toothpick to reveal the decal dials. The finished panel looks great, but I had a hard time seeing it inside the cockpit. The open cockpit exposes the lack of seat belts in the otherwise detailed space.

I omitted the cowl guns because they would be invisible on the finished model. The nicely detailed engine — also great for possible maintenance vignettes — and its mounts fell into place, but the nine separate exhausts are difficult to align with the holes in the cowl. For realism, I recommend drilling out the ends of the pipes.

I painted the camouflage with Tamiya olive green and Testors Model Master Russian topside blue. 

The decals applied perfectly over a coat of Pledge Floor Gloss; the colors are brilliant and opaque.

Even in 1/32 scale, the I-16 is tiny — the wingspan is just 11 inches. 

I spent 28 enjoyable hours building ICM’s I-16, and the only thing I would add next time is a seat belt.  Anyone with a few kits under their belt should have no problems.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the July 2018 issue.


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