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Polikarpov I-15
“Red Army” Biplane Fighter


Special Hobby, 1/72 scale

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Special Hobby SH72085 I-15
Scale: 1/72
Contents and Media: 23 Short run, medium grey plastic parts on one sprue, 19 parts in pale yellow resin, 10 PE parts on one fret, 6 clear parts on one sheet [three are spares] and a 6 page instruction booklet with parts plan, history, build diagrams and paint/decal drawings.
Price: USD$15.96  from Squadron.com
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Important subject, highly detailed, well cast resin and optional skis.
Disadvantages: Some parts are very small, especially on the PE fret and no rigging diagram is supplied.
Recommendation: Recommended

Reviewed by Glen Porter

 Special Hobby's 1/72 scale I-15 is available online from Squadron.com



No self-respecting model aircraft collection should be without a Polikarpov I-15. Along with the Fiat CR 42 and Gloster Gladiator, it was the absolute pinnacle of biplane development before the transition to monoplane fighters. Polikarpov himself was so unsure of which was better that he designed two aircraft to the same specs, the I-15 Biplane and the I-16 Monoplane. Although the biplanes, possessed excellent handling and rate of climb, they just couldn't hack it against the more modern Monoplanes then coming into production such as the Spitfire and Messerschmitt Bf109.

Special Hobby's 1/72 scale I-15 comes with three under-carriage options, open wheels, spats or skis. The wheels and spats come in plastic along with the under-carriage legs but the skis are in resin. Only the major parts such as fuselage, wings, tail surfaces, struts and the afor mentioned wheels and legs come in plastic. All the interior bits and engine and cowl plus skis are in resin. The interior is further enhanced with PE seat belts, levers and instrument panel plus there is an acetate film for the instruments.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

There are decals for four aircraft - one in bare metal and aluminium dope, two green with light blue undersides and one over-all red machine. Decals look to be well printed with good register but no indication of who they are printed by.

One of the advantages of this kit, the one piece wings attach directly to the fuselage and therefore there isn't the problem usually associated with mounting biplane upper wings on struts. However, with every positive there is a negative. Special Hobby haven't supplied a rigging diagram so an outside sourced reference will be required if you want to rig it.

As with any multi media kit of this kind, it's not for the novice, but with that little bit of extra experience and effort a really special model should result.

Recommended to modellers with a little bit of experience under the belt.

Thanks to MPM/Special Hobby for the review sample.

Review Text Copyright © 2005 by Glen Porter
Images Copyright © 2005 by Brett Green
Page Created 14 June, 2005
Last updated 14 June, 2005

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