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I-16 Type 18

Hasegawa 1/72 I-16 Type 18 Kit First Look

By Ray Mehlberger

Date of Review November 2009 Manufacturer Hasegawa
Subject Polikarpov I-16 Type 18 Scale 1/72
Kit Number 51327 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Neat little Soviet fighter Cons Control surfaces molded solid
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $18.50

First Look

I-16 Type 18
I-16 Type 18
I-16 Type 18
I-16 Type 18
I-16 Type 18
I-16 Type 18

During the early 1930’s, the standard fighter aircraft was a fixed-landing gear biplane of metal and wood construction. When Russia submitted it’s requirements for a new fighter, they simply stated that it had to be better than any other fighter in the world, and capable of being produced with the existing Russian work force.

First flown in December 1933, this radical fighter was a small, low-wing cantilever monoplane of mixed wood and metal construction, none of which made the early pilots happy. It was mass produced almost immediately, with several types introduced throughout its production run.

It’s very small dimensions made it as unstable as it was maneuverable, making it very troublesome during take-off and landing. In 1938, during the Spanish Civil War, the I-16 proved successful against the German Heinkel He 51 biplanes, but it was later outmatched by the Messerschmitt Bf 109. Nicknamed “Mosca” (fly) by its pilots, the I-16 was a front-line fighter for Russia until 1943, when new fighter type aircraft became available.

Hasegawa is a model company based in Japan. This kit comes in a tray and lid type box. This box is 2 ¼” too long and about an inch too deep. Hasegawa could have gotten away with a smaller box.

The box art shows two I-16s flying above clouds. The one in the foreground is dark green above a light blue undercarriage. It has the slogan FOR THE MOTHERLAND down the sides of the fuselage in white and the number 13 on the rudder, also in white. The I-16 in the background has the white slogan down it’s side of FOR STALIN (this mark not included on the decal sheet in the kit). It is in the same scheme as the one in the foreground.

Inside the box is 3 medium gray trees of parts, a clear parts tree and the decal sheet all inside a sealed cello bag. The clear part tree is in it’s own sealed cello. The instructions complete the kit’s contents.

The instructions consist of a single sheet that accordion folds out into 8 pages of 4 1/8” x 7 7/8” format.

Page one begins with a black and white photo of the model made up in the box art scheme. This is followed by the history of the I-16 in Japanese and English.

Page two begins with explanations of international assembly symbols.

The bottom of page two through to page four has a total of 8 assembly steps.

Page five begins with the parts tree illustrations, followed by a listing of Gunze Sangyo paint colors, suggested to use to finish the model.

Pages six and seven have two 3-views for two painting and marking schemes.

  1. The box art scheme. One side profile shows that this aircraft carried FOR THE MOTHERLAND on the port side, and has FOR THE VKP(B) (All-Union Communist Party) in white letters on the starboard side of the fuselage. Can anybody translate this one for me? The propeller blades were bare metal on the front and black on the back. Although shown in white on the box art and this illustration. The lettering for the slogans and tail number is printed as silver on the decal sheet. There is also a thin silver stripe that edges the rear edge of the cowling, This aircraft is with the 72nd Air Regiment, Northern Fleet Air Force, Murmansk 1941
  2. An I-16 of an unknown unit. It is in dark green above a light blue undercarriage. It has a red number 1 outlined in white on it’s rudder sides. The tip of the tail is red. It’s propeller is minus the spinner. It has a gun camera mounted on its spine, immediately behind the cockpit. It has a tail skid, rather than the tail wheel that is on the first scheme. This tail skid is bare metal with a black rubber boot at it’s base

Medium gray letter A parts tree holds: the fuselage halves, horizontal tail surfaces, engine and it’s firewall, landing gear legs and wheels, dashboard, wheel well doors, pilot seat, tail wheel, a plate that goes behind the slots in the cowling if you want to close the cowling openings and the gun sight (17 parts)

Medium gray letter B parts tree holds: the wing halves (lower half being full-span), propeller blades, joy stick, cockpit floorboard, landing gear actuator arms, cowl guns bulges, wing guns, pitot tube (19 parts)

Medium Gray letter C parts tree holds: the cowling front, propeller spinner and the propeller hub – if you opt to do the propeller without the spinner (3 parts)

There is no letter D parts tree.

Medium gray letter E parts tree holds the tail skid and gun camera (2 parts)

The clear part tree just holds the windscreen.

The decal sheet has already been described above. However, it also includes a decal for the Instrument panel.

Control surfaces are all molded solid. The rib detail on the wings and tail might be a little too pronounced.

This is a neat little Soviet fighter. It looks to be an easy build for modelers of average skill. Recommended.