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I-16 Type 24 Kit

Hobbycraft 1/48 I-16 Type 24 Kit First Look

By Ray Mehlberger

Date of Review August 2008 Manufacturer Hobbycraft
Subject I-16 Type 24 Scale 1/48
Kit Number HC1576 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Neat Soviet Fighter subject Cons Joystick in kit is totally wrong. Propeller huck starter not provided nor cowl machine gun barrels
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) Out of Production

First Look

I-16 Type 24 Kit
I-16 Type 24 Kit
I-16 Type 24 Kit
I-16 Type 24 Kit
I-16 Type 24 Kit
I-16 Type 24 Kit

The Polikarpov I-16 was a Soviet fighter aircraft of revolutionary design. It was the world’s first all-metal cantilever-winged monoplane fighter with retractable landing gear. The I-16 was introduced in the mid-1930’s and formed the backbone of the Soviet Air Force at the beginning of WWII. The diminutive fighter prominently featured in the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Spanish Civil War, where it was called the “Rata” or “Mosca”, and the Battle of Khalkhin Gol.

The aircraft first flew in June of 1933 as the TsKB-12. It was introduced into service the following year, in 1934. Counting all variants, it was built to a total of 8,644. The Spanish Air Force was the last to use the aircraft, retiring them in the 1950’s. The aircraft was produced from 1934 to 1943.

The type 24 variant (subject of this kit) had 4 x ShKAS machine guns, landing flaps replace drooping ailerons, a tail wheel was added, a second exit door was added to the starboard side and it was equipped with the Shvetsov M-63 engine of 900 hp. 934 were built.

HobbyCraft of Canada is a model company based in Toronto, Canada.

The kit comes in a tray and lid type box. The boxart shows the I-16 type 24 flying along in a bright blue sky. It is painted in dark green above and pale blue underneath. . The tip of the tail is red.. The aircraft also carries the white slogan on the fuselage of "ZA CCCP!" which means "For the USSR". There is a white number 13 on the rudder. The red stars are repeated only under the wings. On the instructions all the caption for this scheme says is that it is an aircraft of the Russian Air Force 1942. This is one of the two markings offered on the decal sheet in the kit.

Inside the box is a sealed cello bag that holds 3 trees of medium gray parts and a clear cockpit windshield. The decal sheet, instructions, a form to order HobbyCraft’s catalogue for 3 bucks and a pre-paid post card to use to send HobbyCraft suggestions for new kits and any comments you may have. There is a slip that warns that the kit is not suitable for children under 3 years old because of small parts, in English, French, German, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, Danish and Greek.

The instructions consist of a single sheet that accordion folds out into 6 pages of 10 ¾” x 8 ½” format.

The first page begins with black and white repeat of the boxart. This is followed by the history of the I-16 Type 10 as just one long sentence. (in 6 languages including English) The bottom of the page has international assembly symbol explanations and HobbyCraft’s address.

Pages two through four give a total of 3 assembly steps. In the 2nd step you opt for wheels or skis on the landing gear.

Page five has side views for 2 schemes (both sides illustrated for each). One is for the boxart subject (already described above) and the second one is also for a Soviet Air Force type 24 in 1942 too. This scheme is in overall winter white wash, top and bottom. With a large red star on the rudder, Order of the Red Banner insignias below the cockpit (you get alternates of this facing left and right, as it was not all that clear how the insignia faced on the starboard side. It carries a red number 21 on the fuselage sides and the red stars are repeated only under the wings.

Colors are called out for both schemes in FS numbers ONLY (Federal Standard). This means that, if you don’t have a conversion list – telling you WHAT these colors are – you are pretty much screwed

Page six has illustrations showing the top and bottom of these two schemes. HobbyCraft should have called out the names of the colors to use, not JUST the FS numbers. Not everybody has a conversion table for the FS number to colors. Bad move HobbyCraft!

There are no parts tree illustrations in the instructions. Parts are alphabetized and numbered on the trees and in the assembly drawings okay though.

The first small tree, letter A, of the medium gray trees holds: the cowling, propeller spinner, main wheels, air scoop, tail wheel or skid and main gear skis and their supports. (14 parts) This tree is unique to this kit.

The second large tree, letter B, of the medium gray trees holds: the engine, pilot seat, a very inaccurate joy stick (more about that later), the propeller, a bulkhead, a head pad for the seat, horizontal tail surfaces, cockpit floor, cowling gun blisters, landing gear legs and doors, wing guns and pitot tube etc. (26 parts) This tree is almost identical to the one in Hobby Craft’s kit of the type 10 version (reviewed elsewhere here). It has some parts removed from one end of it this time that were only appropriate for the type 10. The type 24’s cowling is different and the propeller spinner is more rounded than the type 10’s.

A second, medium sized, letter C, medium gray tree holds the upper and lower wing halves, with the lower wing half being full span (3 parts) This tree is identical to the one in Hobby Craft’s I-16 type 10 kit.

The third, medium sized, 2nd letter A, medium gray tree holds the 2 fuselage halves. Again, identical to the one in the type 10 kit.

The last part in the kit is the single clear windscreen..

The decal sheet (markings already described above) completes the kit’s contents. I could not get the white slogan 3A CCCP! to appear against the white backing paper it’s own, but – believe me- it IS there.

The joystick in the kit, part no. B5, is totally wrong. It has handles at the top that look like the handlebars on a bicycle. The I-16 had an oval handle at the top. This is shown in Squadron’s in Action book on the I-16 and also on a line-drawing blueprint that I got of the I-16 from a Russian pen pal years ago. The blueprint is in Russian – and – gee folks the Russians should know what the joystick looked like, you would think – right?

The second thing in the kit is the missing huck starter in the center of the propeller spinner. This can be fabricated from sprue or, if you are lucky enough to find tubing that small in diameter, some tubing. The cowl guns on the Type 10 at the top of the cowling protruded. There are just holes molded in the cowling in the kit, but no guns. Sprue or tubes to the rescue again. The cockpit interior is very sparse, giving only a floor, seat, bad joystick and the dashboard, but no foot pedals or any other detail.

The kit is engraved detail and rather nice beginning for a I-16. However, those of use with AMS will want to dolly out the cockpit more and add that huck starter and cowl guns and alter the joystick into it’s correct shape.

Recommended to modelers of WWII Soviet aviation.