Arma Hobby 1/72 TS-11 Iskra bis DF Deluxe Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||February 2018||Manufacturer||Arma Hobby|
|Subject||TS-11 Iskra Bis DF||Scale||1/72|
|Kit Number||70001||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Interesting subject, two kits in the box||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$58.00 including free shipping|
The PZL TS-11 Iskra is a single-engine, twin-seat military trainer developed in the early 1960s and competed against the Aero L-29 Delfin to become the Warsaw Pact's entry-level jet trainer. While the L-29 was adopted into that role, PZL produced over 400 aircraft for the Polish armed forces with some eventually being exported to the Indian Air Force. The aircraft is armed with a single 23mm cannon in the nose and four underwing hardpoints which can carry a variety of bombs and rockets. While the aircraft first flew in 1964, the TS-11 remains in service today with plans to reopen the production line for a modernized version.
Arma Hobby has been around for a while, producing several product lines including Attack Squadron and Adalbertus. While both of these product lines were well-received for their high-quality resin castings, Arma Hobby decided in late 2017 to terminate all of its resin casting production and shift to a new line of 1/72 injection-molded plastic kits. The first subject in their series is this TS-11 Iskra bis DF. The DF variant began production in 1974 and while retaining the 23mm cannon, it could also carry three cameras for reconnaissance. The Arma Hobby kits come in three types:
- Junior - basic kit with little or no photo-etch and limited decal options
- Expert - basic kit plus photo-etch and expanded decal sheet
- Deluxe - same as Expert but box contains two complete Expert kits and expanded decal sheet
This is the deluxe version, and indeed, there are two complete expert kits in the box. Each kit is molded in gray styrene and presented on two parts trees plus one tree of clear parts and two frets of photo-etched details.
Among the features and options presented in this kit:
- Detailed cockpits with photo-etched instrument panel and side console overlays
- Detailed ejection seats with photo-etched crew restraints
- Positionable flaps
- Photo-etched FOD screens over intakes
- Positionable photo-etched speed brakes
- Canopy and wheel masks included
- Four rocket pods included
Color profiles and decals for six subjects are included:
- TS-11 bis DF, 1706, 58th Training Regt, Shark Scheme, 2000
- TS-11 bis DF, 1614, 10th Training Sqn, Lask AB, 2004, Sharkmouth
- TS-11 bis DF, 1225, 1st Air Training Ctr, Deblin AB, 2006
- TS-11 bis DF, 1606, 1st Air Training Ctr, Deblin AB, 2105
- TS-11 bis DF, 1716, 3rd Sqn, Polish Navy, 2003
- TS-11 bis DF, 1413, 1st Air Training Ctr, Deblin AB, 2009
The decal sheet provides maintenance stencils for the airframe with nice four-view diagrams provided in the instructions.
The TS-11 is a small aircraft and as you can imagine, it is small in 1/72 scale as well. Even so, the kit provides an impressive level of detail without making the construction of the model complex. The decal subjects provide options for bare metal, camouflaged, air superiority, and special color schemes. When you see the subjects in this box, you'll want the deluxe version so you can do more than one!
My sincere thanks to HobbyZone USA for this review sample!