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Soviet Aerosan RF-8

Kirin 1/35 Soviet Aerosan RF-8 Kit First Look

By Ray Mehberger

Date of Review April 2006 Manufacturer Kirin
Subject Soviet Aerosan RF-8 Scale 1/35
Kit Number 25014 Primary Media Resin
Pros Unique subject, relatively straightforward build Cons No decals
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) Out of Production

First Look


The first Aerosans in Russia were built by S. Nazhdanovsky in 1903. This was a very imperfect design which was used for aircrew testing. Before the revolution there was almost no serial production of Aerosans, but there was plenty of experimental designs. These were built by individual inventors, including I. Sikorsky and F. Bylinkin, and there were some efforts to master the production of Aerosans that started during WWI. This was after German Aerosans were captured then.

In 1916 the Russian Zemstvo Union, tasked with supplying the Army, started production of Aerosans for the military use. After the October revolution efforts on Aerosans were resumed. An Aerosan building commission “KOMPAS” had been established to study this field. In the beginning of 1920 the mass production of Aerosans, of the Brilling and Jusin design BEKA was initiated. These vehicles took part in the final battles of the Civil War and the suppression of the Kronstadt Mutiny between 1923 and 1929. NAMI and TsAGI created over 20 different Aerosan designs, to which many famous aircraft and automotive designers had contributed. Aerosans were tested in the far north climate and passed the tests with flying colors.

Soviet Aerosans took an active part in the Soviet-Finish Winter War and the Great Patriotic War (WWII). 1942 saw the introduction of the combat Aerosan NKL-26, the only vehicle of this kind in the world at the time.(a larger sized Aerosan than the subject of this kit) After the end of the war Aerosans kept serving in the border guards units and routes in the far north and far east.

In 1960, a famous helicopter designer N. Kamov created the last designs of this type of vehicle: the Ka-30 and Sever-2.

The RF-8 was a two seat, open-cockpit design. I mounted a machine gun in the front cockpit and the driver sat in tandem behind the gunner in the second cockpit. There was another 2 man design that was enclosed. The vehicle was very lightly armored, only in the nose of it.

This is a mostly resin kit, with a few wire rods added. It comes in an end opening box with the parts in a cello bag. The instructions is a single sheet with an exploded drawing and a listing of the names of the parts. However, some of the parts are not named right vs the numbers they given. A bit confusing. The instructions sorely need to be redone a bit.

There are no figures in the kit, however the box art shows a smaller illustration of the built up model with 2 guys in it. These 2 figures are sold as a separate kit by Kirin.

The box art shows the model made up with a red star with a single word under it in Russian. However, I have never been able to get a translation of what that word is and there are no decals in the kit anyway, so you will have to hit your spare Russian decals for marks for the kit.

I think this kit will make up very nicely and will be something different to display on a modelers shelves. I intend to put mine on a base with some railroad snow.

Highly recommended other than the weak instructions and lack of decals.