Scratchbuilt 1/72 Caudron G.IV (Part I)


Epoxy plane

Caudron G.IV, a French bomber/reconnaissance plane, was a twin engine version of the earlier G.III model. It was put into service in 1915, becoming the first mass produced twin engine aircraft in allied service. For several years G.IV served faithfully in several air forces, until becoming completely obsolete and incapable to match newer enemy fighters. In total, more than 1400 planes of the type were built in France, Italy and UK.

This unusual, odd looking plane had always looked to me like a very interesting subject for a model, and since no kit of a twin engine Caudron was available (except for an ancient, hard to find vacuform), I decided to try myself at scratchbuilding – a decision based mostly on an underestimation of complexity of the task ahead.

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1/72 Land Vehicles

Some of my older models of land vehicles in 1/72.

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Prop&Jet 1/72 Nikitin NV-1


NV-1, a sport plane developed by the Soviet designer V. Nikitin in 1933, was one of the tiniest aircraft built in the USSR and also the fastest plane with Shvetsov M-11 engine. Only one prototype was built. This nice, yet almost forgotten aircraft became a subject of a wonderful resin kit in 1/72 scale released by Russian company Prop&Jet. The model is beautifully done, with subtle, realistic fabric representation, delicate panel lines and razor sharp trailing edges. The fuselage is cast in one part, which spares the modeler some filling and sanding, but also makes painting of an interior a little trickier. Engine cylinders are molded separately, so are the wheels. The instruction suggests making thin struts using stretched sprue, which probably is the only way these tiny parts can be made.

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Nakotne 1/72 Polikarpov I-3


I-3 made its first flight in 1928 and entered service the next year, becoming a primary fighter of the Red Army Air Force with about 400 built. Although I-3 flight performance was on par with the Western fighters of the time and it had a certain potential for further development, the type was phased out relatively quickly and replaced with I-7 (a license-built Heinkel HD-37).

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Amodel 1/72 Petlyakov Pe-8 Strategic Bomber

The big planes have a kind a m

ystical charm – just imagine how these giants could rise up to the air and not need to say anything more. Some time ago, Amodel released a short-run kit of the ‘Russian Lancaster,’ the Pe-8 strategic bomber in 1/72 scale. It is a very interested kit that could not lose its attraction even when the new Zvevda kit was released. The Amodel kit has very lovely overlapped panel lines which should give very nice and realistic results, but will be much harder to assemble than the Zvezda kit.

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1/72 Special Hobby TsKB-3 (I-15 Prototype)


TsKB-3, a biplane fighter powered by Wright R-1820 Cyclone engine, was developed in 1933 by Nikolai Polikarpov as a successor to his earlier design I-5. It was put in production in 1934 under the name I-15 and became famous in combat in Spain where it proved to be one of the best biplane fighters of its time.

If I was going to build a 1/72 I-15 today, I would probably start with a new ICM model. However, a few years ago, long before it was released one had to choose from three limited-run offerings from Aviation Usk, Pavla and Special Hobby (the last one was also sold under Azur label). After reading the (somewhat misleading) reviews and arriving at a conclusion that none of these models is perfect, I decided to go with Special Hobby.

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