by: HG Barnes [ ]
The CompanyIBG Models was founded in 1991 and produces plastic model kits from Poland. Because IBG's history was working in the import business and having experience as a distributor it became only natural for IBG Models to migrate into the world of producing plastic model kits. On the www.ibgmodels.com website you'll find aircraft in 1/32 and 1/72, vehicles in 1/72 and 1/35, ships in 1/700 and items related to their kits from other manufacturers. Plus they have a photo gallery, build tips and videos along with kits including paint (in certain markets) and "Quick Build" tracks. You can also buy direct from IBG.
The PZL P.11c was a fighter plane, an improved variant of the P.11a version, which was a development of P.6 construction of inz Z. Pulawski under inz. Wslewolod Jakimuk's supervisiion.
After successful P.11a and P.11b versions in 1933 and 1934 the PZL manufacturer developed an improved version of the fighter. Now fitted with a redesigned hull, tail and newer Mercury V engine there was the possibility of placing the armament inside a wing. The engine cowling was lowered to improve a pilot's field of view. Changes in fuselage construction included extension of the truss to the end of the cockpit in the way that the semi-monocock construction started behind the pilot's seat. 175 of these aircraft were ordered by the Polish Air Force and the construction started in 1934. Most of the order was delivered in 1935 with the last planes finishing in 1936.
PZL P.11c airplanes entered service in fighter squadrons of the Polish Air Force in 1935 and were their most valuable equipment during the Polish Campaign of 1939. These airplanes entered served in 1st Air Regiment AR in Warsaw, 2nd AR in Cracow, 3rd AR in Poznan, 4th AR in Torun, 5th AR in Lida and 6th AR in Lwow and took part in the Polish Campaign from its outbreak on the 1st of September 1939 until evacuation forced by the Soviet attack on the 17th of September. Evacuated airplanes were incorporated into the Romanian Air Force, where they served along side the locally constructed P.11f version.
Only one PZL P.11c survives today. It can be found on exhibition at the Polish Aviation Museum in Cracow.
The PackageA stunning piece of artwork adorns the box of IBG Models first ever 1/32 airplane. Worthy of framing this print gives you a glimpse of what awaits the modeler inside. Nestled comfortably in a sturdy reinforced cardboard tray you'll find 6 bags, two of which are resealable, housing 13 sprues. You also get a nice amount of photo-etch on one fret, a comprehensive decal sheet along with color instructions including the three markings options at the back. The only issue I found was the canopy rubbing against something while in its bag. Not that this is a deal breaker since the frame is quite pronounced and protected the glass, yet I'd advise IBG Models to place this great looking part in a bit of foam before putting it in the bag. Other than that they get high marks.
The PlasticHOLY COW, is there some detail in this kit or what? Hence why you see so many photos. You get raised bolts of many sizes, recessed rivets, corrugated wing details and even stamped out louvers! Inside there's a highly detailed cockpit with space for additional cabling if you want and support ribs for an even greater realism. Sure, it's a 1/32 but keep in mind that this is not a large aircraft yet IBG Models must have pulled out every possible reference photo and spent an unimaginable amount of time developing it. I'll bet they camped out at the museum a few nights too, HA HA. But it doesn't end with the part detail. The connection points are flush with the part end and parting lines are very faint. There are no mold release pin marks to worry about and that includes the inside of the engine covers, should you wish to openly display the exceptional detail inside. There are multiple hatches which can be left open. One example is in the upper inner wing parts where there are precut depressions for opening the access panels so you can display the guns in a maintenance diorama. You won't find any flash worth mentioning either, save for a touch on the wing by the machine guns and some open access areas. There was a small patch on the left side wall by an access hatch in one of my photos that looks like a miss mold, it is not! I'm looking at it right now and it is not there. As usual I test fitted the wing parts and fuselage. I am absolutely going to be build this and thought you might like to know that those parts fit flawlessly.
The clear part looks as awesome as the photos show, but again the corner of the frame got knocked around in traveling my way. Which reminds me, I still have to pay Jim back for the shipping cost... sorry Jim its on the way. Again, high marks and praise to IBG Models for one stunning looking box of styrene.
Decals and Photo-etchFrom humble beginnings Tec Mod have come a very long way. Protected by thin paper they are nicely slipped in a resealable bag with enough space around it that you easily remove and replace the sheet. The colors are bold and the lines crisp. Carrier film is far less than days gone by and that heavy coat of glue is much thinner. Also, the decal itself is no thicker than any of the major manufacturers. Could they have eliminated the film between numerals, maybe but some like the convenience and others who don't like that will cut the excess anyway. Here's a tip, normally I dab a bit of moisture from my tongue on a blank space to keep the paper from flying off when no tape is handy.
The photo-etch fret is fairly comprehensive. With over 70 parts you get that extra detail for safety belts, cockpit and controls, exterior bracing and engine wiring. At a breath over 0.01 MM it's very thin yet protected with sticky clear film on both sides. In other words you can remove one side of the film and leave the other to prevent the parts from flying away. Thank you IBG Models for doing such a simple thing to help modelers enjoy the experience.
The InstructionsThe 16 page glossy colored book covers the 37 steps in construction along with the three colored marking options at the back. A tremendous amount of detail are in these digital drawings and must have taken a lot of time to create. The steps are easy to follow and once you get it into your head that most of the paint instructions are at the beginning of the book than you shouldn't have an issue. As always, read through it a few times and all will become clear. There was only one slip up in an under carriage support in photo-etch was in the wrong step, but I'm getting upset with myself for even pointing this out, so you don't have to. If you're looking for the antenna wire diagram though, than you'll need to consult the box art.
I wish manufacturers would use semi-gloss paper to cut down on the reflection. Having worked in the print industry on a multi million dollar machine with very expensive pallets of paper, up to 12 thousand sheets of 28" X 40", it's no more expensive than gloss and by far easier to read. That said, it is another sign that IBG Models took that extra step in their presentation.
ConclusionIf half the effort put into the interior and exterior detail went into the engineering for the fit then this should be one honey of model to assemble and paint. I can't remember the last time, if ever, I saw so much fine texture in a model. And that's the best part... it is fine and not in your face "look at me" like I'm some sort of idea. And by the way, did I mention it is less than $60 bucks!!!
Our thanks go out to the fine people at IBG Model for sending this sample to review and build. Special thanks, as always, go out YOU for taking the time to have a look.
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