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First Look Review
Polikarpov I-16 Type 29
  • Ed_I-16-29_Boxtop

by: Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]

Eduard's excellent little Polikarpov I-16 reappears this month in a new form - the Type 29, the ultimate development of the fighter and an attempt to restore parity between it and its more modern opponents. In an effort to reduce weight and boost performance, the 7.62 mm wing guns were removed and replaced by a single belly-mounted synchronised 12.7mm UBS machine gun firing under the engine and through the bottom of the cowling. To make way for the gun, the undercarriage was moved outboard slightly, and the lower air intake was moved to the "7 o'clock" position on the cowling.

Along with changes for the revised armament, the Type 29's wing was redesigned for the ground attack role, with provision for 6 x RO-82 rockets mounted under the wings, and attachment points for 100 litre fuel tanks or a variety of bombs.

In plastic...
As you'd expect, Eduard's new kit shares many parts with the previous versions released, but there's an all-new sprue containing the modified wings and the rocket armament. The kit comprises:

100 x pale olive styrene parts
2 x clear parts
33 x etched steel parts, including a pre-painted seat harness and instrument panel.
Painting Masks
Decals for 4 x colour schemes

The original kit has been covered on Aeroscale in its Type 10 and Royal releases, so I'll concentrate here on the new parts and decals.

The modified wing is well up to the standard set by the rest of the kit, with crisply moulded panel details - engraved lines and fasteners and raised access panels and armour to protect the fabric underside of the wing and ailerons from the blast of the rockets. The fabric effect itself is excellent - in my opinion, in their latest releases Eduard simulate fabric better than any of the other major injected kit producers.

The new bulged belly is neatly done and certainly changes the look of the model, with the wheel wells positioned slightly further apart to compensate. Accompanying the fuselage gun, there's a choice of new engine cowlings, with early- and late-style air intakes.

The rockets each consist of three parts - a rail, a body and a separate tail. The latter is rather heavily moulded and it's a shame Eduard didn't include optional metal fins. Sadly, no fuel tanks or bombs are included for the inboard hard-points.

Decals are included for a nice variety of machines:

A. "Yellow 45", 156.IAP, Winter 1941-42 with a white overspray over the original green topsides.
B. "Red 9", 16. IAP, Autumn 1941 with black and green camouflage and red fin tip and spinner and a "Death to Invaders!" slogan on the fuselage.
C. "White 1", 7.IAK-PVO, Spring 1942, with a field applied camouflage, blue fin and rudder and what seems to be an uncompleted slogan - it just reads "For"
D. "White 1", 19th Observation Sqn., Rumanian Air Force, 1941. The aircraft was captured and painted in Rumanian markings. It's depicted with a full set of rockets, but a photo in Squadron's In Action shows it minus the rockets and, if it was used for pilot familiarisation as suggested, it seems unlikely that they were carried.

The decals appear excellent quality - thin and glossy, with minimal carrier film and printed in excellent register on the review sample. One point to watch out for is the underwing stars - in several photos I've seen of Type 29s, they are positioned further towards the wingtips than shown by Eduard. Unfortunately, I haven't found shots of the particular VVS machines covered by the decal options to confirm the position.

This looks an excellent addition to Eduard's range of I-16s. I found the original release a very satisfying build and now that Eduard have corrected the early problems with the cowling, this should be even more so. Even if you've already bought the earlier releases, the Type 29 is different enough to still appeal - and of course, being so small for a WW2 fighter, there's room for several on the shelf! Recommended.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Superbly moulded, with a neat set of pre-painted etched details and excellent decals.
Lows: No underwing fuel tanks or bombs.
Verdict: A very fine kit that should appeal to all VVS enthusiasts. It won't
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: 8152
  Suggested Retail: $ 29.95
  PUBLISHED: Aug 13, 2007

Our Thanks to Eduard!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Rowan Baylis (Merlin)

I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...

Copyright 2021 text by Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


Hi Rowan! Thanks for the review! The I-16 in Rumanian markings looks particularly nice... Jean-Luc
AUG 13, 2007 - 06:48 PM
Hi Jean-Luc I agree - but, if I do build this for our VVS Campaign, I won't be able to use them. I'll probably go for "White 1" with the blue fin and mystery slogan. All the best Rowan
AUG 13, 2007 - 06:56 PM
I have never built, or even purchased one of the numerous I-16s. I always thought they looked kinda cool though. So should I break down, buy one, and clear all my other ongoing projects to build one?
AUG 14, 2007 - 05:55 AM
Hi Carl They're great little kits - I thoroughly enjoyed building the original Type 10 release: All the best Rowan
AUG 14, 2007 - 09:55 AM
Great review Rowan and I do like a couple of those camo schemes. Now do I risk the wrath of the Beloved and go and buy one, after I promised her I wouldn't buy any for a while . Andy
AUG 14, 2007 - 11:42 PM
Maybe next trip to the LHS.
AUG 14, 2007 - 11:46 PM
Great review, Rowan. I agree with Jean-Luc, that Romanian scheme looks awesome. QQ... why, in '42, were the Soviets still using a twin blade prop? Forgive my limited knowledge on the subject, but surely if they had changed to a 3 bladed variable pitch prop or even turbo-prop (were these around then?) they would have got the performance bonus they were looking for instead of making the aircraft lighter by removing half the armament? Thanks again for a great review of a snappy looking lil' plane Rudi
AUG 15, 2007 - 12:02 AM
Hi Rudi I think the simple answer is that the I-16 had really reached the limits of its design potential. It was already hamstrung by critically short range - hence the fitting of external fuel tanks at last on the Type 29 - and a larger, thirstier engine would only have compounded the problem, along with all the redesign work needed to cope with shifting the weight of gravity etc. There was actually an attempt to produce a totally new aircraft developed from the I-16. The I-180 featured a similar rear fuselage and wing, but a completely new front fuselage for a twin-row M-88 radial engine with a 3-bladed propeller. The aircraft was basically a killer; the first prototype crashed on its maiden flight and despite some further development, it was deemed far too dangerous to ever go into service. An improved new design - the I-185 - followed and showed definite potential, but Polikarpov had fallen from favour with the Soviet authorities following his behaviour at the time of the I-180 crash and the I-185 never went into production. All the best Rowan
AUG 18, 2007 - 02:42 AM

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