Polikarpov R-1 review

Matt Bittner (meba@cso.com)
Wed, 15 Nov 1995 12:28:47 -0500

Just got the Model Russia Polikarpov R-1, and wanted to give my first
impressions on it. As you might or might not know, the R-1 is a
Russian built DH9/DH4. My example cost $7.95.

Overall, the model is decent. Plastic is a little soft, and there is
still "globs" of mold release, so washing is definitely in order.

Instructions are - well - on a piece of paper. It has an "exploded"
parts view and how everything *should* fit together, but that's it.
The instructions are all in Russian. Not a problem, unless you plan
on using the kit decals.

Kit decals are - well - decals. Although I'll reserve judgement
until I try one on a scrap of plastic, I would rather find the Blue
Rider mag and use their decals.

Wings are done relatively well. Some flash will have to be removed -
which includes adding the scallops on the trailing edge. Besides
thinning the trailing edges, the wings are relatively in scale for
this aircraft. The company just molded them practically in one
thickness. A major shortcoming, though, is that the undersides of
the wings don't have any rib detail. A shame, really, since the tops
have very realistic rib detail. Another plus with the wings is that
the ailerons are "cut" on the one joint. So, instead of the
perpendicular-to-the-wing aileron joint being "flashed" over, it's
actually cut through. The aileron hinge line - at least on the upper
surfaces - will need to be refined. My suggestion: cut them out and
reposition them.

Tail surfaces, though a little heavy, are well done. Rib detail
exists on both surfaces and - get this - the control surfaces are
separate moldings! Hey Hasegawa, are you listening? Too bad the
ailerons weren't separate.

Struts are better than I expected. With experience with the Russian
manufacture Griorovich M.5, I was expecting blobs of plastic for
struts. Not so. Airfoil cross section, and the tips taper! I also
consider them thin enough for use.

Fuselage is nice. Some of the raised details seem suspect, but I'll
have to check references. The "leather coaming" around the cockpit
is a nice touch. No interior molded-in detail. Cockpit consists of
a floor, seat and "instrument panel" (stretching the old imagination,
here :-)).

Other smaller details are useable, but I would replace the seat, and
the machine guns. Although probable of Russian manufacture (again, I
must check references), I would replace them with some other
alternatives (Aeroclub, Rosemont, etc.). It appears to be one Lewis
and one Vickers.

Recommendation: until I'm able to check it against references, I'll
have to say "only at your own risk". I don't have 1/72nd plans, but
I do have published dimensions, so I'll check against those (if
someone has 1/72nd plans, let me know - Blue Rider?). Taking it as a
plastic kit, and whether it will build into an R-1, I would say "it
looks like one".

Plusses: separate tail control surfaces, upper rib detail, struts,
two wings!, price.

Minuses: lack of lower wing rib detail, lack of a "real" cockpit,
lack of "decent" decals, poor instruction sheet.

You may be asking yourself why I decided to review this on the WW1
list. Well, I plan on taking it home, and spec'ing it out against
DH9 and DH4 plans, as well as comparing it to the Airfix DH4 and Blue
Rider DH9 conversion. I'm wondering if one can use this kit and make
a "real" WW1 airplane out of it - although that's not what I plan!


Matthew Bittner WW1 Modeler, ecto subscriber, semi-new dad,
meba@cso.com PowerBuilder developer; Omaha, Nebraska
Disclaimer: opinions expressed by me are my responsibility only.

"some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don't
they?" - the Scarecrow in Wizard of Oz