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John Healy
155 articles

1/48 I-153 “Chaika”

March 15, 2016 · in Aviation · · 24 · 3.3K

This is the brand new kit. What fun this one was! This is probably the most fool-proof biplane I've ever built. The parts are molded very nicely, it fits extremely well, has enough detail to make it look busy, and it looks like a "Chaika" when finished. Apparently, it has a few shortcomings when it comes accuracy according to a Russian gentleman who really knows his stuff on this plane over on Hyperscale. Nothing to kill the fun though! I built it out of the box adding only a scratch built throttle, seatbelts that I modified from some RAF items, and rigging from stainless steel wire. I painted it Tamiya TS-17 Silver Leaf overall, masked and sprayed the metal areas Humbrol #147 which is a match for Soviet ae9 gray. I then added Humbrol #151 US interior green squiggles and mottling. This color is a pretty good match for Soviet AII green. This camo was added in the field over silver doped and gray a/c at the start of hostilities in the far east with Japan and the GPW in the European USSR. I used the kit's decals and they worked very well. This particular plane served with the 70th IAP against the Japanese at Khalhin-Gol in August, 1939. I have nothing but praise for this kit!

Reader reactions:
7  Awesome

8 additional images. Click to enlarge.

24 responses

  1. Very nice. 🙂 I'm tempted myself.

  2. Nicely finished and photographed, sir. As much as I hate anything with two wings and rigging, this one looks "doable". 🙂

  3. Nice job and subject matter.

  4. AWESOME! Another subject from outta left field AND in 1/48! Sign me up! I loved flying this in Il-2! ( I think one flies in New Zealand with an I-16 in real life.) Looks similar in construction (and parts count) to a William's Bros. Gee Bee. Anything fiddly to watch out for during construction?

    • it assembled very smoothly. I had a small gap at the right wing root that took a tiny bit of Tamiya putty. I hit some other seams with Mr. Surfacer and had them cleaned up in minutes. The cowling is a multi-part affair that you need to plan how to paint and assemble, depending on the scheme you choose. In the end, I masked the cowling face louvers from the inside and temporarily taped the part to the engine front and sprayed the green. This was to avoid green overspray on the engine detail. I hand painted thetiny exhausts after the main painting was done.

  5. Very nice John !. You have really made an otherwise blah scheme come alive by simply doing a good job. I will bet this looks extra nice on a diorama. Well done / I like it a lot !

  6. I just love the era when the modern features like retractable landing gear was fused with old school fabric covering Nice one.

  7. These Russian aircraft always give a lot of scope for interesting finishes.

  8. This looks great, and you obviously enjoyed building it, what more can we ask for?

  9. Nicely done John. Where does one find stainless steel wire, and at what size diameter?

    • Thanks, Tom. I purchased a life time supply from Small Parts in Florida some time ago. I used .008 on this one. The wires are flat RAF style on the real plane, but in this scale I think round is just fine. Albion Alloys also makes wire like this.

  10. Very nice - finished well! I don't see how those poor pilots could see anything out of that monster, except what was descending on them from above!

    • Thanks, Greg. If you envision yourself in the cockpit, it probably was a fairly good field of vision in the air. Takeoffs and landings must've been tricky though.

  11. Looks really nice-job well done

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