Polikarpov Po-2 1/48 ICM-Eduard, post-war civil version

  • 21 posts
  • Last reply 1 day ago
Viewing 1 - 15 of 21 posts
  • Csaba said 1 week, 4 days ago:

    I believe most of you know this type, and needs no introduction. Most kits show the famous night bomber version, or a somewhat more special version built for carrying wounded soldiers.

    However, the type was used for decades after a war in various roles. In my native Hungary the type was used after the war to rebuild both military and commercial flying. The military used these aging biplanes as basic trainers and practicing parachute jumps (after covering some of the external control cables). Both Soviet (Po-2) and Polish made (CSS-13) planes were delivered. The CSS-13 had a few modifications compared to the original design, one of the most obvious is on the wings – the new Frise ailerons. The old KP 1/72 Po-2 is actually more like a CSS-13 – just to be aware of this for your next build, but I believe everyone is getting the new 1/72 ICM kit anyway.

    The 3-seater passenger version was used for domestic taxi flying, and sometimes even on scheduled flights when the usual Li-2 (a.k.a. the soviet-made DC-3) was not fully booked. Later these 3-seater passenger planes were converted to crop dusters, and served as test platform for getting experience with agricultural flying.
    The type was already obsolete during the war, so no wonder that the Hungarian air force started handing over its planes to flying clubs already in 1954. Shortly afterwards, all former military Po-2s were flying as glider tow planes.

    In 1957 the occupying Soviet forces gave a scrapped Po-2 to the Hungarians (what a nice gesture, a free, scrap Po-2 in 1957). The plane was completely restored, converted to a glider tug, and got a funky yellow-red color scheme. Unfortunately HA-PAX had a short career, the plane crashed and burned down completely in 1959 after an accident.

    I have built a few Polikarpovs before, all in 1:72 scale. I bought the 1:48 Eduard (ex-Gavia) kit long time ago, took a quick look and forgot about the whole kit for years. A few years ago I started the project, but quickly realized the problems with the kit. The most obvious is the joint of the top wing parts. The connection is very weak, and the designers got the whole structure completely wrong. It is not a big issue when you hide it under a multi-colored camo, but the tow planes in Hungary had very interesting schemes. Most of them had either red-white stripes or another scheme, following the wing´s internal structure. These schemes simply would not fit on Gavia´s wrongly designed wing.
    2020 was a challenging year for everyone, also for me. I needed something for this year to help through these difficult times, and I decided to buy a new Po-2 kit, this time from ICM. I have two kits in my stash, but both in 1:72 scale, and I think this scheme would look better on a larger model. The quarter scale ICM kit is very nice, but I plan to reuse some of the Eduard/Gavia profipack components, and also the new photoetch set from Eduard, designed for the ICM kit. The kit is a night bomber version, so one of the main mods is to get rid of that bombsight hole on the wing. It was not used on trainers or civilian planes. Otherwise it looks like a simple build, with a few photoetched parts and rigging.

    I plan to paint all markings, but the final decision will be made after making a few trials with cutting my own masks. I already created a high-tech color paint guide by printing out drawings from an old Hungarian publication (AeroHistoria 1987/2 from the Arcanum Digitheca service) , and color it with my daugthers pencils. 🙂
    Schedule? Finish it in 2021. 🙂

    3 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  • Erik Gjørup said 1 week, 4 days ago:

    Splendid choice Csaba. I shall be strapped in to follow this build!

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 1 week, 4 days ago:

    Splendid choice indeed, Csaba!
    Count me in, too!

  • Tom Cleaver said 1 week, 4 days ago:

    This can make up into a really nice result. I’ll be interested in seeing what happens here.

  • John vd Biggelaar said 1 week, 4 days ago:

    Very interesting, Csaba.
    I’m close to start my first bi-plane so I will for sure follow this thread.

  • Csaba said 1 week, 3 days ago:

    Let´s take a look at HA-PAX

    I am waiting for a set of drawings from Mushroom Model Publications (and some free time… I have two small kids, I tell you it is not easy). In the meanwhile, let´s take a look at the actual plane I want to build.
    There are only a few photos available online, mostly on Avia-Info , a collection of all planes with Hungarian registration, and on Kasza archive, a personal collection of Jozsef Kasza. I also included a few photos from Winkler archive, these have been shared on online forums by the owner.
    These two photos show HA-PAX towing a glider prototype of Erno Rubik. The name Rubik might sound familiar to you – he was a very successful aviation engineer, and his son created the famous Rubik´s cube in the 1980s.

    Other towing, this time the underside is also visible. It will be useful when I try to scale and align the registration on the bottom wings.

    From behind. Unfortunately, there are no good quality photos of the left side of the plane. The wings had a wood-covered section on both sides, next to the fuselage. On some planes, the left side part was twice as wide as the right side, and I believe it might have been the same on this plane.

    The photo with the best quality shows the right side of the plane. The nose section before the firewall seems to be black (a common practice), the registration letters are most probably also black. The national colours (red-white-green) on the rudder are relatively narrow. Wing struts are also black.

    I am not sure if this plane is the HA-PAX, but most probably it is. The visible part of the pattern on the top wing matches the other photos, and the placement, size and style of the visible part of registration are also very similar to the known data. Note that the undercarriage seems to be also painted black.

  • Csaba said 1 week, 3 days ago:

    Other Hungarian Po-2s

    A rare colour photo. It shows the most common scheme, the original military-style blue-green camouflage is still there, but three sections of the high visibility stripes are already on, together with the civilian registration.

    Another former military plane, on this the whole upper wing got the stripes. Note the covered elevator control and the platform for the parachute jumper. Sometimes these planes were also used by parachuters, but I believe it was not the most economical way of training them, one-by-one.

    HA-PAO – this Polish-built CSS-13 is still flying near Budapest.

    HA-POB. A former passenger plane. Note the stretched fuselage, the engine is ca. 50cm moved towards the front, and some of the wing struts are also different from the usual Po-2. Later it was converted to crop-duster.

    HA-POE, another passenger plane, converted to crop-duster.

    HA-PAT, also converted to parachute jumper. Full stripes, and a glider tow hook on the tail.

  • Greg Kittinger said 1 week, 3 days ago:

    Looking forward to this – looks like a really cool build!

  • John vd Biggelaar said 1 week, 3 days ago:

    Very nice and rare reference material to work with Csaba.

  • Walt B said 1 week, 2 days ago:

    Biplanes scare me due to rigging, but this one looks like you have some fun markings options for an interesting build.

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 1 week, 2 days ago:

    Great reference material indeed!

  • Csaba said 1 week, 1 day ago:

    I took a closer look at the parts. I still believe it will be a relatively easy build, but I have to address a few issues.
    I might use the Gavia/Eduard engine instead of ICM. The cooling fins are just way better, even though the cylinders look a bit wider than needed.
    The elevator needs a bit of a rework too. HA-PAX had a different looking elevator, not the simple unbalanced, early type. It is not a big change, luckily I will be able to use the old Gavia/Eduard parts if needed.
    The lower wings will get some Evergreen update. Unfortunately, ICM decided to model a bomber version, with no parts to reproduce the wooden section at the wing roots.
    The upper wings need a few extra panel lines, but that´s all.
    I have to do a dry fit to verify the dimensions. I have noticed that there are quite significant differences between the Gavia/Eduard and ICM parts, especially at the fuselage. So far I think ICM is closer to the real plane, but I have to measure it first.

    I have found an excellent English article about HA-PAO, the last Hungarian Po-2 in flying condition. Take a look, the article has great photos, and it is well written (way better than my English 🙂 )

    6 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  • John vd Biggelaar said 1 week, 1 day ago:

    You are doing some important preperation, Csaba.
    Meaning that this build will be a great one with realistic outcome.

  • Erik Gjørup said 1 week, 1 day ago:

    Proper pre-build planning prevents poor performance 😀

  • Csaba said 1 week ago:

    Well, I did a quick dry fit to see the differences between the old Gavia and new ICM kits. It is always interesting to see the same type made by two different manufacturers, side by side. The grey plastic is ICM.
    Based on my current set of drawings (btw those are also quite different) and the photos, ICM might be closer to reality, but not perfect. However, I am definitely not going to do anything about this.

    2 attached images. Click to enlarge.

Viewing 1 - 15 of 21 posts