TS-11 Iskra in 1/72 scale: kit modelling report of the Arma Hobby kit
The Polish aircraft manufacturer PZL-Mielec developed a jet trainer in the 1950s. The first flight was February 1960. The first production TS-11 Iskra "Bis a" model was completed in 1963 and it went into production. (It did try to win the Warsaw Pact trainer selection but the other countries choose the Aero L-29 Delfin). The Iskra never got a "NATO code name".
Later versions of the TS-11 had an improved WSK SO-3 engine. Some aircraft were fitted with a 23 mm machine gun and some some pylons. The "bis C" was a single seat reconnaissance aircraft and the "R" a more usual two seat reconnaissance aircraft. The Polish aerobatic team "Rombik" and later "Bialo Czerwone Iskry (White and Red Sparks)" used the type. Some 76 were also exported to India with first delivery in 1975 for the IAF and some 424 Iskra's were manufactured until 1987. In 2013 two dozen Iskra's were still apparantly used by the Polish Air Force.
Arma Hobby from Poland released a first 1/72 scale kit in 2015. First was a "De Luxe" kit with etched metal, resin seats, paint mask and several decals and schemes.
A simple "junior" kit release was #70004 from 2016 for a "bis DF" which is a reconnaisance version that could carry cameras and armament. This kit does not have the etched metal nor resin parts but still the very nice plastic parts and one decal option for a bare metal Polish AF scheme. This kit was made but with a different scheme.
This is a well engineered kit and builds up into a small neat model with about 50 plastic parts. The panel lines are a bit deep at some places. The cockpit is well detailed with plenty of detail and ejection seats are also nice.
The kit instructions are nicely done and clear with detail paints indicated as well. The fit of the kit is good but do not forget to sand off a bit plastic on the bulkhead #12 as indicated in the instructions.
In the nose you will need to add some weight and I made a nose gear bay box from thin card. The wing assembly also needs a bit sanding of the lower parts #05 + 06. I also removed the locator pins on parts #07 + 08.
The kit offers also the option to install a small (detachable) camera fairing #25 and gun #22. I only installed the gun.
Model assembly was quick and the model got first a base grey of Revell acrylic aqua 75 steingrau airbrushed.
Here it is seen that some panel lines are a bit deep. I opted to make a camouflaged Iskra and the camouflage scheme will hide these a bit.
A ModelMaker decalset was used as guidance for the scheme, the decals were simply used from the kit but a diffent aircraft number.
The colours needed a bit guessing: looking at photos I opted for these acrylic paints: the light grey areas Gunze Sangyo H308 "light ghost grey" (also on the lower surfaces), the upper dark grey Gunze H56 and the dark green Gunze 330 (about BSC641).
Masking was done as needed though most was free hand airbrushed to get soft demarcations.
The cockpit interior was painted light grey. Some instrument panels and consoles were set in the cockpit made from tape.
The few air frame decals were set on. To ensure a gloss undercoat I simply "dragged each decal through" a bit of Johnson Future gloss before setting them in place. The later style Polish roundels were set in place. Be sure to set them in the correct angle. (I think the ModelMaker drawing on the tail shows them incorrect).
After that the landing gears were fitted as well as the smaller antennas. A semi-matt varnish coat applied with the airbrush with the usual technique.
Some seat straps from painted tape were added to the fine seats before installing these.
The canopy can be set open or closed, it fits better when sanding a bit the edges of the canopy #X1. I set it open and added a few actuator rods at the rear. Also a pair of mirrors was added inside the front cockpit frame.
That completed a nice TS-11 Iskra "bis DF" in 1/72 scale.
For info about the Polish air force , look on the MiG-29 page here....
TS-11 bis DF, Baza Lotnictwa Szkolnego Deblin, Poland
(Note the anti-flutter weights on the horizontal stabilizers)
- Air international magazine: Vol.16, pages 126 - 130 (incl. cutaway drawing)
- Fine Scale Modeller magazine: January 2017.
- WIKIPEDIA: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PZL_TS-11_Iskra
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Created this page April 9, 2019