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ik-3_cover.jpg (26370 bytes)Classic Resin Airframes 1/48 ROGOZARSKI IK-3

By Will Riepl

 

 

The story of the IK-3 is a difficult one to tell, simply because there is so little out there on it. An indigenous design of Yugoslavia, the IK-3 featured a mixed construction of metal and fabric, resembling to a great degree in both design and construction the Hawker Hurricane. The wide-track landing gear, fabric rear fuselage, and aft-sliding canopy all are similar in appearance to the Hurricane. Powered by a Hispano-Suiza engine, the IK-3 first flew in May 1938. small_ik-3.jpg (9315 bytes)Performance was very good, leading the Yugoslavian government to make an order for several IK-3s to fit out two fighter squadrons.

In April 1941 the IK-3s were thrown into combat against the Germans, fighting hard against huge odds. The IK-3 did quite well for itself, shooting down 11 enemy aircraft. But the German Luftwaffe was too large, and the remaining IK-3s were destroyed at the Veliki Radnichi airstrip to prevent them from falling into enemy hands.

ik-3_finished-2.jpg (16173 bytes)This short life span of the IK-3, plus the fact that all were destroyed, makes building a model of one a challenge, as there are very few pictures out there. How Classic Resin Airframes was able to gather enough information to make a kit, I’ll never know, but they did, and here it is.

The Kit

This is the second all resin kit I have built. The first was the Czechmaster Resin AM-1 Mauler in 1/72. While that kit was superb, it was in the wrong scale for me. So when this kit came up, I thought I’d give it a try. While it is not as well detailed as the Mauler was, it is still quite good in overall quality. The kit is entirely resin, with a vacuformed canopy. After building the Mauler, I had some previous experience in working with a kit of this type, so I jumped right into it.

The Fuselage

ik-3_rudder-plugs.jpg (13868 bytes)The first part was to remove the resin plugs off of the rear tail of the fuselage halves. This plug is quite large and it will take some time and care to trim it down. One benefit of this, though, is that when you are done you will have a very nice and thin trailing edge on the rudder. As with all resin kits, be sure to wear a mask, as the resin dust is not good to breathe in. Once I got the plugs ground down, I moved to the interior. This is pretty basic, and there is probably room for improvement, but since there were only 65 of these planes made, and none survived the war, I have no idea what could be added where. Besides, with the small canopy, not much could be seen anyway. The interior colors are subject to speculation, as again there isn’t any sources on this subject. I painted my interior with Testors Acryl RLM66, then detailed the instrument panel with black and white paint. I added the seat, put on some seat belts, and then test-fitted everything in the fuselage. Sure enough, when both fuselage halves are together, you can’t see hardly anything inside there, so the detailing present is more than adequate.

Before I glued the fuselage halves together, I turned to the tail again and drilled holes for the stabilizers to match plastic rod pegs that I added to the kit parts. This helps greatly in maintaining alignment when you’re gluing the parts together. Once I had those drilled I glued the interior in place and started with gluing the fuselage together. When I did the Mauler, I glued the fuselage bit by bit, and I did the same ik-3_paint-1.jpg (16490 bytes)thing here. Starting at the nose, I glued a small stretch, making sure everything was aligned properly. Using superglue makes this a solid joint and you can move quickly along the fuselage. By doing it in stretches, you can make sure that the entire fuselage lines up on the joints, reducing the amount of sanding and filler needed later. Ending with gluing the rudder, I then set that aside and turned to the wings.

The Wings and Tailplanes

The wing was a single piece, which made getting the dihedral right super easy. All I had to worry about was getting it aligned with the fuselage. The fit was really good, ik-3_paint-2.jpg (16315 bytes)with only a little bit of light sanding around the front of the wing where it comes in contact with the air intake being needed. Careful test fitting resulted in a near perfect fit, with only a little bit of putty needed at the back end. The stabilizers came next. As I mentioned earlier, I added styrene rod pegs to the stabilizers. This made alignment a snap. The fit of the stabilizers was spot on, and nothing other than a light swipe of sandpaper was needed to finish those off. A quick bath to remove all the sanding residue and the kit was ready for some paint.

Painting and Decalling

I painted a light gray primer on the kit to see if there were any flaws in the finish that I missed. After a thorough ik-3_paint-3.jpg (12976 bytes)inspection, it was time to start throwing some color on this plane. The instructions say that the plane was camouflaged in Dark Green (FS34079), Dark Earth (FS30118), and Light Blue (FS36473). Normally I would paint the lightest color first, and move down to the darkest, but since I wanted a nice demarcation between the undersurface and upper surface, I started with the green. I grabbed the closest bottle of Dark Green, which happened to be an Aeromaster Acrylic, and sprayed it all over the upper surfaces. I then put the Dark Earth on, spraying the camouflage freehand, using the instructions as a guide. Once that was done, I was struck by how much this plane looks like a Hawker Hurricane! The final step was to put the blue undersides on, then sprayed a coat of Future on. After that was done, I set it aside for a couple of days to dry, then turned to the decals.

There aren’t many decals for this plane, basically just a couple of roundels for the wings, numbers for the fuselage, and some tail markings. The decals included are very thin and conform well. With the dark camouflage, I was worried that the white of the roundel and tail flag would be translucent, but they turned out to be quite opaque. Once all the decals were on, I painted on an acrylic flat, then weathered it lightly with an oil paint wash, using black and burnt umber.

ik-3_prop.jpg (8192 bytes)Finishing Touches

Coming down the home stretch, I started getting all the little bits and pieces together. I looked at the few photos I have of the IK-3 and the kit prop looked too small. So I rooted through the spares box until I found something that looked the right size. I’m not entirely sure what it’s from (my spares box isn’t labeled, sorry), but I think it’s from a Revell Spitfire. The landing gear is pretty well done, and some light cleanup was all that was needed there. All that was left was to glue the wheels on, cut the canopy out and attach it in place and it’s done.

Conclusion

This is a great introduction to resin kits. The construction was simple and the subject matterik-3_finished-1.jpg (21809 bytes) interesting. The resemblance to the Hawker Hurricane and Yak-1 is very pronounced, and I like how people do a double take when they first look at it. I wish that there was some more written about this plane, but since none of them survived the war, all that we have to go on is secondhand information. Classic Resin Airframes did a good job on this kit, and I can recommend it to anyone who wants to try their hand at a resin kit.

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