Amodel 1/72 Kocherigin Di-6
Kocherigin was a Soviet aircraft design bureau that started up around 1934. One of its first designs was the Di-6 biplane fighter, a stubby two-place design. The Di-6 was of mixed construction and was powered by a copy of the Wright R1820 Cyclone radial engine. An innovation for the time, the Di-6 also incorporated retractable landing gear. During the production run around 200 were built. In 1939, the Di-6 was thrown into combat against the Japanese during the Manchurian conflict. Kocherigin went on to produce other planes, but in 1942 the bureau was disbanded.
Amodel is a fairly new Ukrainian model company, and they have put out some really unique kits in their small product line. From the aerobatic Su-26M to the Di-6, there’s a great deal of variety. But all this variety means nothing if the kits themselves aren’t any good. Luckily, Amodel seems to have quality listed high on their priority list. While this kit is a short-run injection kit, the quality is quite good. There is some flash, and the parts will need to be cleaned up some, but the surface detailing is crisp and finely done.
The Di-6 kit is broken down into left and right fuselage halves, with both wings being one-piece units. Starting with the interior, the kit provides a cockpit floor, rear bulkhead, two seats, an instrument panel, and a control stick. There is no sidewall detail provided, and it probably wouldn’t be too visible anyway. But for those who want to add detail, a side view drawing is provided in the instructions showing the layout of the fuselage stringers. Using that drawing and some stretched sprue, adding in the stringers shouldn’t take too much work.
The engine is a decent example of the Cyclone copy used in the Di-6, with separate parts for the exhaust collector ring and crankcase cover. The cowling is made up of five parts, with a solid front part and four quarters for the rear part. The cowl flaps are molded thinner than the rest of the cowling, which is a nice touch.
The lower wing fits into the fuselage, and the upper wing fillets are provided as a separate piece. The engineering and fit here is remarkably good. While it will most likely need some putty to smooth everything together, with careful dryfitting the amount of putty needed will be minimal. The wing struts and cabane struts are engineered very well, too, with the struts fitting into recessed holes in the wing and fuselage. After doing a little bit of filing on the strut end, I was able to get them to fit into the recesses perfectly, resulting in a beautiful joint. Some careful thought went into setting this up, and it shows.
The weakest point in the kit would have to be the landing gear. While the struts are to a nice scale thickness, the doors are not. I think the doors are about as thin as the molding process Amodel uses can get, though, so there really isn’t anything they could do about it. Luckily there isn’t any detail on the doors, so it will be a simple matter to sand them down to a more proper thickness.
The decals are another weak point, but not for lack of trying. The stars are provided in red, with the black outline provided separately. While this eliminates any registration problems, it does make for a tricky application. Also, the black outlines feature some thin lines that tend to disappear. It might be wise to ink over them to solidify the lines. Other than that, the decals look to be quite good, as they feel very thin and have a matte finish. Three options are provided, all being finished in green over light blue.
When this kit showed up on my desk, I was at a loss as to what it was. This seems to be Amodel’s goal in making kits, and I am pleased with the results. Now that I know what a Kocherigin Di-6 looks like, I feel confident that I will be able to build a very good replica of the plane from this kit. While it isn’t a good kit to start someone out in this hobby, its construction shouldn’t trouble anyone who’s built an old Airfix or Frog kit.
1/32 Scale Guide $18.00
1/48 Scale Guide $25.00
1/72 Scale Guide $25.00
HH-43 Huskie Color
Reference Guide $15.00
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