Pavla's 1/72 Borovkov-Florov I-207/3
By Matt Bittner
In 1935, two designers from the State Aviation Factory No.21, at Gor'ky, began work on a new high-speed biplane fighter design. A. Borovkov and I. Florov drew heavily on their experience working in the I-16 program, producing the 'Prototype No.7211' aircraft. The No.7211 was sleek biplane with fully cantilever wings, the upper plane supported by four well-streamlined struts. The engine, forward cowling, and propeller were taken directly from the I-16 lines at the Factory. Further development led to the refined I-207 prototype of 1939. Over the next two years, five more I-207s were completed at Factory No.207; these powered by the M-62 and M-63 radials. Though performance has quite impressive for a biplane fighter, the I-207's handling was not laudable, and the type was not accepted for manufacture, all testing coming to a halt with the German invasion.
The Pavla kit of the I-207/3 consists of 22 injected molded pieces, 2 vacuformed windscreens and 6 pieces of resin. The resin takes care of the forward cowl, the cowl shutters in front of the engine, instrument panel, cockpit flooring and two wonderfully molded FAB-250 bombs. Decals are for two schemes - the first example of the I-207/3 finished in overall light gray and the I-207/3 when it was used as a test bed for dive-bombing.
Since the Pavla kit specifically builds into the third prototype, it's unknown what changes are needed to build it into the first two prototype machines.
The injected pieces are a typical Czech molding being very nice with a little flash. The resin pieces really make this piece shine and are very well molded. Since there isn't a lot to neither this kit - nor the real aircraft - assembly should be a breeze. However, keep in mind it is a biplane so if you're not used to building them you will need a little extra time. Regardless, since there are no interplane struts, attaching the upper wing shouldn't be too difficult if you approach the center struts with caution.
This is a nicely molded kit and since the cockpit opening was so small, a quick build without requiring a lot of extra cockpit detail. It will definitely make a conversation piece with its short stubby appearance and lack of interplane struts.