Arma Hobby 1/48 PZL P.11c
The PZL P.11c was a development of its predecessor the P.11a. Some of the upgrades included a lowered engine, raised pilot seat for increased visibility, the addition of 2 more wing-mounted machine guns, a longer streamlined fairing behind the pilot's head and a redesigned fin.
Arma Hobby's new PZL kit comes in a side opening box with a slide-out cardboard tray containing a single injection molded sprue of 63 parts, an injection molded clear windscreen, a photo-etch fret containing 25 parts plus a large decal sheet.
The surface detail on the wings and fuselage consists of recessed panel lines and raised rivets where applicable and this detail is superb. The wings and control surfaces come in for high praise with very fine raised ribs that have to be seen to be believed. The fuselage interior has very fine stringers and ribs that will come up nicely with the aid of an oil wash and selective dry brushing. The parts are free of flash and the sink marks are minimal and in places where they can be easily filled.
The cockpit is a highly detailed, multi-piece "office" with numerous PE parts (seat harness, throttle quadrant, venturi tube front, the instrument panel face, etc.). The end result is convincingly busy and impressive. The Bristol Mercury radial engine just needs a set of ignition wires to wrap things up. It really looks great. The windscreen is tiny and the kit includes a set of rice paper masks to speed up the painting stage. The wheels are weighted and they include separate brake drums.
The decals are printed by Techmod. They feature bright colors and they are crisply printed and in-register. It includes options for 3 Polish and 1 Romanian aircraft:
"Silver 4", PZL P.11c, No. 8.139, P/O Tadeus Sawicz, 114 Fighter Squadron, September 1939. This plane was Dark Polish Khaki with the lower wings and horizontal stabilizers in Polish Light Blue Grey. The annular exhaust ring was a metallic brown/bronze and the propeller blades were dark Grey.
"Silver 2", PZL P.11c, No. 8.144, P/O Waclaw Lapkowski, 112 Fighter Squadron, September 1939. This plane was also Dark Polish Khaki with the lower wings and horizontal stabilizers in Polish Light Blue Grey.
"White 3", PZL P.11c, No. 8.138, Pursuit Brigade, September 1939. This plane was painted in experimental 2 color camouflage of Dark Polish Khaki and Interior Green (FS 34151) with the lower wings and horizontal stabilizers in Polish Light Blue Grey.
"White 323", PZL P.11c, No. 8.139, Aviation Office School, Cǎlǎraşi, Romania, September 1939. This is P/O Tadeus Sawicz's plane after its evacuation to Romania. It was repainted in the camouflage colors Light Polish Khaki and Dark Green with the lower wings, fuselage and horizontal stabilizers in Sky Blue. The spinner, cowl, lower wing tips and fuselage band were Yellow. The annular exhaust ring was a metallic brown/bronze and the propeller blades were dark Grey.
The instructions are commensurate with the overall kit quality. The instructions include a parts map, a well illustrated and logical build sequence and full color profiles of all 4 decal options. The color call outs include Federal Standard (FS) numbers when available and matches for AK Interactive, AMMO, Hataka, Humbrol, Tamiya and Vallejo paints. It's a nice touch to have approximate color matches for so many paint brands.
I love this kit. It is accurate, highly detailed and a nice departure from all of the P-51, Spitfire and Bf109 kits on the market. If you want a great kit of the first Allied plane to shoot down an Axis aircraft, Arma Hobby delivers the goods. I recommend this kit and I would like to thank Arma Hobby for the review sample.