More Polikarpov Art

I’m still not finished working on the new room, but I should be in a few more days. In the interim, I’ll write down a little bit about my latest build: A winter-equipped (skis instead of wheels) Polikarpov I-16, in 1/72 scale. The kit started out as the Hasegawa Finnish Air Force I-16, but I really didn’t like the colors or the markings on that one, so I did some poking around to try to find something different. Specifically, I wanted to find a scheme–that I could hand-paint, and use the decals I had on-hand–for an I-16 with skis. It took a lot of poking around and searching, but I eventually ended up with about a half-dozen candidates. From those, I decided on one I found over on a site called "Modeling the Aircraft of the Soviet VVS 1917-1950". As luck would have it, it’s also the only one I found with a reference photo–albeit it was of a wrecked aircraft.
On that site, I couldn’t really find a lot of information about the aircraft in question, other than it was flown during the winter of 1940-1941. Apparently, there were a couple more photos, but I couldn’t find them online. Basically, the unit flying these aircraft (at least, in these colors) was unknown and therefore the pilots were also unknown. All we really know is that they were I-16 Type 10’s, flown in those colors. Alright. It’s enough to go on to complete a model.
So, with no modeling workspace to speak of, and only a week to complete, I started building. Specifically, I started building it late at night, on the living room floor, while watching a live feed of "Big Brother" on Showtime 2. At least it wasn’t overly distracting. For the painting, I moved on to hand-painting it at the breakfast bar in the kitchen.
The build was very straightforward. Thanks to the use of Tamiya Extra-Thin Cement, I didn’t need to do any seam-filling. Just sanding some join-points. The only complicated part of the build were the ski landing gear. Lots of little pieces that didn’t want to line up. I snapped a piece in half, but it’s well-hidden in the final build. Construction was finished somewhere around a Thursday–after starting it three days previous. Once it was assembled I noticed that I didn’t have the skis aligned with one another. As a result, it sat a little bit crooked. Noticeably so. And with no time to fix it, I decided to "hide" this error by displaying it on a round mirror as a base. This worked surprisingly well.
From there, it was on to painting. This resulted in a last-minute run to the hobby store, as the glossy white didn’t lay right, but the flat white did. After that, I just painted it pretty-well as you see it in the reference pictures. The only discrepancy was where the black ended unerneath the fuselage. The profile picture shows it extending back to the rear of the wings, whereas the black and white picture seems to suggest that it ends almost directly behind the wheel well. I opted to follow the photograph.
The decals were interesting, as they were pulled from several different sources, but they ultimately match the profile picture, with the exception of the number. My build is #2, whereas the profile is #12. As the other photograph (which I haven’t seen) also shows aircraft numbers 3, 6, and 9; I think I’m probably okay with my 2.
It’s already been through one contest (took 1st in its category), and I’ll probably put it through the regional contest in May. Between now and then, I’ll need to do some touching up. And I’ll try to get some pictures up. Until then, at least I’ve written down what I did so far.

NOTE: I’ve taken the precaution of temporarily disabling comments on blog entries or photos. This is in response to something happening elsewhere across the "interweb". Not that I’ve had a lot of comments, anyways, but the ones I’ve had are deeply appreciated (I’m looking at you two, kchusker and bratty). If (and it’s a great big "if") you want to comment on a blog entry, send me a message–which you can do straight through my li’l ol’ Space here–and I’ll modify the blog entry to include it. Thanks.

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