1:72 RWD-8 PWS review

IBG Models 72501

If you are interested solely in scale aircrafts, it is quite possible that you newer heard of IBG Models. It's because so far that Polish manufacturer was focused exclusively on releasing miniatures of ground vehicles, both in 1:72 and 1:35 scales. Despite the airplane clearly visible in the logo, there was no such theme present in the IBG catalogue. However, this evident contrast was dismissed just recently, with the newest kits released by manufacturer in questioning- RWD-8 airplanes, PWS and DWL versions, both in 1:72 scale. Is it a successful debut? Well, let's see.

RWD, PWS, DWL?

But first- a bit of history. RWD-8 was a Polish trainer aircraft designed by famous Rogalski-Wigura-Drzewiecki design bureau. Famous? Surely- their constructions won Challenge in 1932 and 1934. Also- you may heard about a small RWD-5 airplane which fly across the Atlantic in 1933, piloted by Stanisław Skarżyński.

But let not get sidetracked. RWD-8 was a construction developed in response to the contest for new military trainer. And it won. Produced from 1934 to the beginning of the World War 2, also for civilian market, was the most numerous aircraft manufactured in Poland in that time. Military version, built in PWS factory, was slightly different from its civilian counterpart, produced by DWL workshops. However, some aircrafts manufactured by PWS were also used by civilians, aeroclubs etc. There were couple of different modifications along the line of production, but the two main types were as mentioned before: PWS and DWL.

In 1939, when Germans invaded Poland starting the World War 2, RWD-8s were still in use. In the harsh war reality, these trainers were used for liaison and reconnaissance flights. Yes, without any armament. Even some civil RWDs were mobilized in the time of need. The sad thing is that not even one of those aircrafts survived to our times.

1:72 So Far

Quite important piece of Polish aviation history, isn't it? Certainly one worth of a fair representation in scale. However, so far we have only one injection-moulded kit available in 1:72, released in the eighties by now non-existent PZW Siedlce. Repacked a lot by different manufacturers over the past years, was for sure ready for retiring.

Enter The IBG

One of the new kits, catalogue number 72501, give us opportunity to build a PWS version of RWD-8 (simultaneously there was also released second kit, cat. no. 72502, with civilian DWL type). The box, with typical IBG graphic layout and fairly nice illustration, is a nice, sturdy, top-opening one. Some may say that it's clearly to big but hey, it's one of IBG's standard sizes and also- really, who cares?

Inside- two grey sprues with main elements, one small transparent one, decal sheet and instruction.

In Details

First sprue contains fuselage halves accompanied by some details typical for PWS version. In the second packaging (RWD-8 DWL), the fuselage pieces are replaced with ones typical for civilian version.

Parts are quite nice, clearly moulded with a bunch of details. External surface of rudder however looks kind of disappointing- like a nod to the old PZW Siedlce kit. Also, internal structure is a little bit heavy.

Small, attached sprue with details typical for military version. Cutting out the landing gear part will obviously require some extra attention, but in return you don't need to worry about struts' geometry. Nice.

Second sprue contains wings molded as a single part and assortment of details.

Wings has nicely highlighted ribs. To heavy? Well, a bit of sandpaper can quickly solve this non-issue. Unfortunately control surfaces doesn't make the same good impression as the rest of the wing- they looks just like the rudder mentioned earlier.

Bottom of the wings has ribs mildly highlighted (which may be not visible at the photo, sorry) and a couple of surface details. Looks like there won't be much fuss with positioning of the struts. The same complains as for other control surfaces apply to horizontal stabilizers with elevators.

Lets look at the rest of details. Short struts are moulded with cables- clearly a nod to more inexperienced modellers. Seats- little thick, but in the standard of 1:72. Front of the cowling has a faint hint of an engine inside.

Transparencies. Not so thick as you could expect, but could be a little more smooth.

Decals

Decals. Nicely printed, contains markings for one civilian aircraft. Yes, you read it right- civilian. Not the military RWD with white "26" from the boxart. Instead- green, SP-BHX with "Katowice" name. Rather surprising discrepancy, and to be honest- kinda funny too.

Instrument panel for front cockpit is also printed as a decal, as well as other exterior-mounted indicators, and even the ones dedicated to the second cockpit. The latter may be a bit tricky to use, because in the model there is no cross beam to which they were mounted in reality. But it's of course nice that they were added, if someone would like to improve the interior a bit.

Nitpicking

So far, it's look like a "pretty nice little kit". But is it a good miniature? Does it look like reduced RWD-8? Well... sort of. Don't get me wrong- overall it is a pretty good miniature, spoiled however with some unfortunate shortcomings of the wing part. No, the wrong slant of the wings (about 1,5 degree), or too few of the ribs visible aren't the real problems in my opinion. Those are pretty minor things, unnoticeable in the finished model. I see however other, rather significant flaws.

First- the ailerons ends between the ribs, which looks oddly even if you don't know a bit about RWD-8, but have seen some airlpanes in your life. Second complaint is a bit worse. One of the characteristics of RWD wing was the difference in wedge angle between wings and centerwing- just look at any photo showing the aircraft from the front. Sadly, in the model, that is not present. The wing leading age is a straight line, without characteristic breaks around the centerwing. Finally, the wings are to thin. Really. RWD-8s had a really thick profile. Again, check out some photos of the real thing, it looks almost ridiculous.

That's the main problems with plastic parts in terms of accuracy, but there is one thing I would like to mention here. Decals. There is more to complain about them, beside the fact, that they are not for the box-art machine.

Well, SP-BHX was a RWD-8a. Which means that this airplane had an extra fuel tank in centerwing (which was therefore slightly thicker, check the above photo). So if you want to use the box markings, you need to modify a bit the wing part and find a little white "a" to stick on the rudder at the end of RWD-8 name.

Conclusion

Is it a nice kit? In my opinion- yes. Flawless? Certainly not. Some flops in terms of accuracy are really disappointing, but still- it's IBG's first airplane model kit. I really hope the next will be better and I certainly looking forward to them (in the meantime building some RWD-8s). So what's next, IBG?

Credits

Additional archival photos, used to illustrate this review, come from the following sources.

  • from Narodowe Archiwum Cyfrowe (Polish National Digital Archives): source
  • from Narodowe Archiwum Cyfrowe (Polish National Digital Archives): source

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