Model No. 49001
Scale – 1:48
MSRP – €41.50/ $55.75US
In 1929, Poland saw the emergence of it first fighter aircraft; the PLZ P.1. PZL (Państwowe Zakłady Lotnicze – State Aviation Works), only just created in 1928, was awarded the prize to design a contemporary fighter for the Polish Air Force; soon after the creation of the P.1 would arrive.
The P.1 monoplane prototype had a unique gull-wing design. This new wing design allowed the pilot more visibility and great handling capabilities. The airframe and cladding of this plane was made up from Duralumin which was the light weight, structurally sound aluminum composition used throughout the early 20th century in airship and plane construction. Powered by a Hispano-Suiza 12 Lb V12 engine which was water-cooled and produced 630hp and judging from the recorded data of the P.1/II, the P.1’s predecessor, the prototype would have had top speed around 180mph.
Soon upgraded with modifications shortly after trials, subsequent models off of the P.1 design began to emerge throughout the 1930’s until September 1st, 1939 with the German attack on Poland and the outset of the Second World War.
PZL P.1 – The Kit
Arma Hobby provides us with the PLZ P.1 multimedia model kit in 1:48 scale. This full resin and photo etch kit comes packaged in a sturdy flip-top box with all the parts separated into individualized Ziploc-type baggies and securely protected within a bubble-wrap surrounding. This kit contains the following parts:
- 38 – Light Grey Colored Resin Cast Parts
- 1 – Clear Acetate Film
- 2 – Decal Sheets
- 1 – Photo Etch Sheet
- 1 – 4-page Instruction Booklet
I found the parts are neatly separated into small groupings…more for packing purposes rather than assembly categorization; the wings being the only parts left un-bagged in the kit. Looking at the wings first I found these to be incredibly detailed. The corrugation feature to the cladding of the wing is perfectly cast pieces; wing sections detailed very well, top and bottom. The wing support arm mounts are cast directly onto the lower section of the wings and the flaps are cast as separate allowing for choice of positioning. There is only one minor criticism which would be the gate attachments to the cast blocks. There are 19 attachment points to each wing. This will make for a fair amount of sanding to smooth out these points; however, they are placed in such a way that the casting attachments do not cross any of the panel lines on the leading edge of the wings.
The vertical stabilizer, rudder, ailerons, stabilizers as well as the elevators, are all cast in the same clean and crisp manner. The corrugation to the surface is perfect with no visible flash or air bubbles.
The bulk of the fuselage is made up form four main parts. The nose section of the aircraft is one solid cast showing nicely recessed panel lines, intake ports and indentations for attachments of the exhaust piped. There is no engine included with this kit as the engine would not be seen due to the nose cone making a smooth transition directly to the engine cowling. There is a rather large cast block attached to this part but with careful sawing and/or sanding cleanup should be quick.
The main part of the fuselage, which houses the cockpit to the plane is cast hollow allowing for the finely cast interior relief detailing showing the internal ribbing. The cowl is cast in a separate piece as well as the rear cowling for the fuselage leading back to the vertical stabilizer.
The cockpit to the P.1 is made up from mostly photo etch parts including the cage, seat, controls and instrument panel. The stick and foot controls are cast in resin. There is a small sheet of clear acetate included in this kit. On this sheet, there is the gauges for the instrument panel and a small windscreen which when installed will be bent slightly and a small photo etch frame will be attached to the outside.
There are four wing supports which get attached to the underside of the wings to the fuselage. Other exterior detailing included is the two cooling radiators which get mounted to the underside of the plane and stabilizer supports.
The landing gear on this plane is fixed supports with one wheel for each of the supports. The wheels a finely cast with detailing on the inside and out. There are twelve exhaust pipes made from resin that will need to be installed at the front of the aircraft. There are six mounting rings for the intakes that are constructed from photo etch and finally the nose cone and propeller blades that are installed in the final stages of the construction.
The four-page instruction booklet provides a black and white, exploded view format. The diagrams and labeling of the parts is decently presented and easy to follow. There is no mention of a painting schedule to the interior of the aircraft. This was most likely a white or crème coloring to the interior skin of the craft and an aluminum finish to the interior framing, seat frame and cockpit cage. The seat itself might have been wood slats or aluminum finished. I think either option would be a fine choice. The decals provided for this set are printed very cleanly and look to be of excellent quality. The instructions allow for the only configuration there was for this single aircraft. All of the decal marking are in red and should offset nicely with the gloss white paint scheme called for in the instructions. There is some masking and painting of a matching red color required. This is defined adequately in the instructions; however, there is no suggestion of a color match to the red coloring of the decals.
The PLZ P.1 from Arma Hobby is a very well-built and cast multimedia model kit. The subject matter is unique and inviting. The high quality of detailing has been aided through the use of 3D modelling to acquire the molds to cast the model. The detailing id abundant and crisp and judging from the care and precision to manufacturing the kit and a few test mock-ups, the parts should fit extremely well.
I realize the $55.00US price tag on this aircraft kit may seem a bit high, but after seeing the engineering and quality of the kit and the fact is a full multimedia kit, I will have to say that it is acceptable.
The decals provided with the kit will surly aid in applying a seamless exterior design to the aircraft; however the matching of the particular red will need to be overcome to finalize the exterior finishing. This is a low part count kit and should prove to be a fun project for any fan of aircraft modelling, especially of unique prototype crafts.
A little care will be needed in removing the many cast blocks attached to various past as to not remove the existing surface details. A little experience with resin kits and some patients may be required to build this kit into a fantastic looking static display.
MSC would like to thank Arma Hobby for a copy of this review sample.