Airwaves 1/48th I-16 Type 29 Conversion for the Hobbycraft/Academy I-16
By Ira Campbell
Manufacturer: E.D. Models, Solihul, England [Tel.
I have before me a test shot of the new resin conversion set by Airwaves, designed to convert the "generic" I-16 by Hobbycraft/Academy into an I-16 Type 29, the last variant produced. The set comprises 22 yellow resin parts: two cowls (early or late production), two cowl air baffles, exhaust stubs, detailed landing gear doors, engine mounting plate, prop spinner, and a new wing center section/lower fuselage. Flash is minimal, found mostly in the cowl cutouts and wheel well window, and easily cleaned up with a hobby knife. Detail work is very nicely done and will make a definite difference in the finished model. Test fitting of the major parts reveals an excellent fit with the kit parts. Assembly looks to be straightforward, but there is some surgery required on the part of the modeler. If the modeler chooses to build the airplane with closed cowl air baffles (and leave out the engine), a plastic disc will be needed to attach the new exhaust stubs to. The lower wing halves must be cut from the center section on the kit part. The cut is made inboard of the wing separation line. I would recommend taping the upper wing halves to the lower, and test fitting to the resin center section, and trimming down as needed for a perfect fit. Note that the cut is stepped, to accommodate the kit ailerons. And, finally, remember that the landing gear was retracted by wire, so the wires must be added by the modeler. There are dimples in the wheel wells to show where to drill out the openings. Speaking of wheel wells, there is a rectangular opening in the starboard wheel well. This was a window. The modeler must either glaze the window or block it off. Just one more detail to show the amount of research that went into producing this fine conversion set. A complete review of this conversion is upcoming.