by: HG Barnes [ ]
The RWD 8 was designed in response to a Polish Air Force requirement in 1931 for a basic trainer aircraft. It was designed by the RWD team of Stanisław Rogalski, Stanisław Wigura and Jerzy Drzewiecki. The first prototype (registration SP-AKL), was flown in early 1933. It won the contest for the new Polish military trainer, against the PZL-5bis and Bartel BM-4h biplanes. It was considered a very stable and well-handling aircraft.
A great number of RWD 8s were bombed by the Germans in air bases (unlike Polish combat aircraft) or burned by withdrawing Poles. A total of 57 aircraft were withdrawn to Romania, about 40 to Latvia and 2 to Hungary. Only some dozen aircraft were captured by the Germans in airworthy condition. In Romania and Hungary they were used until the late 1940s. None returned to Poland after the war, and today, none have survived.
This was an immensely fun model build and add a personal touch to. While no kit is perfect, it's if you can correct the issues with relative ease and not be at a point where you want to throw it at a wall. IBG MODELS give you a pleasurable build and a neat looking model with this 1/72 scale RWD-8 PWS. If you want a "MOJO" restorer then get this kit! It's worth noting that you can also build the Polish version of this aircraft, named after the city of KATOWICE, with the proper parts and decals included yet not noted in the instructions. A link to the In-Box Review is at the bottom.
The first thing I do after reading the instructions thoroughly is collect any reference photos then go through the parts and decide what I'm going to modify and what I'm not going to.
The Propeller and cap are a simple job to cut and then sand to look more realistic. The kit part was way to thick. Next I cleaned up what could be and to prepare for Stynylrez primer. I don't normally leave parts on the sprue trees but this is a 1/72 and touch-ups needed to be done anyway. There are very few photos of The Cockpit but what I could find showed some simple additions to the controls that could be seen and would add dimension to an otherwise boring interior. The Throttle control was added after seeing a snapshot of a flight simulator image. I used 502 oils for the black wash after painting the frame flat aluminum and the walls and floor Tamiya royal light grey. The peddles are fine shaved plastic and the rest is stretched sprue. The seat belts are strips of inexpensive "Washi" tape but you can use painted Tamiya tape as well.
The only place that required filler and sanding is the bottom so I began with polystyrene filler then finished with 3M bondo. It only needs a small section filled and is a testament to IBG MODELS' quality.
The closest color I had on hand was True-color paint TCP-1401 olive drab 2. It's slightly darker than the brown "Polish Khaki" but close enough. It has a nice semi-gloss finish and sands well if needed. Tamiya yellow and royal light grey were used for the rest. Titanium silver was used for the engine area to give it a warm aged look.
Decals went down ok but I had to run my riveter wheel over a few places and brush more Micro Sol to remove the silvering and bubbles. This was despite my very careful placement and application using Micro SET and SOL. They looked awful in the beginning but the more they dried the better they looked. There is a definite difference between the ones on the sky blue card (Model Maker Decals) and the baby blue card (TECHMOD). The MMD product does silver and some of the outside detail is washed out. But this is a very minor issue and easily resolved. I'm pointing this out to prepare you for what to expect. I can't comment on the TECHMOD ones since I only used the instrument gauges. A modest coat of semi-gloss varnish was sprayed to protect the paint and decals.
Next I moved on to do some external improvements. I added what looks like a grab handle to the underside from copper wire because it's shown in the photos and the instructions. Then I drilled out the exhaust pipe and added a few bits of spare PE for the cockpit. The pilot's instrument panel was made from a piece of PE because filling and sanding would have been too difficult to get at. This will be added later. The rigging was a cinch to do with stretchy thread. I use Crystal String because each thread is a bundle that can be carefully separated to make a finer gauge. The lines you see are only 25% of the thread's thickness and I could have made them even finer. I used a micro-drill to make my holes and hollowed out a piece of sprue for the guide tubes.
IBG instruct you to add wing braces next, but this was problematic! There was no way a proper alignment was going to be easy. After repeated test-fitting I found adding the undercarriage before the wing assembly gave me a solid level platform to add the braces. It was easy to rest the wing on the center supports then place the main braces. Then the inner supports popped into place like a dream.
All that remained was the tail stabilizers supports, sand a flat spot on the tires, attach the windscreens using MicroScale Kristal Klear and lastly touch-up the paint. Please scroll down to the end of the article to see the final reveal.
Like I said before, this was a blast to build, paint and admire. And while it may get some weathering later I think it looks nice as-is with the bit of dry-brushing done. I did put a few drops of panel line wash on the engine area after I took the photos. You can have this kit completely done in week with minimal effort and have something really cool to put on your shelf. I would happily do many more of these!
Very special thanks to Jim Starkweather for sending me this unexpected gem and to IBG MODELS for sending the sample for these reviews.
When you're shopping for this kit please mention you saw a build review on KitMaker Network AEROSCALE. Thanks and enjoy your hobby.
Click here for additional images for this review.