I-16 Type 10 Nomohan, 1939

 The I-16 is one of those odd early war pieces of equipment that stayed in use long after it should have been withdrawn from front line service.  The I-16 was actually a fairly prolific fighter before and during WW2, being used by the USSR, China, Finland, Spain (both sides), Poland, Mongolia and Romania.  Even Germany and Japan operated captured I-16s.  Besides its history, the I-16 has distinct lines that give it a very particular character.
The Kit
Eduard offers several variants of the I-16 in 1/48 scale.  This kit was the I-16 Type 10 Over Spain Dual Combo which came with a small photo etch fret.

There was very little not to like about this kit.  Eduard kits have gotten better and better over the years and this kit is no exception.  The level of detail, molding and value-added extras they offer set them far ahead of most of the bigger model companies in my mind. 

I built the kit out of the box, but to be honest I can’t see where aftermarket bits would have improved the kit.  This kit came with a small photo etch fret, which I used just because it was there.  I will probably leave it off the second kit that came with this combo though, except for maybe the seat belts.  Very little can be seen in the cramped cockpit (even after opening the side door) and the wheel covers are nice, but not really that much nicer than the plastic kit parts.

The surface detail is excellent, especially the fabric control surfaces.  There are many other nice details like the exhaust stacks with hollowed out ends and nicely detailed wheel wells.
The photo etch fret consists mostly of cockpit detail parts, but like I mentioned earlier, so little of this can be seen once the fuselage halves are mated you could leave the parts off and the kit won’t suffer.  It is nice to know it’s there but if you wanted a nice weekend build you will still have a top drawer kit.
I painted this I-16 in markings found on an I-16 photographed during the Battle of Khalkin Gol in Mongolia in 1939.  The upper surfaces are a combination of Tamiya XF-58 Olive Green and XF-13 J.A. Green.  The under surfaces are a mixture of XF-19 Sky Grey and XF-20 Medium Grey.  The Soviet stars, fuselage and wing stripes are masked.  The tail number is hand painted with Vallejo acrylics.  No decals on this kit.
The weathering is a simple wash with black artist oils followed by a judicious dry brushing to bring out the details.  I also added some oil streaks on the under surfaces with black oils.

The only non-box part I added was the landing gear retracting cables.  I used a small length of fine EZ Line for this.

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