ICM 1/72 Polikarpov Po-2/U-2
KIT #: 72241
PRICE: $14.99 SRP
DECALS: Four options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken


The Polikarpov Po-2 (also U-2) served as a general-purpose Soviet biplane, nicknamed Kukuruznik (Russian: Кукурузник, from Russian "kukuruza" (кукуруза) for maize; thus, 'maize duster' or 'crop duster'), NATO reporting name "Mule". The reliable, uncomplicated as well as a low-cost ground attack, aerial reconnaissance, psychological warfare and liaison aircraft during war, proving to be one of the most versatile light combat types to be built in USSR. It is the second most produced aircraft, and the most produced biplane, in the history of aviation. More than 40,000 Po-2s were built between 1928 and 1953. It remained in production for a longer period of time than any other Soviet-era aircraft.


The molding on this kit is actually very well done. I found a few ejector pin marks on the inside of the fuselage, but those will be pretty much invisible when the kit is complete. Cockpit detailing is very nice and quite parts intensive. Each of the two seats is constructed of six separate pieces and tehre are not only instrument panels, but also detail on the side wall. There is a control stick and rudder pedals for the front seat, so unless it was normal not to have rear seat controls, this one cannot be done as a standard trainer.

The engine is also a little kit in and of itself with nicely detailed cylinders and separate exhaust. THe forward section of the aircraft is also a separate construct and the engine mates onto that. One can build the aircraft either on wheels or skis as both are included.

Underwing bomb racks and bombs are also in the kit. For the racks to fit, the one piece wing needs to have dimples carefully drilled into the lower part. There are indicators as to where these racks fit. Each rack includes anti-sway braces and there are four four-piece bombs that can be attached if you wish. The aircraft also comes with a rear machine gun and a simple mount, though I am curious as to how the rear seat man is supposed to fire it as his seat is fixed forward.

Instructions are well drawn on basically one side of a sheet of paper. The other side has a front and side view to help with rigging. Color information with Model Master paints is provided as well. All aircraft are in overall green to start with an underside of light blue. The box art option with all the slogans on it adds tan and black to the upper surface shades. Another similarly schemed plane but with a Polish emblem on the nose is the second option. A third option is one in a rough winter wash and this is one that is on skis. Finally, one with just black camo bis is provided as a night bomber from mid 1943.

The decals are nicely printed and quite matte, something that some modelers really like. I have used ICM decals before and they are quite opaque.

Though the kit is quite parts intensive, careful construction will result in a superb looking model for your collection. It has a variety of interesting markings and will reward one's care.


November 2012

Thanks to Squadron Products  for the preview kit. You can find this kit at your favorite hobby shop or on-line retailer.

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

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