AZ Model’s 1/72 IK-3: It Is What It Is

The IK-3 is finished. I suppose if you really want an IK-3, you’ll like this kit. While there are some other options on the market, none are from major manufacturers, and all will have their warts- as this kit does. The general fit of the major parts isn’t too bad- the halves line up, basically. But seam filling is required on everything that is joined. Getting the landing gear struts in place is a nightmare, and the instructions take a typical Eastern European short run approach- “Here is diagram. Place parts approximately here.” It works, but the path to victory is not making it line up as the instructions show (because it won’t work), but rather in making it fit as the parts and shapes dictate.

And while I certainly didn’t mind finishing it in a non-standard camouflage per the customer’s request, I do think it loses something by not being presented in the actual colors used on the aircraft.

In the end, it looks decent, and close enough to the real thing that, apart from the colors,  only an expert in the IK-3 would notice. (All three of them, worldwide…)

This kit convinced me that I probably need to avoid jobs of this type, in this scale, for commission builds. The canvas that is there to work with is just too rough to produce a result that can fall within anything resembling reasonable pricing. It was a lesson in perhaps finding where the “no thanks, I probably shouldn’t tackle this one” boundary is. It’s not that the kit is hard, but the intersection of what I can reasonably expect a customer to pay versus the time and cost it really takes to produce a good result is too far apart.

It is a cool looking little airplane, and I wish there was at least an injection molded kit of about the same quality in 1/48 scale. The extra size would make the use of the spares box a bit more practical, and adding detail would be a much more successful exercise.

So it is what it is.

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