Polikarpov I-152

The Polikarpov I-152, also known as the I-15 bis, was essentially an improved version of the original design, the I-15. The principle differences were the long cord engine cowling which housed a more powerful engine and the upper wing which unlike the strutless gull wing of the I-15 was a traditional straight wing supported by traditional struts and wire. While it was intended to be an improved version, in the process it gained about 300 Kgs over the I-15, so the extra horse power provided brought little in the way of improvement in performance. In fact it was actually inferior in most respects to the I-15 in regards to rate of climb, top speed, maneuverability. It did carry two additional machine guns. Russia used the type in large numbers during the Mongolian incident against Japan and again during the Winter War with Finland. Finland captured several of these and later used them against the Russians during the Continuation War. The type was still in first line service with the V.V.S. at the time of Barbarossa in the ground attack role. The I-152 served in substantial numbers with the Chinese Air Force. It was also supplied to the Spanish Republican Air Force during that countries Civil War. It soldiered on with Spain into the 1950's as a trainer

The Kit

The Classic Airframes kit comes in the standard CA top open two part box made from rather flimsy cardboard with a nice rendition of the aircraft on the box top. Inside there is one bag with two sprues of injection molded plastic, a bag with resin parts and a photoetch fret and the the clear parts which are vacuformed. The injection molded parts are molded in a light gray color. The parts have a smooth but satin finish. The parts have a light amount of flash and I found no surface irregularities or ejector pin marks that will show on the completed model. The fabric areas are very lightly rendered and well done. The control surfaces are all fixed. The metal areas of the aircraft have recessed panel lines and fastener detail and the panel lines are fine and consistent. The wings and tail surfaces are all one piece which makes assembly rather straight forward although the lower wings and tail surfaces could use some reinforcement as they are only butt joints. The tires are not weighted and there is no engine included which is not a big deal, due to the design it couldn't be seen anyway. Altogether there are 43 parts in gray. See photos below.

The kit also contains some resin parts, these consist of cockpit side walls, floor, pilots seat with harness and belts molded in, instrument panel, stick, rudder pedals and gun breeches. The parts are crisply molded and feature some fine detail but the casting blocks on the cockpit sides maybe be a chore to remove with out doing damage to the parts. I found no short shots or other defects on the parts in my kit. Not show are two resin skis, according to the instructions they are only included in kit # 455 but they were included in my kit which is 454. Altogether there are 12 resin parts (14 if you include the skis). See below.

The clear part(s) are vacuformed and reasonably clear, Two each of two different styles are provided. Both will need to be drilled for the telescopic gun sight. See below.

Also included in the kit are the louvers for the engine cooling provided as photoetch. These stack one on top of the other to provide a three dimensional effect. See below

The decals provide markings for no fewer than nine aircraft, one Chinese, two Spanish, one Russian and five with captured Finnish aircraft. the decals are thin, well registered and glossy as one would expect from Microscale. See below.

The instructions are one A4 sheet folded in half and printed on both sides forming four pages. The first has history and specifications, the second a parts map, icon and color chart and the cockpit assembly instructions. The other two pages are assembly drawings. The painting and marking instructions are on two smaller sheets folded in half and one with a center insert.

After Market Goodies

I'm not aware of any for this kit.


This is another typical short run kit were all the caveats apply, test fit, test fit, then test fit again. With that drill and some previous limited run kit experience you should have little trouble with this kit. It does have fit issues with the interior so be prepared to spend a lot of time filing and fitting there. It should build into a real jewel of an important Russian aircraft.

Links to kit build or reviews

A build / review and be found here and another inbox review here.


Soviet Air Force Fighter Colors 1941 - 1945 by Erik Pilawskii

Back to the Russians are Coming

Updated 3/2/09