Jump to content
The Great LSM Twins Group Build ends July 3, 2024 ×

IBG PZL P-11c modified to P11/IV prototype. Reigniting the building process ...

Recommended Posts

:)Well, now that Ernie's build is nearing the end, now comes my time to "keep the flame burning" ;)

I have always liked the puny little Polish fighter, the brainchild of the gifted Zygmund Pulawski, one of the great aero-engineers of the between-the-wars era. When Silver Wings released their resin kit of it, I of course got it, but, like so many other boxes, it stayed nested in the stash ... Then came the annoucement that IBG was going to release a 1/32 kit injection-molded kit of the P-11c :wub: !

And of course, I had to get it, the compulsion growing as I saw the first pics and the fist test-shot build. Fantastic !

When it became available, I decided to go for the Premium edition box. In it, on top of the standard kit, you get a nice resin pilot by Bitzkrieg, the Master brass gun barrels and venturi, and an extra decal sheet to reproduce a (slightly) more colourful aircraft, with a top-wing white "lightning". With hindsight, the extra cost is probably not that justified, as you can get the extra parts separately. It is up to you to decide if you want the extra cost for the unique decal sheet ...

In my case, it may prove not such a wise investment, as I am after producing something different with this kit. I make no secret that I largely prefer non-camoed aircrafts, preferably civilians, but colourful yellow- or silver-winged aircrafts can be a good second choice, in my preferred Golden Age era.

The P-11c was not camoed : it was for most of its career covered in even more boring khaki, a blander version - if that is possible - of British WWI PC-10 :( . Not for me !

When I bought the SW resin kit, it was because I thought I could model it as HA-NBN, a PZL that was flown to Hungary at the beginning of the war, and interned there, and subsequently used for training and tug-gliding in a colourful crimson and yellow trim. So my initial plan for the IBG kit was all traced : I would finish it as the Hungerian PZL. Only then did I discover that the original aircraft was not a P11c, but rather a P11a. They look the same, but are in fact very different, the P11c being an almost all-new airframe (a bit like the F-18E vs the F-18C). Compared to the P11a, the "c" had a thinner wing, a lower (by 10 cms) engine thrust line, a longer fuselage by 30 cms,  with the difference split both ahead and aft of the wing, with the cockpit further aft, and finally a different fin and rudder. Backdating the kit to an "a" version, without losing the fine surface detail, or reproducing the fin and rudder with the same surface detail as the kit's one was not undoable, but still too much of a challenge for my liking !

So exit HA-NBN ! But that is not enough to let me go for a khaki bird :icon_eek: ! I finally found that the P11c prototype, dubbed P11/IV, sported an interesting livery when exposed at the 1934 Paris Air Show : white with a red trim. It was presented with wheel spats, which made it look even more "racy". Apart from that, it was very much like the production versions, with wing and fuselage guns, the same cockpit, etc....

Hereafter are two pics of the time, plus a color profile I found in my old "Plany Modelarskie #91" of the late 70s. The color profile is wrong, in that it shows a silver aircraft with red trim, when all other information point to the fact hat the P11/IV sported the Polish national colors, i.e. red and white.




So now, I could get to work :) !

Next post will show the work on the big difference : the spats !


  • Like 6
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have started buidling the kit, and done some initial assemblies like the engine and part of the cokpit. More of that later, but Ernie has shown to a good advantage what you will get.

The key challenge for my plan is producing the wheel spats. I had to find credible drawings. It also seems that, like the P-24 exposed at the same show, which you can see on the forefront of one the pics above, the LG struts were faired with the spats with a somewhat complex, organic, shape. Later in the life of the P-24, this was simplified with no fairing, for instance on the Turkish P-24s.

I found on-line a copy of a Polish book on the P-24. In it were many pics of the initial spats and strut fairing. My working assumption was that the P11/IV had the same, so I used the drawings from the P-24 to develop the spats for my P-11 prototype.

The basic shape was drawn on thick (1.5 mm) plastic card, four times, cut and laminated. Herefater you can see the left basic shape, with the finished right spat.

i-5Rcw495-338x450.jpg i-K8XkXmp-338x450.jpg

It was then just a matter of taking out the center of the spat, to finish with the cavity that will house the wheel. This was done with a burr, then a snadpaper drum, in the motor tool.


When you have the basic shape, you need to add the covers. Here they are, with the core of the spat, cut in 0.4 mm plastic card. The finished right spat is to show the end result.


The outside cover could be removed, and had a number of screws or fasteners for that . This is reproduced using a divider, and a beading tool:


I also need to have a kinf of fairing to accomodate the wheel central nut. This was done using a forming cube and round head, and pressing the cover in-between


The inside of the spat need a clearing cut for the brake drum. A hole was cut in the inside cover, file with sandpaper around an exacto handle, a notch fir the barke arm cut, et voilà ! Here the left spat in progess, with the finished right spat next to it. And with the wheel in position ...

i-j3KDkqJ-338x450.jpg i-XtWtcpF-338x450.jpg


And the outsisde ...



Next is the fairing of the strut with the spat. It a fairly complex shape. I have done the right one, and will show in a later psot how I do the symmetrci left one. The basic idea is to laminete 4 parts in 2mm thick plastic card, and shape it by sadning and carving. As long as I was not sure I could do it properly, I wanted the LG strut to be separate, in case I messed it up and to revert to another plan.I therefore let a hollow in the layered sheest pf plastic to insert the strut.

Viwed from the side in contact with the spat fairing ...


... and from the strut side ...


And more importantly, mocked up (not glued) with the LG strut and the spat :

i-C5vsvPT-338x450.jpg i-9Q8rxzd-338x450.jpg

I still need to smooth and blend everything, adding filler, etc ... but you get the idea :)




  • Like 11
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Administrators

Hubert, we both may need to check references, because on the P-11 instruction sheet, the little nubbie on the brake drum is shown facing downwards, not up.  I went on faith that the instructions were correct, but maybe they're not?

Now I'm goping to study it as well..  LOL

But so far, this looks stellar, and I think I might just follow your lead on this one,  Just stunning work so far.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Clunkmeister said:

Hubert, we both may need to check references, because on the P-11 instruction sheet, the little nubbie on the brake drum is shown facing downwards, not up.  I went on faith that the instructions were correct, but maybe they're not?

Now I'm goping to study it as well..  LOL

But so far, this looks stellar, and I think I might just follow your lead on this one,  Just stunning work so far.

Good point, Ernie : in fairness, I did not read the instructions that far (who need instructions anyway ;) ? ) and they clearly show the stub pointing downwards :wallbash:!

Now, I assumed they could not be on the bottom, because this is were you have the attachment point for the landing wire. The Kagero book I have with a detailed walkaround of the Krakow PZL P11c show that the brake cables were running inside the rear, angled, LG strut (there is a pic of the brake cable pulley at the top, near the fuselage attachment point), but does not show where they end wheel-side, knowing that the wheel of the surviving P11c is not the original one.

Having watched at the pics in the Kagero book, I would venture that the stub (assuming it represents the brake actuating lever) is not on the top, like I have done, nor on the bottom, like kitted by IBG. If you look at the wheel from the inside towards the outside, the lever seems to be at about 8 o'clock, just at the extremety of the rear angled LG strut, where the cable would logically exit. You cannot have it in this position with the IBG wheel, as it is aligned with the rectangular slot that serves as an "axle" to the wing-to-strut connection.

For me, it won't matter as it will be hidden by the fairing, wether it is up or down. I'd rather have it on the top, where it helps me get the proper alignement for the wheel, and I have enough plastic there, rather than on the lower part of the spat cover, where I would end up with a very thin bit of plastic.



  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Beautiful work on the wheel covers, they indeed enhance the racy appearance of the PZL. I do understand your interest into the Strutter and aerofoiled brass struts, as the plastic ones do look a little fragile, but rigidness could maybe enhanced by fishing line wires too.
Seeing your build first mentioned, I was hoping for a silver bird, but the pictures clearly indicate white, not bad either.

Cheers Rob

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Not forgotten, still lying on the bench :unsure:

I am of a frame of mind that usually puts modelling AFTER all other considerations, unfortunately ... With a business at - 45 / - 50 % since mid-March, thanks to the Covid-19 economic slump, my mind has not been much into modelling for a few weeks ... It will come back, one day, I’m sure...



  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Soon, Peter, soon ;) . Now that I think I have secured the future of my business for the next 12 to 18 months, I should have a freer mind to allow me to sit at the bench ...


  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...

Well, I'm back at it, after an incredibly long hiatus (during which I got a new house finished, moved and settled into it, reset the workbench, and focused on weathering-out the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on my business ... so I was busy, sort of, but not on the modelling scene).

So back at it in earnest :) . I have to say the kit is beautiful, with a level of detail that suits my super-detailing syndrome ... but, in fairness I find it unbelievably fiddly sometimes, with vague instructions when it comes to where the (small) parts go exactly, tiny - well even tinier than that :( - gluing points, where faith is sometimes stronger than anything else to ensure a proper gluing, and the use of tiny PE parts to be folded and glued onto plastic, my definite nemesis ...

1) The wheel spats.

The key of this build is to convert it the 1934 Paris Air Show prototype, with wheel spats. Until I was sure I could do those, I was going for a reversible procedure to produce the fairing that wraps around the lower LG legs, where they meet the spats themeselves. Problem is this entalied many trails and errors, and cutout in a middle of a laminated plastic pat, which itself needed some reshaping - at least that's how I felt about it, knowing my references are base on some blurry pics of the P-24 spats.

So, I took the plunge and went for a permament mod. No turning back !. The legs are set at a 40° angle to the spats. I shaved 1/2 mm of their end at the wing level; checking I kept the angle correct, than glued a 0.5 mm piece of card cut in the wanted shape for the fairing. Once the joint was fully cured, I built up the shape using Milliput, then filed and sanded the rough to obatin a smooth shape.

Sorry, I have not documented the whole process, but that's the end result :


And with the finished spats :



The main hurdle in this conversion is overcome B) !

2) The cockpit

IBG's rendition is beautiful, but this is also where the "fiddliness" hits home ...

For instance the seat is built using some folded PE frames. But there is no indication of the proper angle between the pan and the back rest, no indication of the angle at which the the lower part that sports the trim-wheel whould be glued to the pan, no proper location points of where the PE frame shoudl be glue to the back-rest and the pan :raincloud: ! You have been warned ! FYI, the seat attaches to the cockpit frame at 2 faintly marked locations, by the axle of the trim-wheel at the bottom, and the end of a plastic tubular part at the top of the backrest. After a few unsuccessfull attempts, the light came to my blurred brain : use a template. So, the distance between the two gluing points on the cockpit frame is 12 mm. After I drilled two holes 12 mm apart in a piece of spare plastic card, I could at last assemble the seat in a way that it will later fit the cockpit !

This is how it looks when in place (and just after that it became unglued - which proved to be a blessing for some additional detailing, to see below) :


On this pic, you can also see two more details which needed rework : the control column and the rudder pedals.

The rudder pedal is one-piece affair that attaches to the cockpit frame by the same tiny, imprecise gluing points.

Needless to say it came loose more than once :wallbash:. When the time to pack everything for the house-move came, the rudder pedal part was clipped in the a "third-hand" crocodile-clip, upside down, while I tried to have it stick at the proper angle to the lower transverse frame of the cokpit which I had cut off for an easier gluing of the rudder pedals to it.

Last thing I know they are probably still somewhere in the cavernous hold of the moving truck. They are definitely MIA on my bench ! So I had to redo them from scratch using as a reference the drawings from my old "Plany Modlearskie" issue on the P-11. Again, no in-progress pics, but this is how the new rudder bar looks when n place :


The control stick attaches to a tiny two-part PE frame that needs to be folded twice at opposite abgles, then attached to small imprecise blobs on the main cockpit frame, whilst in the same time being glued to a bar that passes below the seat. It is an excellent scale representation of the original layout, but it is a bit ... fiddly (did I mention that I find the kit fiddly at times ? ).

Anyway, the folded parts did nor resist the numerous fitting manipulations, as, on top of it, I chose to redo the control bar with a brass rod that was rounder and more rigid than the molded plastic part. So I dedid the articulation part using some brass strip cut from the sides of the kit-supplied PE sheet. The four holes are not really regularly drilled-out compared to the original part, but ir will not be visible anyway in the finished cockpit.

I decided to position the levators in the "full down" position, and set the control stick full forward in consequence. I have also added a small PE part that I scratched to represent the attachment point for the gun control cables (here are two guns but three cables - I do not know what the use of the third cable was). The control cables themselves are 0.3 mm lead wires, inserted in tiny 0.5 mm tubes, glued together, and attached at the extremity of the scratched brass piece on the control stick. (And this from the same guy who is complaining about the fiddliness of the IBG details :wtf:!)


And attached to the control stick:


Whilst we are talking of my contradictions, let's talk about the pump on the right side of the cockpit. I am not sure if this a priming pump or some kind of hydraulic or tank pressurising pump, more likely the latter ? Anyway it is represented by IBG with the hand shaft of the pump in the "down" position, and with a blob supposed to represent what is in reality a hollow handle. My reference pics show the shaft extended in the "up" position which I find more interesting. So I decided to mod the pump with a new shaft and handle :blink:, like this (the squares on my mat are 10x10 mm) :


Now remind me who was complaining about the kit being a bit fiddly :brickwall:?

And a last detail I added when the seat became unglued once again. The trim wheel drives a chain that turns a screw in the end of the fuselage to move the stabiliser up or down. The chain has not been represented, not even in PE, by IBG.

Whilst I was pondering whether to represent the chain I came with an idea that in the end, IMO, produces a satisfactory fac-simile ... I wound together three strands of fine (0.25 mm) copper wire that I get from an old electric motor, then flattened this cable in my bench vise. This is how it looks when flattened :



...then bent in the shape of the chain :



... and finally glued to the trim wheel on the side of the seat .



Tha's all for now. I will soon have to end procrastinating, and get the airbrush out to splash some paint on the assembled cockpit.


  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very nice and thoughtful detailing with your PZL. I really like the scratched fairings, which give the plane a definite early 'Tintin' comic book look of elegant between war kites. Thanks for the warnings about the fiddlyness of the kit. I will keep that in mind for mine, when time comes.

Cheers Rob

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • HubertB changed the title to IBG PZL P-11c modified to P11/IV 1934 prototype. Nearing first paint ...

Made some small progress last week:

The cockpit has been assembled, adding details like the throttle pushrods, the bomb release cables, the oxygen hose that will connect to the regulator panel on the right side, the brakes cables, a hose that goes from the pump on the left propbably to the fuel tank, and a cable from the long handle on the left.


The pushrods are a bit on the heavy side, but will look the part when everything is closed.


Ditto for the oxygen hose, probably. At least it will be visible ;) . It is "free-floating" now, but, when the cockpit frame is inserted in-situ, it will come to butt on the bottom of the oxygen regulator auxiliary panel.


Now for some comparison shots. I bought the Bitskrieg AM, including the oil radiator, the engine cover and propeller, a new cowling, machines guns, etc. On the pics, the dark grey parts are the kit's ones (on the left), and the light grey ones the Bitskrieg ones.

The oil radiator is a real plus, the machine guns are also finer.

The engine is finer in resin,but may actually be too close to scale fidelity on the lower cylinder fins. It certainly calls for delicate painting and enhancing.

The propeller boss is a better, as is the propeller which has lost the sharp edges of the kit's parts near their root. The cowling is finer as well.

All in all, in total fairness, apart from the oil radiator, the gains with the resin parts are real but mostly only to a trained eye,for additions that are almost as costly as the original kit. So it's up to you to decide whether you want them.

i-Fpmjfnn-600x490.jpg i-MDhJCcJ-600x526.jpg

On this last pic, with the Bitskrieg MG and cowling, you can also see the kit's IP and radio. The IBG kit offers you two choices for the IP decals: preprinted with instrument faces, or just the white lettering, in which case you have to paint the dials yourself. The white lettering looks slightly finer (for as far as I can judge on the - white - decal paper background, so I decided to try them, especially as the P-11c had characteristic dials, three with a burgundy red face, and one with a bright red background. I will probably end up using a bit of both on the decal sheet. To ensure an optimum contrast, I have prepainted the IP and radio in Tamiya rattle-can white primer. The dial faces have been covered with kabuki mask paper punched with my old (trusty and rusty) Punch n' Die set, before spraying everything in almost-black dark grey. Btw, Yahu offers a much improved compass but it is also unbelievably fiddly. The jury is still out whether I will use it. On the other hand, I will most certainly use the paper belts, as opposed to the kits's PE ones.


And a last pic to loop back to the first post : the assembled Cooper State Models step ladder, that will allow peering eyes to look at the pilot's office :) . With safety rails added, of course :) .


That's all for now. I will probably splash some paint on all these parts during the course of next week.


  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...