1/72 Prop&Jet Nikitin NV-1

Gallery Article by Eugeny Knupfer on Sept 30 2009


NV-1, a sport plane developed by the Soviet designer V. Nikitin in 1933, was one of the tiniest aircraft built in the USSR and also the fastest plane with Shvetsov M-11 engine. Only one prototype was built. This nice, yet almost forgotten aircraft became a subject of a wonderful resin kit in 1/72 scale released by Russian company Prop&Jet. The model is beautifully done, with subtle, realistic fabric representation, delicate panel lines and razor sharp trailing edges. The fuselage is cast in one part, which spares the modeler some filling and sanding, but also makes painting of an interior a little trickier. Engine cylinders are molded separately, so are the wheels. The instruction suggests making thin struts using stretched sprue, which probably is the only way these tiny parts can be made.

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The fit is quite good, making assembly simple and pleasant. I improved interior a little with the scratchbuilt instrument panel, seatbelts made out of decal and wire and the headrest, which is not included in the kit, but seems to be visible on the drawings.

Engine cylinders required some sanding to fit into the cowling, and the oversized exhaust pipes, located under the cowling, were discarded. Wing struts were made using a stretched sprue with an airfoil cross-section. The same material was used for the tail skid. Prior to painting the model was airbrushed with Mr. Surfacer 1200 and sanded with 3600 grit sandpaper.

The model was painted using Alclad II aluminium, the red trim on the wings, stabilizers and fuselage was applied using thin decal strips painted red. On the trailing edges of the control surfaces I hand painted the red line with the brush, which does not look like a very good idea in retrospect a much steadier hand than mine is required for this kind of technique.

Post shading with a mix of Future, black Vallejo acrylic and water was applied to the painted model, the same mix was used as a kind of wash. Finally the model was airbrushed with a layer of Future with Tamiya Flat Base added for a semi-gloss appearance.

A polished metal finish with "fish scale" effect on the engine cowling and wheel pants was created by first covering the parts with Alclad II chrome finish, and then applying small dots of thinned aluminum paint with a toothpick. The resulting finish looks OK from a distance, but is far from perfect on close-up photos.

The detailed article is located here (in Russian): http://scalemodels.ru/modules/myarticles/article_storyid_1002.html

Eugeny Knupfer

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Photos and text by Eugeny Knupfer