IAR-81C "Rumanian Defender"

1/32 IAR-81C "Rumanian Defender"

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When first unveiled in 1938, the Romanian-produced I.A.R. 80 (IAR = Industria Aeronautica Romana) piston engine, single-seat fighter was a promising performer even when compared to her contemporaries. The aircraft served with the Royal Romanian Air Force and primarily appeared in two major variants designated simply as the IAR 80 and IAR 81. A total of 346 consisting of both aircraft types were known to be produced and the fighter pressed on into wartime service up to 1944, by which time it was all but made obsolescent by new and more powerful entries appearing on the global stage. The aircraft suffered throughout its production life due to a shortage of adequate armament to fit the design.

IAR 81C
The final stage in the IAR 80's wartime history was the 81C. This version changed the guns once again, this time to the Mauser MG 151/20 which was replacing the MG FF/M in German service and had just been released for Romanian use. The order for the 81C was placed in May 1942, predating the second order of the 81As.
The first order for 100 airframes was delivered, like all of the prior updates to the 81 series, with the centerline bomb rack removed to be used as fighters. An additional order for 35 was placed in February 1943, and then another 15 in January 1944. These aircraft were primarily to replace losses in earlier models, while production of the Bf 109G ramped up.


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My experience so far, says , the first impression is usually very correct , and this time  I have strong this feeling about a good kit .
Haven’t previews experience about the AZUR release of this airplane , I will judge this one as a new release (not re-release) from Special Hobby .
So , let’s start from the basics :
The overal impression of the box , is about a quality , well protected kit and the box himself informs well about what is inside : a nice artistic depiction of a fighting IAR-81C (one of the kit’s provided) and big , clear logo of the aircraft type , scale and the kit manufacturer .
Opening the box , we may find 4 bags in different dimensions : one big with the main parts of the model , two small with clear and resin parts ,  and one medium-sized with the decals sheet and a small photo etched parts sheet .Decals are enough for one of the suggested planes , printed by Cartograf in the well known quality of thin decal , and well registered colors .
All the decal sheet is designed by the famous modeler and  limited run producer of quality models , photo etched and resin sets , tools etc modeling staf , Radu Brinzan .

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Lets see the main parts now : having in mind , we are looking on a limited run kit , the overall quality is not bad .
I explain : plastic is thicker than the average standards and it sounds (if you tick with your nail) hard enough for working on with any modeling tool .

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The surface on the biggest parts are clean and smooth , though in some cases a passage with a number 3000 or more sanding paper will help for a better result .
Talking for the biggest parts , like fuselage halves : a feature that may host some of us , is the absence of snaping pins , making the matching of those parts a little more complicated than usual .

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The overall shape of the model , looks right in comparisson with some drawings and right in scale . 
Details on the surface are a compilation of fine and clear engraved and raised lines (sometimes not 100% straight) , panels and rivets

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If you are a super detail fan , you may add some rivets or so , but the general picture is over the average .
Smallest parts are clean , with some plastic flash sometimes and detailfull .
On the parts trees are not numbers for every part . For finding the parts ,  within the instructions there is a detailed plan with the pieces all numbered .
Some details are very welcomed , like the “fabric” control surfaces and the very detailed instrument panels .

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If you are a super detail fan , you may add some rivets or so , but the general picture is over the average .
Smallest parts are clean , with some plastic flash sometimes and detailfull .
On the parts trees are not numbers for every part . For finding the parts ,  within the instructions there is a detailed plan with the pieces all numbered .
Some details are very welcomed , like the “fabric” control surfaces and the very detailed instrument panels .

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In at least one case , something goes wrong in molding process , or in the parts tree design , and two small parts (F5 , instrument panel support brackets) are broken .

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Other detailed parts are the engine’s , the overall cockpit (an impressive area full of tubes , panels and parts of all sizes) , the lower wing surfaces and the realistic and deep wheel well .

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In good quality resin , free of bubbles , scratches , cracks etc comes the exhausts , air filter in two versions and a perfect gunsight !

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I like this gunsight very much , in compilation with the (very) clear parts , will be the jewel of the cockpit !

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On the small photo etched fret , you may find all the engine’s ventilation flaps , pilot’s seat belts and some small brackets for control surfaces and gunsight .
All photo etched are clear , detailed and unpainted .

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Clear parts are very clear and clean from any mark or blur , and provides canopy with the frame on , wind shield with frame on too , two small for the gunsight and two very small for the navigation lights .

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At the end , decals sheet is very clear printed , with right colors , very thin decal and have not any excess of film around the roundels and main markings .
It provides the “painted” rudder area and markings for any of four planes you may choose to build .
Between others , provides “indications” for instruments and some warning stencils

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Instructions are printed in a A4 size leaflet with 16 pages , that explains clear the building proccess in 24 stages .
Suggested colours are  Gunze and provides instructions for 4 different airplanes .

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Summing up , this kit provides the followings :
* Unique theme
* Limited run kit
* Right and in scale shape
* Quality casting
* Detailed with clear and crisp fine lines , panels and rivets parts (main)
* Detailed and many small parts
* Detailed cockpit
* Detailed engine
* Photo etched parts
* Rich and quality decals sheet
* Helpfull instructions leaflet


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IAR-81C No. 429 Summer1944


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IAR-81C No. 329 May 1944


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IAR-81C No. 345 October 1947


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IAR-81C No. 399 June 1944


- Instruction Sheet -
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If you are bored building variations of the same subject again and again , but you are still searching for a unique theme , quality over the average , a fun build  that will gives you a fine result without necessarily having to use extra parts or scratch some yours , a good base if you finally want to add extra details , in a reasonable price ( 49.90€ from SpecialHobby online shop @ 06/05/2017 ) , then it is a good idea to have this kit seriously in mind !
Highlly recommented ! 
Thanks to SpecialHobby for the provided sample .


Link for Special Hobby 1/32 IAR-81C "Rumanian Defender"


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