This model attracted me because of it’s subject. This Tupolev I-4 plane is little known even amongst ex-USSR modellers despite being first Soviet all-metal fighter. And it’s a sesquiplane, which is also interesting to me.

Model quality

If you think that nothing surprising here, because it’s old Zvezda, here comes the surprise - it’s actually not. It’s Zvezda making Encore Models kit from ninetieth. So the quality is even a bit worse then I expected. Basically everything is lacking details, and cleanup took longer than normally.

Build notes

As the model is extremely simple, and lacked details, I’ve decided to try some scratchbuilding. I’ve make set belts from masking tape, and painted the control panel as good as I could.

Belts, no buckles yet as I’m lacking aluminium paint:


Added buckles:

belts and panel

Primed, painted base coats, set upper wing. It was tricky, as the wing is twice as heavy as the rest of the plane, so I had to put fuselage on the wing.

base paint

I had some unexpected issues with Humbrol Clear Varnish on this model, I applied it with brush, re-coated it too soon, and got milky stains in the areas it pooled. Fixed by airbrushing another couple of coats.

Used Humbrol DecalFix to add decals, this time decals were better than in BA-10, but still too thick. And the control panel decal was so horribly cartoonish, that painted panel with pin wash looked much better without it.

I’ve removed godawful pins intended for rocket accelerators that were sitting right on top of the wings, and added a headrest made from 3 layers of masking tape.

Tried to add chipping effected, but I’m not happy with the result:

base weathering

Looked a bit better after I’ve added some oil filters and added rust on exhausts using pigments:

base weathering


Overall the model is just bad - lack of details, thick details. But I’ve tried scratchbuilding because of it, and it’s not that hard or scary as I thought. Also it’s the first time I’ve tried oil filters, and it turned to be so easy.

finished_1 finished_2


Added a grass base, and photoed in a daylight, so the paint don’t look so dark.

with_base_1 with_base_1 with_base_1