Benes-Mraz Be-550 Bibi & VEF Irbitis I-12 Kora 1/72 scale resin kits.

Anders reviewed these two kits in Bent throttles (see  BT #30 May 2004 in the BT section for the racer version OK-BET of this kit [red]), and liked them, so when I was able to get them for a decent price I didn’t hesitate. Unfortunately neither of the issues I bought were racers, so they don’t really belong here, instead look at this as a short update to Anders article, as a guide to what to look out for when you build the real racer versions!

Both kits are really nice, cream coloured resin, and beautiful surface detail, vac-formed cockpit canopies, rather lacking in the interior, they have paper instrument panels to glue on, and a few odds and ends to glue in place. All you need in the kit is there for a good basic replica, but not up to the latest standard of modern plastic kits.

Building resin kits is about the same as plastic kits, except you need to use CA or epoxy glue, I usually use a combination. Vac-formed canopies are tricky to get on nicely,   I try and make a kind of shelf or edging where it glues on, and this was easy to do on both these models, the actual glueing was done with white glue. Fit and general construction was free of problems on both models. Drilling and pinning of control surfaces is always a good idea, but on these small kits, you can probably get away without.


  I don’t have a lot of references, so like Anders I can’t judge accuracy well, but comparing the finished models with the photos I have, they certainly look correct.

Problems I did find during the builds were pinpoint resin holes, I think Anders mentioned these on one of the kits, but in fact they were present on both.

Specific to the Benes-Mraz was a problem caused partly by own carelessness, I cut out the canopy around the outside edge, and didn’t check how the real canopy was attached, in fact there is a cut-out where the roof extends into the canopy, so the rear side windows are really canopy extensions. In the kit it’s square right over. Of course I discovered this when I had painted it, and had to fill the joint and re-paint, that was only partly successful. Another question with the British reg. version is that the decals are bright red, and on the box art wine red, I made my own because I thought it would look nicer in wine red, but which is correct is something I don’t know.

So there you have it, a pair of very pretty little models, that are so easy to build that they are almost relaxation. Highly recommended!