IBG Models  RWD-8 DWL in 1/72 scale
Finished: March/2021
I have a fondness for early military aircraft trainers. Stearmans, Fw-44s, Tiger Moths, Akatombos... you name it. Virtually any air force needs trainers, primary or advanced, biplanes or monoplanes... Having a Polish heritage, I naturally have an interest in everything related to Poland's aircraft industry, and when IBG released their RWD-8, I felt confident to sell my old PZW offering and start my first speed-build in years.

IBG has released the military (PWS) and the civilian (DWL) versions. Well, both types have seen military and/or civilian services, but the latter was particularly popular in aeroclubs in Poland in the years immediately before the outbreak of WWII. A few of them were sent to Palestine and flew combat missions there. Anyway, there are visible differences between the PWS and de DWL versions, so pay attention to the version you are interested in because one cannot be converted to the other easily.

After studying the aircraft, I discovered that IBG had made a few mistakes. In particular, the panel line running where the wings were split during folding (for storage), and the aileron control lever/cables under the center wing section are not represented at all in the kit. Also, my boxing does not come with any photo-etched  parts (I understand there is another, more complete boxing of this kit), so there are no control panels, and big seams will remain visible in their places. By the way, my sample was a gift from my good friend and modeler Cristian Zarichta... thanks mate!

This is my boxing:

As I said, I did my best for this project to be a quick build, and therefore I assembled the simple cockpit and slammed the fuselages together in a couple of hours. I left the pilot and instructor seats out until the end of the build. The modifications I did at this point were:

(i)  thin down the elevators/rudder control horns
(ii) make holes behind the engine firewall to accept aileron lever cables later on
(iii) drill ou the molded on exhaust stacks to replace them at the end of the build
(iv) scribe the slipt lines where the outer wings detache from the center wing section when the wings are folded

For some reason, the painting scheme of the only decal option in the kit caught me, in overall light gray with a scalloped red nose, landing gear, and wing struts. You probably, like me, have several old paint bottles and tins laying around your bench. For instance, the Humbrol and Model Master enamels, which I progressively stopped using because of the drying time, but are great products. In the present case, I made the gray mixing Humbrol enamels. 128 Gunship Grey and 130 White for the light gray, and 19 Red and 113 Rust for the red. They went on fine, and after a coat of gloss clear varnish, I applied the decals. The decals are very thin, but they don't like moving around much. Like other decals manufactured by Techmod, avoid using softening solutions.

At this point, I started to think about the vignette. I didn't want a full grassed base, just an irregular strip with the little RWD being carried by members of the flying club. It is a scene I saw years ago, except that it was a Tiger Moth, but I think it was perfectly feasible:

The decals were sealed with a not-so-gloss clear coat and I then dirtied some areas using oils. A dark brown pin wash was applied on several details and cowling. I hand-painted the coaming around the cockpit openings using Vallejo colors. I also played with pencils to simulate scuffings around the engine area and landing gear struts:

As mentioned before, there is no control panel in the kit, but there are some simplified decals. To avoid a flat panel, I made a new one with plastic bits, applied the kit decals over them, and added a couple of  missing instruments:

Next came rigging. One of the reasons why I have chosen this kit for a speed build is the fact that there is no rigging to be installed on the wings (actually, the center wing struts should have them, but IBG understandably molded them solid), just control cables. I used black EZ line to simulate them, but the visual aspect was too stark, so I later painted them with gray to better represent steel cables:

The last items installed were the wheels, which I treated lightly with dust pigments, and the propeller. By the way, I had to paint the propeller hub red, but the part was too small and clumsy in shape to hold masks in place. Then I found a bag of heat-shrinking rubber tubes... Voilá! They come in several sizes and are elastic to conform to the part just enough to avoid paint bleeding. Worked like a charm:

With the aircraft finished, I prepared its base and could call it done:

But no, I still had to add the figures. I used a couple of figures I ordered from Shapeways and reviewed a few years ago. I selected a couple but could not escape from modifying them for my particular vignette. So I changed their arms and hands to suit the scene.

Next, I glued the seats in place, and I left one of them hanging on the side of the aircraft, following what I saw in one period photo. The windscreens received a silver rim and were also installed in place using white glue. In retrospect. the student's control panel was protruding too much, even though I used a 0,5 mm plasticard to make it.

And then the figures were at last glued in their positions on the base. Now it was done!

I managed to finish this project in less than a month, a record for me: the last time I built something this fast I was a teenager. More than fast, this project was very satisfying in building a model without self-inflicted obligations. It is evident, though, |that you only can accomplish that by starting with a good kit. And IBG's RWD-8 is a nice kit, although not without its flaws.

As a final note, eagle-eyed fellows will note that the box art shows this aircraft with a call number 6 painted on the cowling. The photo below shows SP-AMT (aka Legun II) with these numbers painted on. I was told by a Polish modeler that these numbers were not originally used in aircraft assigned to aeroclubs, but as the shadows of war started to grow over Europe, many of these civilian aircraft were requested for military training. I don't know, but strangely, IBG has not included the numbers in the kit's decal sheet, despite of the box art.

RWD-8 DWL register SP-AMT at Łódź aeroclub in 1938
Thanks again Cristian.


Technical file
- IBG 72502
- Seat belts from a left over PE fret
Basic colors: 
- Primer: automotive lacquer primer.
- Gray: Humbrol 128 Gunship Grey and 130 White (1:1)
- Red: Humbrol 19 Red and 113 Rust (5:1)

- Aluminum: GSI Gunze Mr.Color Silver (#008).
- Clear coats: 
Testors Model Master Acryl.
- Aileron control cables and lever added from plastic bits.
- Wing fuel tank cap added

Rato Marczak © 2021