Olkhovskiy Torpedo (two seat)
When this first came up for review, I’ll admit I never heard of this plane or company which is intriguing. A little quick research and I found that this was one of the first Russian monoplanes and it had an interesting difference with many planes - no ailerons. The ends of the wing bias because of their tether tension control wiring. That was enough for me. Omega Models located in the Czech Republic makes limited run resin models of lesser known subject. This kit comes in cream colored resin in 23 pieces with decals, instructions and a length of wire.
My first action was to wash the parts with dish detergent to remove any mold release and let dry. Next, I separated the parts from casting blocks and sanded down the minimal seam lines. All this prep work is critical as finding paint not sticking or a seam line later is much harder to fix.
Construction starts in the cockpit which consists of two seats and two sticks. The stick broke while installing so I scratch built a couple. The seats have a nice approximation of a cane woven back. Once in place, the two opening insert is added. This took a little fussing but installed. This was then only place in the kit I used putty to smooth this part in and it was not a large amount. The tail parts were added making sure they are square. At this time, I added the landing gear struts.
Next, one of the struts is cut into four sections and these are the supports for the wings. The drawing shows the location on the fuselage and each 1-2 mm piece was added.
The wings were built next and since they are perched on struts, I needed them to be stable so I chose some stiff stainless steel wire and drilled into the wings so the spacing matched the struts and glued the parts to once side first. The instructions call for spacing between wings of 10mm and this was achieved and things glued up solidly. I did not add the wings yet. At this point, the plane was primered and then sprayed a blue green color (in hind sight, I should have gone even more blue). This was set aside to dry.
While drying, I worked on the engine and propeller. The engine would have you add rods on the back and front for lifters and the like. The propeller looked well out of scale but checking references of the real plane, Omega is spot on as the prop on this plane was large.
I added the decals next. There was some silvering on the wing and fuselage decals and the decals were very resistant to settle until I used Solvaset. There is a set of decals for the wheels and try and try, they would not conform to the wheels regardless of treatment so they were removed. I added the wheels and then flat coated everything for final assembly and rigging.
I added the wings onto the supports and they fit well (and surprised me!). To support the rigging, I added the central attachment point and its two braces and painted it wood colored. Once dry and set, I used 0.3mm wire for rigging. I squared the wings up in a jig and started adding wires. Since the sides are mirror images left and right, I added the line in that sequence. When I got frustrated/sloppy/eye-blind, I stopped. Once the top was done, I flipped it over and did the bottom. I touched up the paint and flatted it again and the plane was done.
This is a good kit of a relatively unknown plane. With the rigging, rebuilding parts and size, I would recommend it to modelers who have a few kits under their belt. That and the decals would be my only caveat.
Thanks to Omega Models for the opportunity to not only build this kit but also for furthering my knowledge of this unique plane.