The Ikarus IK-2 is another of those aircraft that most of us probably haven't heard about. The IK-2 was an indigenous Yugoslavian design started as a private venture in 1932 by Ljuboir Ilić and Kosta Sivčev. The aircraft was ordered in 1934 from the Ikarus AD at Novi Sad and designated IK-L1. Interestingly, the “IK” was derived from Ljuboir Ilić’s surname and Kosta Sivčev’s first name, with the “L” in L1 standing for Lovački, which means fighter.
The prototype first flew on April 22nd, 1935. This aircraft was soon lost to an accident, and the second prototype was designated IK-02, and flew in on August 24th, 1936. An initial batch of 12 fighters was ordered and delivered in early 1939. They went on to see service with the Royal Yugoslav Air Force (RYAF), and subsequently some captured examples were used by the Croatian Air Force into 1942.
The IK-2’s development was quite protracted, and it was very much a transitional design between previous biplanes and more modern types. It was followed by the much more modern IK-Z which was designed by the IK-2’s original designers and Slobodan Zrnić (the source of the “Z” in IK-Z), and was built by Rogožarski. The similarity of the Cyrillic “Z” and Arabic “3” led to the aircraft being commonly known as the IK-3. This aircraft as it happens has also been kitted by Czech Master Resin (CMR).
CMR has produced a delightful and thoughtfully engineered kit of the IK-2. It includes a choice of very slightly different wings and wheel spats to cover the pre-production aircraft, with a second wing and un-spatted wheels for subsequent production aircraft. Other options include a choice of two prop spinners, and resin or photo-etched (PE) instrument panel (the latter with photographic film for the instrument dials). The PE fret also has seatbelts and rudder pedals with straps. There is a very comprehensive decal sheet covering numerous natural metal & doped fabric or camouflaged RYAF aircraft, plus a choice of Croatian AF versions used in the mid-war period.
The kit is very crisply moulded with almost wafer-thin attachments to the casting blocks. The cockpit interior provides ample detail for the scale, and the rest of the kit fits together with minimal fuss.
Click to enlarge images
A very sensible approach has been adopted to provide a straightforward way to assemble the rather complex looking wing and undercarriage struts. The main legs and their immediately associated struts are cast as one piece; in so doing the critical angles are ensured for the subsequent strut attachments are assured with careful assembly. The last strut to be fitted is designed to be trimmed to take into account any slight variations in assembly.
I encountered a couple of pin holes on the leading edge of the wing that were easily dealt with (I have yet to see a resin kit with none!), and a minimal amount of filler was used on a couple of joints.
The canopy was one of the easiest vac-form examples I have encountered, being cut out and trimmed entirely with small side-cutters, and leaving no need to use the second one provided.
The model took five or so evenings to build and was sprayed free-hand with Model Master Enamels which sped things up a bit. The decals were superb in all respects and needed no setting or solvent solutions.
I enjoyed this build of an unusual but attractive 1930’s fighter. Considering the small number produced it had quite prolonged usage given the nature of the four years of war service it saw. As such it should appeal to those who either like small air force subjects, rare planes, or those who just 1930’s transitional designs appealing as I do. The quality of this kit’s design is such that it would be a good first resin choice for anyone who would be confident to build similar style aircraft in styrene kit form.
© Mark J Davies, 2007
Additional images, click to enlarge