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PZL An-28RM Bryza
(Sea-Breeze)

by Lukasz Kedzierski

 

PZL An-28RM Bryza
(Sea-Breeze)

 


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Background

 


The Antonov 28 was initially designated An-14M since the new OKB Antonov project was based on An-14 Clod. An-28 was design to replace An-2 on short local routes characterised by short airstrips not suitable for other types. Several different variants were planned including passenger, transport, fire fighter, ambulance, paratrooper trainer and search and rescue. The variety of roles that the aircraft could be used in and its STOL properties made it attractive for both civilian and military use.

Official testing was completed in 1972 and production started in 1973. In 1975 a new version with TWD-10 engines was tested and subsequently was introduced into production. PZL Mielec factory in Poland undertook licensed production of An-28 in 1978 and PZL Rzeszow was chosen to manufacture TWD-10 power plants. First Polish-built aircraft was rolled out in 1984. Shortly afterwards Soviet Union become unable to pay for An-28 and production ceased. However, PZL Mielec decided to modify its product and initiated production of civilian passenger/transport M28 Skytruck as well as two military versions PZL An-28TD (transport) and PZL An-28RM (SAR), the latter was named Bryza (sea-breeze) since it is operated by Polish Naval Aviation. The latest versions are designated PZL M28B Bryza and feature PZL10S power plants with 5 bladed propellers. An-28 is currently used by the 13 PLT (Transport Regiment) in Krakow and the 1 and 3 DLMW (Division of Naval Aviation) stationed in Gdynia-Babie Doly in An-28TD and An-28RM versions, respectively.

 

 

Broplan's Vacform 1/72 Scale An-28

 

When it comes to esoteric subjects such as An-28 there is no real choice of model kits, since usually there is none to choose from. As far as I know An-28 in 1:72 scale is only made by Broplan as a vacuformed kit. It was also announced by Top Gun (resin kit), but never materialised in a kit form. I have a few of Broplan kits, but that was the first one I attempted to build although not my first vacuformed kit.

The kit comes in a small plastic bag that contains 3 sheets of vacuformed parts and two identical sprues containing injection moulded parts plus clear glazing.

 

 

Overall quality is rather low - surface detail of main components is poor, plastic is very thin which does not make construction easy, and injection moulded parts frankly speaking are crap. The instructions are a bit confusing and decals are not useable, but contain markings for one An-28RM and one An-28TD.

So why would I build something like this? Well, I like a challenge and I really like aircraft with white and red checkers on the wings. Besides, no other manufacturer is going to make this kit.

 

 

Construction

 

Construction should have been pretty straightforward after parts cleanup, but it turned out to be a long and tedious process.

The interior consists of a couple of bulkheads, floor, seats, tables, something that seems to be a toilet compartment, instrument panel and side consoles. Lots of parts but not much detail on them although instruction contains detailed drawing of an instrument panel for those who want to make it. Not much can be seen anyway despite several windows on both sides since clear parts are not that transparent. I only added a ceiling to the crew compartment to make the whole thing more sturdy.

Before I put the completed cockpit and crew cabin inside I cut openings for all the windows. Do not follow outlines engraved on the fuselage since they have very irregular shapes, but use the clear parts as a guideline.

After the interior was painted I added all the glazing and detail and stuffed the nose with lead and there is a lot of it needed! I also glued plastic tabs to one of the fuselage halves to facilitate and strengthen the structure.

When I attempted to put fuselage together I faced about 3 mm gap between both halves. Either the interior (bulkheads and floor) was too wide or I sanded too much plastic from the fuselage halves (I was really enthusiastic about this kit when I started so there was a lot of energy put into construction). Quick calculations revealed the interior is of the right width so I had to fill the gap to make the fuselage look right. I think the parts were already too small and I oversanded a bit as well. Oh well, nothing that a little (yeah right!) of putty cannot fix! Before I started filling and sanding I also added radar cover underneath the forward fuselage and short wings, which serve as housing for the main undercarriage and support for wing struts. And then I spent a few evenings covered in dust, cursing a lot and filling and sanding, sanding and filling, filling and then there was no problem with vertical and horizontal stabilizers. I just had to fill the joints with putty and sand, normal construction procedures with this kit.

 

After completing the fuselage construction and I moved my attention to the wings. These are pretty long (30 cm) and come as 2 upper and 2 lower parts split 2/3-1/3. I think it would be much better to divide them into a center section and outer wings that could be then join just outside the engines where the panel lines are. I assembled the lower parts together on a flat surface and put a length of spure across the midsection of the wing to strengthen the construction and preserve the wing's profile.

Because the quality of moulding was not good, there was a huge gap at the join between the wing parts which I stuffed with shavings of plastic card and Milliput before sanding smooth.

 

Problems with engines were similar to problems with the fuselage - they were too narrow and did not match outlines on the wings. I based their width on the diameter of spinners and used spinner's backplates to get the width right (these were later removed and replaced with circles cut from plastic sheet since they did not fit into spinners). I made covers for the air intakes at the front of each engine and manufactured exhausts from a beer can (nice and thin metal sheet). Fit of the engines to the wing was horrible and again required several sessions with putty and sandpaper. And fit of the wing to the fuselage was really bad as well and required a lot of filling and sanding, but finally I managed to finish this kit! With the main body completed I turned my attention to finishing touches. All antennae were scratch built from thin plastic sheet since items provided in the kit were too thick. I also scratch built main undercarriage legs.

 

 

Painting and Markings

 

The instructions provide one colour scheme for an aircraft from the 1. Division of Naval Aviation (1DLMW) stationed in Gdynia-Babie Doly in 1994. That consists of white upper surfaces, light blue-grey (Humbrol 89) lower surfaces and dark blue (Humbrol 14) cheat lines. Leading edges of wings and stabilizers are painted silver, wheel hubs are green and there are red wing tips to brighten it up.

The instructions are a bit confusing when it comes to the lower surfaces of the fuselage and photos of the real aircraft are essential here. Fortunately I found them on the Polish Aviation Site, but before that I painted the entire lower fuselage blue-grey. However, blue-grey ends just behind the cargo bay door and the remaining of the rear fuselage is white. I airbrushed the wide cheat lines and applied the thin ones as decals (I sprayed Superscale decal film with Humbrol 14 and cut it into thin stripes, unfortunately I could not buy white or clear decal film and had to settle for light green therefore the stripes are a bit darker than wide cheat lines; clear and white film turned up in my hobby shop a week after I finished this model!).

 

 

As I said at the beginning the kit's decals are only good for a rubbish bin. Firstly, they disintegrate in water into little pieces and secondly they are underscaled. The only thing I had to use was the black number 1022 since I did not have anything really similar in my spares box. I painted them with gloss varnish, which did not save one of them from breaking into small bits and I had to partially hand paint it. Polish national insignia came from Techmod sheet "Polish Air Force 1:72 National Insignia" and these are simply fantastic.

Stenciling and radiation warning signs came from Italeri Mig-29 decal sheets and the blue-white outlines of the doors were hand painted (they are provided as decals in the kit, but are too small).

Before decal application I sprayed the whole airframe with Super Shine and after I sealed everything with Humbrol satin varnish. Just a little bit of weathering was done on the plane. My friend from Poland who visits the 1 DLMW from time to time told me that the ground crew keeps all the aircraft very clean in airshow state of cleanliness.

After removing all masking I painted the windscreen and bulbous side windows of the cockpit with Super Shine to give them smooth and shiny appearance.

 

 

Conclusion

 

I was not really impressed with this kit.

All vacforms require much more work than injection moulded kits, and I really enjoy building them. However, in all the vacuformed kits that I put together so far there was no major fit problem. I wish there was an injection moulded kit of this aircraft since I can use a few more of them.

 

 

Recently delivered Bryzas sport nice overall dark grey camouflage and radars mounted on the side of the fuselage and I also have photos of An-28TD in green/brown/sand/blue camouflage. So there you go - at least two more kits!

 

 

Additional Images

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Model, Images and Text Copyright 2002 by Lukasz Kedzierski
Page Created 19 August, 2002
Last Updated 04 June, 2007

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