Here we get a look at the I-16 Rata The Fighter that saved the USSR from Kagero courtesy of Casemate.


The I-16 Rata, was a small reasonable fast, very manoeuvrable pre-WWII Soviet fighter. Several variants of the aircraft were released over its lifetime, and it saw service in the Spanish Civil War, it served with the Chinese against the Japanese, the Finnish and of course the Soviets. The aircraft quickly became out matched by the aircraft it fought against, but I do know that the Chinese initially had very good results against the Japanese.


This offering from Kagero Publishing covering the I-16 Rata, is authored by Oleg Pototskiy, and is part of the Monographs special additions. This is a soft backed book, in a roughly A4 size of 180 pages, of a good quality semi gloss paper. 

This title brings together the best of Kagero to present the reader with a more rounded story, of the I-16 Rata series. The book tells the story of the early aircraft produced across the globe, slowly moving into the story of the I-16 Rata. You get a look at Polikarpov, who was the lead for the I-16, its variants and its close history with the I-153. The aircraft service across the globe is covered to a degree. The aircraft initially served very well, unfortunately as aircraft design progressed; it was quickly out classed when fighting against aircraft such as the Bf109, which it faced during the Spanish Civil War and of course when Germany invaded Russia. The book is for the most part a well written title, all in English, accompanied by a large number of black and white period photographs taking up 152 pages of this title which provides the reader with many aspects of the aircraft. 

We then get to move on to an attribute that Kagero does so well, in the form of scale line drawings. The line drawings are provided in 1/72nd and 1/48th scales and I can’t help thinking the Kagero has missed a trick by not including 1/132nd scale drawings with the release recently made by ICM. One of the things you will notice in the line drawings as they progress, is that despite having a fully enclosed cockpit the canopy was usually removed, due to the restrictions it placed on the pilot when needing to get out in a hurry - that in itself tells you how out classed the I-16 was leading up to WWII and during the German invasion of Russia. The title comes to an end, with a nice selection of artists impressions of a number of aircraft in the series. 


For the modeller who has a particular interest in the I-16, this release from Kagero should answer most of their questions. The presentation style is well thought out and presents the story in a reasonably sensible progression resulting in a title that is pleasant to read, with the last 5th of the book providing the modeller with that high level of accurate information that has always made Kagero so popular. 



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