Once upon a time many moons ago there was a kid who was excited to use his lawn mowing money to buy a kit from a (now long gone) hobby shop in Chicago called AL’s Hobbies of a 1/72 Fi-156 Storch. It was really cool in those day to have access to “overseas” kits, as the local stores only carried the Aurora/Monogram/Revell US brand, and this kit was an Airfix kit from Europe.
That kid was me and I have carried this kit in the special kit storage area since those days.
A few years back I was able to buy a copy of this kit, so I could build one and preserve what is probably my second oldest kit in the collection. This is my experience with a very old kit.
The kit is actually very interesting for the options included. It has a stand, which was prevalent in those days, and includes the additional parts to build it in flights. While the aircraft was in flight the oleos of the landing gear fully extended and this is represented in additional parts if you want o build it on the stand.
There is no cockpit other than a couple of seats (if you can call them that, and a few attempts to represent an instrument panel and control stick. I just blew by these as I figured out that they wouldn’t be seen and I didn’t want to devote a lot of effort to doing scratch-building. (I’m saving my Eduard set for the Academy Storch). Airfix did provide these small examples of a pilot and passenger “amputees” to paint up and stick in the seats but I was too lazy to take that on as well.
The kit built up fairly well. There is some putty needed around the cowling and the clear part fit was very bad, requiring some sanding, fitting, and polishing to get it to a reasonable place. The engineering wing attachments come off of the roof of the cockpit clear parts so it needs to be pretty secure as well.
Lastly, it is really hard to interpret the landing gear instructions. It’s good these days to have the internet so I could go and look at some Storch pictures to see how the gear is intended to connect. There is a tiny hole in the bottom of the fuselage that holds both rear landing gear pins and I needed to drill out a better attachment for the front of the gear legs.
Also, note the hole in the bottom for the stand but the stand connection comes expecting a slot. I modified the stand to fit.
The kit was painted with Vallejo black acrylics with a bit of gray and blue added and decals were a great Owl set for a black Storch. Sadly I painted up the kit all black and then discovered when I opened the decals that the top of the wing should have been in standard RLM splinter scheme, not all black. Oh well!
Modeling is all about history. It was fun pulling out a bit of my history and building a kit I’ve had owned for over 50 years!