1/32 Roden Stearman IDF

Gallery Article by Rafi Ben-Shahar on June 12 2020



Roden's Stearman is a challenging kit. It is a mixed bag of opportunities and misses. Although it is an injection kit, it should be treated like a short run kit. Much test fitting and patience are required to build a good representation of the classic aircraft.

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The cockpit is fairly detailed, but the mold is soft and much cleaning is required. Rudder pedals are situated way ahead to suit pilots above 6 feet of height. You would need technical drawings to relocate the pedals and adjoining rods. The engine is well represented, but due to the soft plastic, the characteristic prominent cylinder ribs are not brought up well. Instructions are vague in places and you will be lost without detailed walkaround photos.

Much of the complication in the building process stems from the bi-plane structure and accompanied rigging. Here, the upper wing is a heavy chunk of plastic that adds unnecessary weight to the model and strains the delicate wing attachments and wheel struts. (Eventually, the tail wheel strut broke off although I left it to the final construction stage.) Excess plastic also complicates the rigging process. The photographs show clearly where I lost my patience. Hint, it is the starboard side of the model.

I chose the IDF camouflage scheme commonly applied during 1956, but varied between individual aircraft. Photographs showing weathering around the cockpit area suggest that the camouflage was applied over aluminum doped canvas. Decals came from my spares box.

Rafi Ben-Shahar

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Photos and text by Rafi Ben-Shahar