When I got the new Zvezda 1/14 Il-2 Sturmovik and Ju-87B Stuka, I thought they’d be highly detailed standard kits like the Mi-26 I built a while back. Well, no, they’re not. Zvezda is not only a manufacturer of plastic models, but they also have a large assortment of board games, and recently they’ve gone into war games using miniatures.
This is intended as an add-on/expansion for the game “Barbarossa 1941”. The game can be found at http://art-of-tactic.com/. There are other 1/144 aircraft available, Bf-109, La-7 and Ju-87B Stuka, plus 1/72 ground units.
Having done my share of “cardboard squares on a map” gaming, as well as some miniatures, I know that the more complex the miniature, the more likely it is that you’ll ruin it while playing. So simplicity and low price are virtues for this kit.
The Sturmovik kit is a single dark green sprue with the single-piece canopy in the plastic bag with the decals. Also included is a reference card for the game.
Assembly was pretty straight forward, although you have to make a decision about whether to put the gear up or down. If you’re doing the wargame version, you’ll probably want to use the stand and go gear up. You’re less likely to break the wheels off if they’re up. The gear legs aren’t really representations of the real thing, but they’re designed more to keep the kit intact during handling. Everything fits tightly, as this is supposed to be a “no glue” kit. I used some glue on the fuselage/wing joint and the horizontal stabilizers. If you’re going to put it back in a box after playing a game, it might be better to leave these parts so they can be disassembled. On the other hand, it would be good to glue the prop, wheel wells and radiator on, as these will be lost immediately if not secured. Once I had the major parts glued, it was time to paint.
The box art is about all you get for marking information. But that’s really sufficient if what you’re doing is assembling a game piece. I did use the old Profile Publication, #88, which I bought about 40 years ago for the paint scheme. It’s also fortunate that Model Master® has WW2 Soviet colors. I applied Future, and it was time for decals.
The decals are much better than I had expected. I had no problems with the red stars or the single digit number on the tail.
Another quick coat of Future, and it’s time to finish.
All that was left was to paint the small details like the exhausts, the wheels and gear legs, the tail wheel and the prop, and then assemble them. Once the paint had dried, it was fairly simple to put these parts on. I had trouble getting the prop to fit onto the pin because the fit was just too tight. I cut the pin off. Similarly, I had to slightly enlarge the holes for the gear legs. I might have gotten them in, but didn’t want to chance breaking them. The canopy, however just slid into place and stayed there.
The stand is quite a deal. Note the nicely designed foot, which will exactly fit one of the game hexes. Somebody at Zvezda thinks and plans ahead. They deserve an extra coffee break for that.
Recommended, particularly if you have Barbarossa 1941 or a similar wargame. This kit makes up into a good-looking model in a pretty short time. I also want to add that this kit is actually a far better representation of the Sturmovik than the 50-year old Airfix kit.
Thanks to Dragon USA and Zvezda for providing an interesting model. And thanks to IPMS/USA and John Noack for allowing me to build it.