Il-2m3 Sturmovik, Weekend Edition

Published: January 20th, 2011     
Box Art
Box Art
Reviewed by: Perry Downen - IPMS# 44000
Scale: 1/72
Company: Eduard
Price: $12.95
Product / Stock #: 7410
Product provided by: Eduard

The Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik was a ground-attack aircraft produced by the Soviet Union in the Second World War. Soviet sources give the number produced as over 36,000. It is regarded as the most formidable aircraft of WWII and best ground attack aircraft of all.

The aircraft's engine, cockpit, radiators, and fuel tanks were protected by a steel "tub "designed to be an integral part of the load-bearing frame. This design made it ideal for its low-level ground attack and anti-tank roles.

The Il-2m3 (Type 3) version was introduced in 1943 in the battle of Stalingrad. It was so successful that the Soviets produced this version more than all the others. It was armed with two 23-mm Vya cannons and two 7.62-mm ShKAS machine guns in the wings. The rear gunner operated a 12.7-mm UBT machine gun. It could carry various combinations of rockets and bombs.

It is the Il-2m3 version that Eduard has recently released and is the subject of this review. As presented, the model is equipped with four RS-132 rockets under the outer wing panels.

The Kit

Kit parts

The kit comes in a cellophane wrapped box, 12" X 8" X 2". In the box is one cellophane bag containing three gray colored sprues are one clear sprue. There are approximately 76 parts, but not all are used. There are clear canopy parts to build the model with either on open or closed cockpit. The moldings have adequate detail for this scale and there is some flashing to clean on most parts. The surfaces of the parts are blemish free. The parts fit is good, but some filler is needed.

The decal sheet contains markings for only one airplane. The decals were very easy to handle and released from their backing in seconds. Once applied, they laid down to the surface with little problem. The decals were in perfect register.

Instruction sheet

The instructions are on a single 8-1/2" X 11" sheet. There is no narrative, but the exploded view drawings are clear and the assembly of the parts is very well illustrated - with two exceptions. The instructions are not stepped in numerical order, but the layout will not lead you astray. The assembly of all parts except the landing gear struts and the rear machine gun mounting is clearly depicted. Here, the drawings are a little ambiguous, but most modelers will be able to figure it out. Color callouts are provided for the small parts and assemblies through out the instructions. The colors refer to Mr. Color, Mr. Metal Color, Aqueous Hobby Color, and generic names.

The Build

Cockpit

The build is rather simple and straightforward. As with most models, the cockpit is built and painted first. This is an elementary affair, but will be difficult to see with a closed canopy.

There is no engine to build - just the exhaust stacks to place. The major components - fuselage and wings - go together easily and quickly. However, there was a small issue with the wing to fuselage interface. The fuselage side had to be pushed out (I wedged a piece of toothpick in the cockpit and later removed it,) to meet the wing. This did not affect the canopy fit.

It still required some filler to completely close the gap.

Canopy fittingWing root fillersCockpit edges

It's not like we haven't done something like this before. As previously mentioned, instructions for placing the landing gear struts was not as clear as I would like. (See the instruction sheet above.) A word of caution here, these parts are very soft. As I was removing the flash from the strut, I broke both lugs off that attach the wheel.

Finishing

The kit provides for only one aircraft finish: that of Blue 22, 3rd Czechoslovak Dqn. It's in the tri-color camouflage patter of dark gray, light brown and green with a light blue underneath.

Painting

The most difficult and time-consuming part of the entire build is masking the canopy. With its many small panes, it simply takes some time. Placing the decals was easy enough and the instructions for placement were clearly indicated.

Assessment

The quality of this kit is good, but not at the level of most Eduard kits I've built. The only problems I encountered are the placing the landing gear struts and machine gun mounting. Otherwise, it is an easy and quick build. The only caution I have is that some of the smaller parts are subject to breaking if not handled carefully. Still, I recommend this kit to modelers of any skill level. The Il-2m3 had a tremendous impact on the Eastern Front during WWII and this model will represent its place in time quite well on your shelf.

I would like to express my sincere thanks to Eduard for providing this kit to IPMS/USA and to them for allowing me to review it.

  • Starboard side
    Starboard side
  • Port side
    Port side
  • Top view
    Top view

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