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Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik

Zvezda, 1/48 scale

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number and Description: Zvezda Kit No. 4825 - Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: 271 parts in grey plastic (10 marked not for use); 12 parts in clear plastic (four marked not for use); decals for four marking options.
Price:

£30.99 EU Price (£25.83 Export Price) plus shipping available online from Hannants

and specialist hobby retailers online and worldwide

Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: High quality moulding; accurate; crisp surface features; well detailed; useful options including ample armament, poseable bomb bays and undercarriage and engine detail; includes pilot figure.
Disadvantages: No harness straps
Conclusion:

Zvezda's 1/48 scale Il-2 Shturmovik is clearly superior to the old Accurate Miniatures kit in terms of detail and accuracy. The choice is clear if you want to build a single-seater Shturmovik.

In the box, the parts stack up well against the Tamiya kit, but the proof here will be in the building. The Zvezda kit has greatee than 100 more parts than Tamiya. The Tamiya kit is also truly sublime to assemble. I prefer Tamiya's surface textures too, but there's not much in it.

Of course, the Tamiya and Zvezda are different versions, so we're not really comparing apples to apples.

Having said all that, I am very much looking forward to building Zvezda's 1/48 scale Shturmovik.

Reviewed by Brett Green


 

Introduction


The Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik was a heavily armed and armoured Soviet ground attack aircraft.

The original production version had a crew of one, but a rear gunner’s position was added following appalling losses in the first months after Operation Barbarossa. This hybrid version, using the same wings as the single-seater, suffered from pitch stability problems due to the changed centre of gravity, especially during take-off and landing. Nevertheless, the type entered front line service in October 1942, and the original wing design did not change until late 1943. This variant is identified as the Il-2m.

The Il-2m3 was the definitive version of the Shturmovik. It could be distinguished from earlier versions by the 15 degree rearward sweep of the wings. This wing reconfiguration compensated for the shift in the centre of gravity caused by the addition of the rear gunner's position. The Il-2m3 type entered service late in 1943.

 


It is interesting to compare the Shturmovik with German aircraft designs in the latter part of World War Two. At a time when the Luftwaffe was introducing such groundbreaking technical features as radar, ejection seats, jet engines and remote guided weapons; the Shturmovik was crude by comparison. In fact, by any standards the Shturmovik was an unsophisticated aircraft. Creature comforts were non-existent - the rear gunner was not even supplied with a seat. He (or she) simply rested against a leather sling!

Nevertheless, the Shturmovik was a tough, manoeuvrable aircraft that was extremely well suited to its ground attack role. It could be equipped with a variety of weapons including rockets, bombs and anti-tank guns capable of killing even the fearsome Tiger tank.

Comparison of strategies also reveals fundamental differences. German fighter pilots saw themselves as "knights of the sky". Air-to-air combat was often considered to be the only honourable endeavour. German fighters continued to down Soviet aircraft in staggering numbers right to the last year of the war, but Luftwaffe ground attack units were used in a relatively uncoordinated manner.

Stalin, on the other hand, considered that the Shturmovik was as fundamentally important to the Red Army as bread. He personally intervened to ensure that nothing prevented the mass-production of this essential aircraft. The priorities of the opposing sides may be summarised by examining the production figures of specialised Soviet and German ground attack aircraft to 1945. For example, the Henschel Hs 129 (the standard German tank-busting aircraft from 1942) totalled 869 aircraft; while a total of over 36,000 Shturmoviks were produced!

In the end, the Soviet strategies of standardisation and mass-production overwhelmed Germany’s high technology weapons.



Another Shturmovik?

Prior to this kit from Zvezda, the next most recent 1/48 scale Il-2 kit was from Tamiya in 2012 representing a swept-wing two-seater.

This was a superb kit that was a pleasure to build, but Tamiya only ever released the two-seater version of this famous flying tank.

Prior to that, Accurate Miniatures released the following variants in 1:48 scale, the first in 1997:

  • Il-2 Single Seater with straight wings.
  • Il-2 Single Seater on Skis
  • IL-2 Swept Wing Two-Seater

Although Accurate Miniatures never released a straight-wing two-seater Il-2, Eduard combined the wing from the single-seater with the fuselage of the two-seater to deliver this variant for their 2007 boxing.

Eduard’s Limited Edition kit also included colour and nickel-plated photo-etched parts. This kit is long out of production..
 
A number of resin conversions were also made for the Accurate Miniatures kit, including wooden wings and straight metal wings.

Zvezda's new kit represents the Il-2 single seater with straight metal skinned wings.

 

 

FirstLook

 

Zvezda's 1/48 scale Il-2 Shturmovik comprises 271 parts in grey plastic (10 marked not for use), 12 parts in clear plastic (four marked not for use) and decals for two marking options.

 

  • Zvezda 1/48 scale Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Zvezda 1/48 scale Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Zvezda 1/48 scale Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Zvezda 1/48 scale Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Zvezda 1/48 scale Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Zvezda 1/48 scale Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Zvezda 1/48 scale Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Zvezda 1/48 scale Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Zvezda 1/48 scale Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Zvezda 1/48 scale Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Zvezda 1/48 scale Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Zvezda 1/48 scale Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Zvezda 1/48 scale Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Zvezda 1/48 scale Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Zvezda 1/48 scale Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik Review by Brett Green: Image
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There are a couple of options that you'll need to choose before starting assembly. You have the option of showing glimpses of the engine through a few open panels, and different configurations of under wing rockets.

The model may also be built in-flight with the landing gear retracted. A stand is available separately from Zvezda for this option.

The fuselage features a number of inserts that suggest we will see other versions of the Shturmovik from Zvezda in the future.

Surface textures are made up from crisply recessed and quite fine panel lines with recessed hinge lines and other structural details as appropriate.

 

 

Construction starts with the engine, which is made up from 24 pieces and is nicely detailed straight from the box. You won't see much of it though, even if you choose to leave the cowling panels off.

 

 

From here we move to the cockpit. Alternative clear parts are offered for the bulkhead behind the pilot - one armoured and one framed.

Two styles of instrument panel are provided. One has recessed dials and panel lines, and the other is flat plastic to accept a decal. The choice is yours.

 

 

A pilot figure is included and he looks very nice indeed.

 

 

However, you're on your own if you want harness straps for the empty seat.

The cockpit is quite simple with few parts but this reflects the agricultural nature of this rugged but simple beast. Two styles of armour plate over the fuel tank are offered.

The wings are split into upper and lower inner and outer sections, with a lower centre section as well. These are all supported by two long spars fitted underneath the fuselage. The spars also double as the front and rear walls of the bomb bays.

 

 

The four individual bomb bays have alternative parts for open or closed. Four bombs are included . A choice of two or four rockets per wing is also offered.

Ailerons, elevators and the rudder are all separate parts that may be posed to taste. Fabric texture is represented by scalloping and raised stitching. I think I'll sand the stiches down slightly.

 

 

The main wheels are nicely detailed and made up from four parts each.

 

 

Other options include two different styles of fixed rear canopy, simple covers for the raised main undercarriage, and six separate access panels on the nose offering glimpses of the engine.

The clear parts are thin and free from distortion.

 

 

Markings are supplied for four aircraft finished in Black and Green upper surfaces with Light Blue below. One of the subjects also has winter whitewash.

 

 

Decals look fine. A colour painting guide and a detailed stencil guide are included.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Zvezda's 1/48 scale Il-2 is clearly superior to the old Accurate Miniatures kit in terms of detail and accuracy. The choice is clear if you want to build a single-seater Shturmovik.

In the box, the parts stack up well against the Tamiya kit, but the proof here will be in the building. The Zvezda kit has greater than 100 more parts than Tamiya. The Tamiya kit is also truly sublime to assemble. I prefer Tamiya's surface textures too, but there's not much between the two kits.

Of course, the Tamiya and Zvezda are different versions, so we're not really comparing apples to apples.

Having said all that, I am very much looking forward to building Zvezda's 1/48 scale Shturmovik.

Purchased by reviewer from Hannants


Text and Images Copyright 2021 by Brett Green
Page Created 5 July, 2021
Last updated 6 July, 2021

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