Eduard, 1/48 scale
u m m a r y
||Eduard Kit No. 8165 - Il-2m
|Contents and Media:
||115 parts in grey plastic;
9 parts in clear; colour photo-etched fret; masking sheet; markings for four aircraft
(plus a bonus aircraft marking).
USD$49.95 available online from Eduard's website.
||Based on the excellent Accurate
Miniatures Il-2m3 kit but in a combination never before offered; very
high level of detail supplied on plastic and photo-etched parts; bombs
and rockets supplied; includes colour photo-etched parts for harness and
instrument panel; masks for wheels and canopies; very high quality
plastic; narrow sprue attachments; excellent instructions and packaging.
||Some tricky construction aspects.
Reviewed by Brett Green
Eduard's 1/48 scale Il-2M Shturmovik will
be available online from Squadron.com
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 gunnerís 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 sweep of the wings. This wing reconfiguration compensated for the
shift in the centre of gravity. The Il-2m3 type entered service late in
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 strap!
Nevertheless the Shturmovik was a tough, maneuverable 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 endeavor. 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 Germanyís high technology weapons.
When they were released in the 1990s, Accurate
Miniatures' 1/48 scale aircraft kits set new standards in quality and
detail that are rarely matched even today. Their family of Shturmovik
models was one of several bold subject choices, tackling important
aircraft that had not been adequately depicted in plastic. In common
with their other offerings of the time, Accurate Miniatures' Shturmoviks
boasted excellent attention detail, crisp mouldings and outstanding surface
What more could anyone ask for in a Shturmovik?
How about colour photo-etch parts, canopy and
wheel masks, plus five colourful new marking options?
Furthermore, Eduard's version of the Shturmovik
has not been previously released by Accurate Miniatures. Prior to the
definitive two-seater, the Il-2M3 with the revised swept wing, the
original version was simply supplemented with a crude second crew
position using the same wing as the single seater. This variant, known
as the Il-2M, is the version offered by Eduard. This is the first
version of the famous Il-2 offered by Accurate Miniatures.
Eduard from the Czech Republic, a first-class kit
manufacturer in its own right, has also added their own detail parts,
masks and decals to deliver a highly detailed replica of the Shturmovik.
This latest Eduard kit is being offered in their
standard "long-run" series (orange box), and contains
the plastic from Accurate Miniatures, comprising 115
parts in grey coloured plastic and 9 parts in clear; combined with a
large new colour photo-etched fret; masking sheet; and a decal sheet
with markings for five aircraft..
the thumbnails below to view larger images:
The kit is state of the art in terms of quality of
injection moulded parts, detail and markings.
Eduard's packaging is very modeller-friendly. Sprues are packed,
singly or in pairs, in resealable bags with each pair of sprues
interlocked to prevent scuffing.
The styrene sprues contain the familiar plastic parts from Accurate
Miniatures' 1/48 scale Il-2M3 except the wing, which has been sourced
from the Il-2 single seater.
Surface detail is excellent. Panel lines are consistent and finely
engraved. Subtly raised fasteners, hinges and hatches are also present
in appropriate locations.
Moulding quality has not suffered in the last decade, with beautifully
crisp plastic parts.
Control surfaces are all moulded in neutral positions.
The main undercarriage offers the choice of weighted (bulged and
flattened) or unweighted tyres.
A nice set of rockets complete with rails and ignition wires, plus
bombs, are supplied.
Clear parts include all the parts required for the early
two-seater, plus the late-version canopy although it is not used for
The colour photo-etched fret adds gorgeous, intricate detail
to the excellent plastic parts.
This fret provides the harness, instrument panel and side consoles in
full colour, plus supplementary metal detail parts for the cockpit and
aircraft exterior. The instrument panel should look fantastic when
assembled. I like Eduard's interpretation of Soviet interior blue-grey
Another nice touch is the inclusion of canopy and wheel
masks in Eduard's new, thin flexible yellow masking material.
Instructions are supplied in an A-5 size 12 page loose
leaf booklet. This is accompanied by six pages of full-colour marking
guides, each with a four-view illustration.
the thumbnails below to view larger images:
Markings are provided for five colourful aircraft. Four
are finished in the early-war VVS scheme of Green and Black over Light
Blue, with one in whitewashed upper surfaces and a final example in a
fascinating hybrid scheme of Black, Green and Brown upper surfaces over
Light Blue. Decals look to be very
thin, in perfect register and of high quality.
Just about the only wrinkle in this otherwise perfectly
polished package is the assembly of the kit itself. Based on my own
experiences when building the standard Il-2m3 kit back in 1998, I can
advise that some care will required when assembling the cockpit, the big
cowl intake and the wings.
It should be noted the original construction sequence
been revised in Eduard's instructions, reducing complications in the key
area of the lower centre wing to fuselage fit. The use of photo-etched
parts for the instrument panel and the gunner's backrest strap have also
eliminated two further problem areas.
The addition of the Eduard colour photo-etched parts
will not add to the kit's complexity, other than requiring a few raised
details to be ground down or sliced off.
Here are some notes from my 1998 build of the Accurate
Miniatures Il-2m3 that might help with the balance of construction:
Lower Centre Wing
Assembling the lower centre wing section requires great
The wing braces (parts 25 and 26) set the dihedral, so
make sure they are in exactly the correct position. I "tacked" both
braces in the correct position on the lower wing with super glue, then
reinforced the bond by flowing liquid poly cement for the full length of
the join lines.
When this is dry, the radiator and cockpit components
are added to the lower wing.
Assembly of the cowling (on the bottom of page 3 in the
instructions) is tricky. Take your time and test fit often!
I strongly suggest the following sequence:
Assemble the left and
right halves (parts 7 and 8) and set aside to dry.
Glue the air splitter
assembly (parts 11, 12 and 181) to the cowling top (part 10)
making sure that the top of part 10 meets the edges of part 12 for
its entire length.
When both these
sub-assemblies are thoroughly dry, feed the cowl top assembly
through the cavity at the front of the engine cowl halves. Dry fit
as many times as required to work out what fits where. It may take a
couple of runs - it is not completely obvious.
When satisfied, apply
glue to the underside of the cowl top assembly after feeding
the top assembly through the cowling halves (ie dry fit then apply
glue when the part is in-place). Tape this up and set aside to dry
I also recommend not adding the horizontal tailplanes
until after the wing assembly has been glued in place. In this kit it is
far easier to adjust the tailplanes than adjusting the wing dihedral!
The Coming Together
When attaching the lower centre wing to the fuselage, I
carefully dry-fitted the lower centre wing section to ensure alignment
at the leading edge of the lower fuselage join. Take care when feeding
the elevator push-rod through the small holes in the cockpit interior.
The cockpit will be a snug fit - mine almost "snapped" in place -
assisting the placement of the lower centre wing section.
Remove, glue and refit this assembly when you are sure
the alignment is correct.
Next to the outer wing assemblies. I had to slice off the locating pins
on the leading edge of the upper wing to correctly locate the wing root
to the fuselage (this might not be required on this different wing, but
check the alignment before committing to glue).
Once this was done, the fit of this somewhat complex
assembly was excellent.
Accurate Miniatures' 1/48 scale Shturmoviks are still a great family
of kits. The
addition of this early two-seater version would be very pleasing in its
own right, but the bonus of Eduard's colour photo-etch parts, masks and new decals takes
it to an even higher level.
Granted, the basic kit will not fall together, but if you take care
with the areas noted above, Eduard's Il-2m kit will deliver a highly
detailed and impressive replica of one of the most significant aircraft
Thanks to Eduard for the sample
Review Text Copyright © 2007 by
Page Created 23 January, 2007
Last updated 24 December, 2007
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